Written by rufusni on 13 Oct, 2011
My final flight segment from Minneapolis to Vegas was delayed by an hour...which meant I was just reaching Vegas as it was getting dark and the sun was setting. The lights were on all over the city...and as we reached the airport and were taxiing...we…Read More
My final flight segment from Minneapolis to Vegas was delayed by an hour...which meant I was just reaching Vegas as it was getting dark and the sun was setting. The lights were on all over the city...and as we reached the airport and were taxiing...we could see much of the lights on the strip which in their own way were stunning...the Luxor pyramid...the green of the MGM Grand...Eiffel Tower...Stratosphere.. But the problem was the sunset sky that lay behind them. The orange and red colours behind the black mountains created a stunning backdrop. In fact the back drop overtook the foreground of the Strip...the lights seemed minor in comparison...the foreground seemed diminished. And for me the sunset simply made me see the artificial nature of Vegas. I saw the fountains at Bellagio, saw part of the Strip at night before crashing into bed. The next morning spent a bit more time on the Strip...but needed more sleep to get ready for the rest of the trip. The following morning we got on the interstate to head out of Vegas...and the landscape changed from the artificial strip...past all the concrete that make up the city...and into the desert... that kind of grey stuffThe first stop was Red Rock Canyon...and it was so nice to get out of the city...to be out in the fresh air...away from concrete. But one was still aware of the closeness of civilisation. For some reason the plan was to get back on the interstate and avoid the windier route to Panguitch...but driving along that road realised that so much civilisation was connected by that road...but once we got off the interstate things seemed quieter. The interstate was so full of trucks and cars racing along on the Labor day weekend.But on reaching Panguitch for the night...we knew that we were well away from Vegas...and glad to hear quiet.Next stop was Bryce in the morning. WOW!!! This place was mind blowing! The hoodoos below you as you stood on the cliff above...walking down among them...it was like another world...On the flight into Vegas I sat beside a lady who was so excited to go to Vegas as she had been told it was beautiful. The problem was that my impression on landing of the difference between the lights of the Strip and the sunset, turned out to be true for me. Vegas held little beauty for me...it came across as glitter but no depth. It felt artificial and fake. But the affect of the sunset held true...the beauty of nature was something else once we got out of Vegas. The red of Red Rock Canyon as we hiked. The hoodoos at Bryce. There was no comparison between Vegas and what came later...they can not be directly compared...they are so different...and brought up such differing emotions for me...from unease to peace being my state of being. Difference it is. All started from a Vegas sunset. Close
Written by callen60 on 28 Jan, 2007
It’s 20 miles down Utah 63—the park road—from its junction with Utah 12 to the end at Rainbow Point. The first 3 miles lie outside the park, and another mile takes you to the central amphitheatre, where the great majority of visitors cluster, and where…Read More
It’s 20 miles down Utah 63—the park road—from its junction with Utah 12 to the end at Rainbow Point. The first 3 miles lie outside the park, and another mile takes you to the central amphitheatre, where the great majority of visitors cluster, and where the easiest access to the canyon lies. A mile past Sunset Point is a spur to three overlooks, of which the first Inspiration Point, where a set of three overlooks are built progressively south along the Rim Trail. Further down the road is a fork in the road whose northern side leads to Bryce Point, which looks into the amphitheatre from its southernmost point; the south heads to Paria View, the first overlook into the rest of the park.
We watched our first sunrise in Bryce from Inspiration Point, arriving just after 6am on a brisk morning—with temperatures barely above 40°, sweatshirts were proving not quite adequate to the task. The clouds added some additional color to the sky, but kept the canyon from bursting into Technicolor with the day’s first rays.
Satisfied by 6:30 that we wouldn’t be treated to an extended, beautiful display, we headed off to the lodge for the buffet breakfast and copious amounts of coffee and hot chocolate to shake off the chill.I came back this way the next morning to watch the sunrise at Bryce Point, and to hike into the canyon during the first hour of daylight. As I drove back out to the scenic drive after that excursion, I decided I had time for the turn out to Paria View. This location hadn’t drawn any photographers, and just past this spur is another landmark: the gate used to close off the remainder of the road in wintertime. I had this location to myself, along with the evidence that erosion never sleeps, as it gradually works its way back into the paved path of the overlook.
