It’s hard to believe now, but Bryce Canyon National Park wasn’t on our itinerary at first. It would have been a huge mistake to pass it up! But we squeezed it in after our Moab trip and I’m so glad we did.
We stayed in the North Campground in loop A. We didn’t have a reservation but had called ahead and knew they had some availability, and we got a nice, large, pull-through site. All the camp sites are dry camping only, but we like the convenience of staying inside the parks when we visit, so it’s worth it to us to dry camp for a few days.
There is a short, easy hike with views over the canyon that dogs are allowed on, so we got our first peak at the canyon that afternoon. The terrain is very odd, like nothing I’ve seen before, but completely beautiful.
Bryce Canyon is simply amazing. I really can’t figure out how to describe this place, so I’ll just quote the description from the National Park Service website:
“Hoodoos (odd-shaped pillars of rock left standing from the forces of erosion) can be found on every continent, but here is the archetypal “hoodoo-iferous” terrain.
Descriptions fail. Cave without a roof? Forest of stone? Even photographs strain credulity.
When you visit maybe you’ll come up with a better name. In the meantime “Bryce” will have to suffice.”
As fascinating as it was to view the canyon from above, I couldn’t wait to hike down inside the hoodoos. We chose the Queen’s Garden/Navajo Trail Loop, which is touted by the park as the best 3 mile hike in the world. It was certainly one of the more interesting ones I have taken.
The Paiute Indians had a legend that the hoodoos were actually Legend People that had been turned into stone by a tricky coyote. It was easy to imagine seeing faces among the rock shapes. From a distance I thought the hoodoos looked more like giant castles.
I really don’t think my words can do an adequate job of explaining how interesting this place is – hopefully my pictures will do the trick. Warning – LOTS of pictures below!
I’m really glad we got that hike in the day we did, because the weather was simply glorious. The next morning however, we woke to this:
The snow was very pretty, and thankfully was not the 3-5 inches of snow that had been predicted. In fact, it was mostly melted by the afternoon. However the bitterly cold temperatures remained. Deas and I are not cold weather people. Heck, we moved to Florida because we couldn’t handle the winters in north Georgia! I just could not motivate to go hiking again in the bone-jarring cold winds. So we did a driving tour of the park that afternoon and hit all of the scenic spots. Even MORE pictures below! Just be glad I whittled down the 400+ pictures I took to just the ones in this post!
Bryce Canyon was simply magical…but after the 3rd day of waking up to snow, we decided to move on search of warmer mornings. We had a reservation at Kodachrome Basin State Park on Tuesday, but found out we could arrive a day early and keep our same spot, so off we went!