The most spectacular hoodoos are in the amphitheatre, but the other general features remain the same: the plateau edge falls away in a cascade of orange rock, providing spectacular vistas to the east and along the rock edges to north and south and below.
Later that morning, with our whole crew in tow, we headed back down the Scenic Drive past the spur to Rainbow Gate, which closes the lower half of the road in winter and seems to keep most summer visitors out as well. Most areas below Sunset Point seem to experience only a fraction of the crowds at the other places. Clearly, their proximity of the central viewpoints to each other leads most folks to stay where they can move from site to site in near-record time. Unfortunately, that also results in many people treating Bryce as a 1-day, rim-top stop. Even if you don’t hike the trails into the canyon, the rest of the park road offers another way to escape the crowds.Here at the southernmost end of Bryce, the road turns north into the parking area at Rainbow Point, which looks north back across the rest of the park and the Dixie National Forest to the east.There’s a paved trail that runs along the rim, and actually connects with the Under-the-Rim-Trail, which runs along the Canyon floor north to Bryce Point. Off to the east is the Bristlecone Loop Trail, a short nature trail that cuts through several strands of its namesake, ancient trees, many located out at the southern end. Three of us hiked this path, marveling at the tough, twisted pines whose oldest member was over 1,800 years young.Yovimpa Point looks off the plateau’s south edge to Arizona, which is actually visible on a clear day. Here, you stand atop the Pink Cliffs, the top stair of the Grand Staircase, which descends from here across the Grey Cliffs and White Cliffs to the Vermillion Cliffs that stretch into Arizona. In the distance, you may see the trees of the Kaibab Plateau on the Grand Canyon’s North Rim.
The view is spectacular, and the three of us stood in the stiff breezes and remembered all the places we’d been over the last 10 days in this magnificent country. The Riggs Spring Loop Trail heads south from here to Yovimpa Pass before twisting east and north back to Rainbow Point over its nearly 9-mile length. The Park Service lists this as a strenuous backcountry hike, and I’d love to return for what could be a challenging day-hike, or a more leisurely overnight outing (there are four campsites along the trail).Two miles north is Black Birch Canyon, where the floor is close and thickly forested. The Under-the-Rim Trail is only a half-mile from the viewpoint, but there’s no access here.
Another half-mile brings you to an overlook of Ponderosa Canyon. Although you’re surrounded by firs and spruces, down on the canyon floor the lower elevation supports the much larger Ponderosa Pines. You can access the the Under-the-Rim Trail here, via a connector that heads north and then descends Agua Canyon. Rainbow Point is an 8-mile hike south from here via this trail.Agua Canyon is another mile north, and features the return of hoodoos similar to those in the central amphitheatre. The large ones to the right and left are among the few that still retain names. Although many hoodoos bore distinctive names in the park’s early days, a few decades of erosion have changed their features so significantly that the names no longer make sense. (By the way, the one on the left is ‘The Hunter’, and on the right is ‘The Backpacker’).
Having mastered the difference between ‘arch’ and ‘natural bridge’ during our visit to Natural Bridges, NM, we were already prepared to critique the naming of the principal feature at this overlook. With no running stream to carve the rock, the span of rock just down the slope is truly an arch, created by a combination of other processes.We ended our tour of the Scenic Drive overlooks a mile north at the aptly named Farview Point, another place where the tiers of the Grand Staircase are visible. A very short trail leads to Piracy Point, looking northeast towards the rest of the park.
Farview PointOn your way north to this location, the road passes a picnic stop at the head of the Whiteman Connecting Trail, the next-to-last opportunity to head down to the Under-the-Rim Trail From here, it’s 3 miles to the last overlook at Swamp Canyon, where the canyon floor really is moister than usual. This is another place to descend to the Under-the-Rim Trail, or the more roundabout route north to the head of Sheep Canyon and then down to the floor.Farview Point was our last stop at Bryce. We'd only spent a few hours on this part of the scenic drive before leaving Bryce for the trip to Cedar Breaks and Cedar City. We were happy with how we’d spent our 2-night stay here, but on a return visit I’d be sure to come back this way, and include some long hikes starting from one or more of the beautiful overlooks along this route. Close
Written by callen60 on 27 Jan, 2007
This is one of Bryce’s most popular highlights, so you’ll have to plan accordingly to avoid the crowds. The Queen in her Garden is indeed a must-see destination, but the hike’s real beauty is the intimate experience it provides among Bryce’s hoodoos, where it often…Read More
This is one of Bryce’s most popular highlights, so you’ll have to plan accordingly to avoid the crowds. The Queen in her Garden is indeed a must-see destination, but the hike’s real beauty is the intimate experience it provides among Bryce’s hoodoos, where it often feels like you have landed on another planet.
Shortly after leaving Sunset Point, this connector descends a very steep hillside down a lengthy series of switchbacks. Another family was behind us, with a rambunctious 7-year-old who kept running up on my wife’s heels. Her requests for a little more space didn’t do much, and his behavior only changed when he fell off the trail, sliding 15 feet down the hillside onto the switchback below. That shook him up a little bit, made him anxious to stay next to Dad, and made the rest of our descent a little more peaceful.
At the bottom of the switchbacks, the connector ends and the true loop begins. To the left is the Two Bridges side, to the right, the famous Wall Street. Three weeks before we arrived, a rockslide closed the trail through Wall Street. Local newspaper clippings posted in several places around the park told the story of how a chance conversation between two hikers kept one from entering that narrow stretch just before the rocks collapsed. The rubble begins not far from the junction, and you were allowed to hike to the edge of the rubble that closed the pathway—a 15’ high pile of rock over a 60’ stretch. Wall Street features a large spruce tree that grows in the middle of the trail, reaching up out of the chasm for its sunlight, a fantastic sight. The Park Service plans to begin clearing the trail in Spring 2007, although whether it will ever fully reopen is in question.
But fear not: the other side of the loop is not without its own attractions. A very short spur leads up to Two Bridges, where two short natural bridges span the 6-foot gap between two steep, high walls. It’s very neat to see these rare formations within yards of each other. (The light here is dim, so those wanting a good picture may want to bring along a tripod.)
At this point, you’re on the floor of the canyon. The trail meanders northward, weaving around hoodoos and other stone obstacles, in and out of shade, all in a peaceful quiet. Not far down the path lies a bench under a rock overhang, a site that’s probably a popular rest stop in the afternoon heat.
Soon, the trail leads to another short spur into Queen’s Garden, a small, pleasant amphitheater with a few bench seats, rock nooks to rest in, and shade. Roughly 20 feet up, a hoodoo is topped by a 5-foot tall, stone, dead ringer for Queen Victoria, complete with crown and 19th century bustle.
In the past, many more hoodoos were named for objects they resembled, but the Park Service has moved away from that practice—both to let the natural world speak for itself, and also because erosion can rapidly alter features here (witness the rockfall at Wall Street).It took just under an hour to reach the garden. We sat and enjoyed the surroundings, chatting with a pleasant couple from St. George. They’d abandoned their native Ohio 30 years ago for southern Utah, and after a week in their neighborhood, we could see why. Eventually, we both moved on—they headed south to the Loop, we began climbing back out to Sunrise Point.
The path up had a different character than the Navajo Loop descent: more of the trail lay out in the open, instead of running along the base of steep cliffs. I enjoyed the contrast between the two routes—the Queen’s Garden Trail offered more opportunities to stop and disguise a rest as a look out at the canyon. Our legs tired a bit as we neared the top, making us glad we didn’t have an additional 200 feet to ascend.
After a few moments to let everyone’s heart rates head back toward normal, we gazed out over the route we’d just climbed from the overlook at Sunrise Point, and then headed south for the half-mile walk back to Sunset Point and a picnic lunch on the porch outside our room. The skies were still amazingly blue, and the crowds were growing now. Fortified by salami sandwiches and peanut butter crackers, we headed to the corral to explore Bryce on horseback, ready to let another creature do the climbing for us.
When I asked my kids if mule rides and horse rides should be part of our Southwestern swing, they wondered why I bothered to ask at all. After settling the anxiety about descending into the Grand Canyon (everyone remembered reading Brighty of the Grand Canyon),…Read More
When I asked my kids if mule rides and horse rides should be part of our Southwestern swing, they wondered why I bothered to ask at all. After settling the anxiety about descending into the Grand Canyon (everyone remembered reading Brighty of the Grand Canyon), the chance to mount up at Bryce and the North Rim quickly became the most anticipated part of the trip. The same company—Canyon Trail Rides—runs the stables at Zion, Bryce, and the North Rim, and one January phone call set up both our hour-long rim-top ride at the Grand Canyon and our 2-hour descent to the floor of Bryce.We arranged for a 2pm ride on our second afternoon in the park. As we headed north on the Scenic Drive after breakfast, we saw one of the hands leading a long string of horses and mules down the path, across the road, and over to the corral just west of Sunrise Point. We joined them shortly after lunch, part of a group of 20 who would ride a combination of horses and mules on the 2-mile loop.We lined up outside the corral on a warm afternoon.The cowboys moved through the group, matching up each rider with a horse or a mule, based on size and temperament of both rider and animal, and family group. We were among the last to mount up, and all four of us ended up aboard mules. Each of the hands set out with a group of 6 to 8 riders, perched atop an animal notable for recalcitrance as we headed down a cliffside. As a novice rider, I tried hard not to think about that, but once you’ve had that thought...The route enters the amphitheatre north of Sunrise Point, away from where most people congregate. The path goes downhill pretty steeply, and somewhere along the first set of switchbacks the entire chain of animals stopped. It was unnerving how close we sat to the edge while each animal took turns relieving themselves in exactly the same place (the ‘Mule Pools’, the cowboys informed us), a sequence of events that did not go unnoticed by any of the kids in our party.
Looking eastWith that settled, we continued down the switchbacks. It took me a while to quit looking at where my mule would place her feet, or to wonder why she kept choosing to walk along the downhill side of the path. My struggle was helped by the fantastic view out to the east, over the frozen dribble-castle hoodoos and to Point Powell in the distance, which—as described—really does appear to be the bow of a sinking ship, ready to follow its stern down under the water. Our cowboy reminded us to keep the mules close to each other, and urge them forward with a combination of our heels and judicious application of the whip provided to each rider. Threatening this animal with violence didn’t seem like the smartest choice, but then I guess she was interested in returning safely, too.We alternated riding for 15 minutes with stopping to allow the intimidated mule riders—those unwilling to show their animal who was boss—to catch up. Frankly, that didn’t leave much time to ask the guide questions once I’d rejoined the pack. In the few seconds left after I caught up, it seemed that he provided a nice combination of informative commentary, quiet for enjoying the surroundings, and cowboy humor (such as pointing out the recent cowboy work at propping up one of the hoodoos, now supported by a foot-long, quarter-inch diameter twig).
On the Canyon FloorThe path headed east for about a quarter mile, before turning straight south on to the east side of a nearly mile-long loop. This area is well past the edge of the central amphitheatre, out among the hoodoos with just your riding group for company—we didn’t see any hikers during the 2-hour ride. The landscape was more open than the Navajo Loop/Queen’s Garden hike this morning, and covering ground by riding seemed a good option in the day’s heat. The southern most part of the trip was just about a quarter mile east of the bottom of the Navajo Loop. Those on the half-day ride (which lasts 3 to 4 hours) would continue south to the Peekabo Loop before heading back north, a trip I’d gladly take the next time.As we reached the switchbacks leading back to the rim, lots of groaning was heard. None of my daughters wanted to say goodbye to their animal or the canyon, and surprisingly, my backside was holding up well. I was in such a good mood that I even sprung for the full set of obligatory $5 "Here I am on my mule" pictures back at the corral. The whole experience was well-run from start to finish, and gave me an interest in something I never considered before—more horseback riding in the West. Close
This is probably the most sought-after activity in Bryce. The Moonlight Hike takes place only 2 nights a month, on days near the full moon, and word has obviously gotten out about this evening expedition (a list of scheduled dates is at the NPS Bryce…Read More
This is probably the most sought-after activity in Bryce. The Moonlight Hike takes place only 2 nights a month, on days near the full moon, and word has obviously gotten out about this evening expedition (a list of scheduled dates is at the NPS Bryce website). Getting tickets is no easy matter—the hike is limited to either 30 or 60 people (depending on the night’s itinerary), and tickets are only available on the day of the hike. They go fast, too—we arrived at the Visitor Center well in advance of the 8am opening, and found a substantial number of folks already in line for tickets. I’m sure some of those who showed up at 8 or even earlier didn’t get what they came for. But shortly after walking through the doors, we were handed tickets 21–25, along with instructions on where to meet that evening.The Park Rangers work hard to keep the hike’s path a secret—unlike other hikes and programs, they don’t post the location for the hike on the visitor center bulletin board, and they quietly point out the place to gather as they hand you your tickets. Evidently, they’ve had problems with interlopers tagging along without tickets.We rendezvoused at our secret spot at 6:45pm, and reconnected with our new friends from the morning’s ticket line. Our young ranger—a recent college graduate with a minor in astronomy—announced that the night’s hike would focus on the planets, since several were visible that night. Our group descended the Queen’s Garden Trail, starting when the sun was about an hour above the horizon. We’d stop every 10 minutes, and our ranger would describe the moons of one of the other planets in the solar system. I confess that, having taught astronomy, I spent much of my time lingering at the back of the pack and quickly setting up my tripod during the stops. The ranger’s presentation was good, though, and everyone who did pay attention was clearly enjoying the talk as well as the surroundings.Nearing sunsetWhile we were still near the rim, the sun gradually retreated below the horizon, streaking the amphitheater with long shadows from the hoodoos. Our descent took about 45 minutes, and we reached Queen’s Garden just before deep dusk.Moonrise from Queen's GardenIt was a neat experience to descend the same path we’d climbed at noon, the bright blue skies gradually replaced by increasingly darker purple hues. The bright colors appeared to gradually seep out of the rocks, leaving the white stone a dull pale, and the orange nearly a drab, lifeless gray.Hoodoo at NightIt seemed as if the day’s show were over, the vivacious performers having left the stage for home and hearth. Both the crowds atop the rim, and the hundreds on the trail were also gone, and if our group was momentarily silent, you heard only the quiet of the canyon.The Queen in EveningAt the bottom, the stone Queen still held court, her silhouette against the twilight sky an even better likeness for her English namesake. The full moon was now distancing itself from the horizon, providing some terrific views of the bright orb above hoodoos and through arches.We began retracing our steps back up to the rim, the stops wisely a little closer for those feeling the various effects of age, altitude, or aerobic deficiencies. The group spread out a little more during the ascent, leaving more time for conversation and questions as we grouped together at each stop.Not long after leaving the Garden, the news quickly made its way to the front and rear of the line—you could see your shadow! The full moon’s illumination was enough to outline each hiker on the rock walls, providing a major distraction as you tried to keep your feet on the darkened trail. Twilight ended not long after we reached the top, and by the time we emerged, the shadows were unmistakable. There are precious few places still dark enough to observe this neat phenomenon, and we spent more minutes walking along the Rim Trail, pantomiming and gesturing excitedly at each other and our dark outlines, as if we’d never engaged in shadow play before. The night cooled off quickly with the sun gone. Waiting for us along the rim trail were members of the local astronomy club, showing off Jupiter and its moons and other delights with their array of telescopes. The dark, dark skies of Bryce are fantastic for astronomy, with amazingly little light pollution—after all, it’s a long, long way from here to a city of any size. We chatted for a while, until the chill of the night air proved too much for my kids. (Yet another lecture on how my astronomy students reliably under-dress for evening observing sessions failed to turn their attitude around.)We headed back to the Lodge, still marveling over the night’s experience. If possible, I’d strongly recommend timing your visit to Bryce to coincide with the full moon. Bring a book and head to the visitor center around 7am—the hour you’ll spend waiting will be well worth it. Close
Written by LA guy on 14 Nov, 2005
After a 1.5-hour drive from Zion, we finally arrived at our overnight lodge at Bryce Canyon Resort early afternoon. With a brief stop at the nearby historic Ruby's Inn for lunch and souvenir shopping, we began our tour of Bryce. Once inside Bryce, we decided…Read More
After a 1.5-hour drive from Zion, we finally arrived at our overnight lodge at Bryce Canyon Resort early afternoon. With a brief stop at the nearby historic Ruby's Inn for lunch and souvenir shopping, we began our tour of Bryce. Once inside Bryce, we decided to drive all the way down the north-to-south Bryce Canyon Road until we reached the southernmost tip, called Rainbow Point. Since all the view points look east, this way we wouldn’t be constantly cutting across traffic to get to the viewpoints on the other side of the road. Beginning with the view at the Rainbow Point, we slowly worked our way back towards the entrance, stopping at each viewpoint along the way. We thought the panoramic view of the valley to the east and south at Rainbow Point was just okay. It was nothing spectacular, as it didn't have the "hoodoos" that Bryce was famous for. But as we worked our way back, the scenery improved.
At the next major stop point, Aqua Canyon, there were three lone giant hoodoos rising out of the canyon all the way up to eye level. Then at the Natural Bridge viewpoint, we saw a giant rock bridge just a few hundred feet below us. But once we were at Bryce Point, we were treated to a panorama of hoodoos--the symbol of Bryce. Below us was the basin of Bryce Canyon, with golden hoodoos everywhere. Indian legend had it that the hoodoos were giant people who were turned into stone. And from our vantage point, they do appear as such.
Then, at the nearby Sunset Point, we decided to take on the Navajo Trail, where we hiked down the canyon and were able to see, and touch, the giant hoodoos as we strolled past them. During this hike, we also came across the infamous hoodoo, called Thor's Hammer, just a few hundred feet away from us. We took our time savoring the scenery as we slowly hiked through the canyon, then back up the canyon to the viewpoint platform. As dusk approached, we used the remaining time to visit the similar Fairyland Canyon, located just outside the park for last-minute sightseeing, before heading back to Ruby's Inn for dinner, then our lodge for the night.
Written by LisaCharlene on 14 Jul, 2004
You will be astounded at the hiking choices within Bryce, including a relatively easy hike around the rim. The pure raw red spirals, pinnacles, and otherworldly beauty of this spot will draw you in. If you choose to hike into the canyon I…Read More
You will be astounded at the hiking choices within Bryce, including a relatively easy hike around the rim. The pure raw red spirals, pinnacles, and otherworldly beauty of this spot will draw you in. If you choose to hike into the canyon I suggest starting at Navajo Trail. Navajo Trail is a steep drop directly into the red rock caverns where you will be immediately absorbed by the terrain and deep natural nooks and crannies "compliments of mother nature." Once inside, the trail levels out and you will be on flatland for a mile plus. The scenery continues to awe you - and the red rocks are complemented by the bright green junipers and pinons. You will be greeted by a lot of wildlife, which has grown so accustomed to us humans that they actually beg for food. The climb out of the canyon will take you through Queens Garden. This is a garden of rock formations that take on almost a castle-like appeal. Once near the top, you can stop and peer over your shoulder at Thor's Hammer, one of the most photographed of the formations.
Sit on a log bench at the top and just breathe in the clean air and thank yourself for the trip. It’s simply enchanting!
Oh yes, and three times during the month - they have night hikes near full moon - NOT TO BE MISSED! Check on these at the Visitor's Center.
Written by AnaMH on 15 Nov, 2000
First piece of information is the fee, $20 per car and its good for 7 days. The temperature in the park can be as high as 80 in the summer but gets cool at night due to the elevation, which can be as high as…Read More
First piece of information is the fee, $20 per car and its good for 7 days. The temperature in the park can be as high as 80 in the summer but gets cool at night due to the elevation, which can be as high as 8800 feet. The high elevation gives the region an excellent overall temperature throughout the year. The canyon is named after a Scottish immigrant, Ebenezer Bryce, who settled in the area in 1875. The area was called “Bryce’s Canyon” and the name stuck. The park became a national park in 1928. The park covers almost 36,000 acres.
Bryce Canyon is a great place to originate several day trips including ones to Cedar Breaks National Park (west), The Grand Canyon (south), Grand Staircase-Escalante National Park (east), Zion (southwest) and Lake Powell (southeast) and Capitol Reef/Canyonlands (northeast). Every one of these areas is a must! The scenic byways to several are impressive. Also nearby, you have Kodachrome State Park (east), Coral Pink Sand Dunes (south near Kanab) and the Brian Head ski area near Cedar Breaks.
This makes Bryce a very popular (crowded) place especially during the summer months. Expect during these months tons of tour buses, parking shortages and lines to enter the park.
There are two campgrounds in the park, North and Sunset campgrounds. Services are available April 1 through October 31, including coin-operated showers and supplies.
Pets are allowed in the park; they must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed on trails or in the buildings. There is no hunting allowed in the park.
The park has a new shuttle system that was put into place in June 2000. There are three lines: the red, blue and green lines. The Red line runs every fifteen minutes from the staging area outside the park to the Visitors Center. The cost for this service is $15 (no entrance fee into park is required). The Blue line takes you to the most famous viewpoints at Bryce Amphitheter from the Visitor’s Center. It also runs every fifteen minutes. The green line seat to the southern portion, including several backcountry trailheads, must be reserved at the Visitors Center. Both the green & blue lines are free but you still must pay the $20 entrance fee to get into the park. The operating schedule runs from May 15th to September 30.
Zion National Park is 85 miles southwest of Bryce Canyon. The first park of the drive through Red Canyon on Hwy 12 Eastbound is spectacular. The hoodoos are almost right on the road. I’ve seen plenty of wildlife in this area.
Next, you head south on…Read More
Zion National Park is 85 miles southwest of Bryce Canyon. The first park of the drive through Red Canyon on Hwy 12 Eastbound is spectacular. The hoodoos are almost right on the road. I’ve seen plenty of wildlife in this area.
Next, you head south on Hwy. 89, through the small town of Glendale and you’ll hit Mt. Carmel. Once you get to Mt. Carmel head west on Hwy 9 (Zion-Mt. Carmel Byway). The stretch of highway into Zion National Park is truly wonderful. Traffic may be heavy once you pass through the first tunnel. Along the way you’ll see Checkboard Mesa and Zion Arch.
Once you enter Zion, you will see why this is the most popular park in all of Utah. The walls of the canyon are massive and very steep. The granite takes on many colors. The Virgin River has cut a magnificent canyon through this area. The scenic drive takes you to most of the sites in the park. You can head out of the first area of the part heading west on Hwy 9, until you see Kolob Reservoir Drive. This section of the park is not very known and my favorite part. The drive is mostly on unpaved roads but very easy to drive.
One of the most popular is Rim Trail. It runs 5.5 miles but can be picked up at any of the lookouts that surround Bryce Amphitheater (Fairyland Point, Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, Inspiration Point and Bryce Point). You can travel all of it or the…Read More
One of the most popular is Rim Trail. It runs 5.5 miles but can be picked up at any of the lookouts that surround Bryce Amphitheater (Fairyland Point, Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, Inspiration Point and Bryce Point). You can travel all of it or the part you like. A section of the trail is paved. The one time I did part of this trail was at daybreak. The trail offers wonderful views on an easy trail. It usually takes 2 ½ to 3 hrs to complete beginning to end.
Bryce Amphitheater has three main trails descending into it. The trails are Queens Garden, Navajo Loop and Peekaboo Loop. They all connect at the bottom, so you can go down on one and return by another. The easiest trail down into Bryce Amphitheater is Queens Garden trail. It is 1.5 miles roundtrip and normally takes about 1 ½ hours. I have only taken this trail as a return route since it is rated Easy. Navajo Loop Trail has a side trail to Twin Bridges. These are a pair of natural bridges in a canyon.
The Under-the-Rim Trail is 22.5 miles in length and runs between the amphitheaters from Bryce Point to Rainbow Point. The normal time to complete it is close to 4 days. To stay overnight on the trail, you must have a permit.