Bryce Canyon, Utah

It’s hard to pick a favorite anything on any of the trips I’ve written about here. We’ve seen so many fantastic sights in all types of weather and in varying regions. I love them all. The closest I have come to having favorite scenery though, was at Bryce Canyon. Growing up as a teenager in the 1980’s I listened to the band “Hoodoo Gurus” without ever knowing or caring what a Hoodoo was. But now I care and I can tell you that a Hoodoo is an irregular column of rock. At Bryce Canyon, that description is woefully sub-par in such a grand and brilliant display.

Thor’s hammer

As I mentioned in a prior post, we brought ice spikes that fit over hiking boots for this trip, because we’d done our research. This was the first place that we needed them. We decided to hike the Navajo loop, which is only about 1.5 miles total, but it’s also 515 feet in elevation. The start of the hike from the parking lot is all downhill.

“The iconic Navajo Loop Trail begins and ends at Sunset Point, travelling by switchbacks down between narrow walls of colorful limestone with views of towering Douglas-fir trees and the park’s most famous hoodoo: Thor’s hammer. The loop has two sides, the Two Bridges side and the Wall Street side. The Two Bridges side is open year-round, however the Wall Street side is closed in months when precipitation combines with freezing overnight temperatures. When both sides are open, we generally recommend this as a counter-clockwise loop. When Wall Street is closed, the Two Bridges side can be hiked as an out-and-back or combined with other trails.” From nps.org

These switchbacks were slick

Once we got to the bottom we didn’t want to turn around and go back out immediately, so we followed a trail in the bottom of the canyon for a while

There was enough snow to have have been on cross country skis down in the bottom of the canyon.

The slope of the climb back up and out of the canyon, was kind of like climbing a mile and a half up slippery stairs. As we’d been sitting on the couch for most of the month of December, we took a lot of breaks. By the time we got close to the top, we’d shed quite a few layers of outerwear. We witnessed people attempt to hike near the top of the canyon with flat bottomed shoes that were not meant for hiking or for walking on ice covered trails. They had some struggles to stay upright. It’s un-settling if you’re one of those people, who like me, is visualizing the worst possible outcome.

The Two Bridges – of the Two Bridges side of the loop are not actual bridges – but more of a scenic representation

Although it packs a punch in terms of quality, Bryce Canyon is a small park. We were only there for a few hours and I feel like we saw the very best of the park in that short span of time. Right outside the park, we found a great general store known as the Ruby’s Inn General Store. Native American arts and crafts that look to have been hand made. Everything from rugs to clay sculptures, nativity scenes, hand painted pottery, and jewelry. They also had groceries, ice cream, tchotchkes, and t-shirts. It was an impressive and welcomed smorgasbord of everything we needed to replenish, including huckleberry licorice and root beer float ice cream

From Bryce, we headed to our last stop, Zion National Park. We stayed the night in a very nice Holiday Inn Express in Springdale, Utah, which is right outside of Zion. We planned to spend the morning of the last day of our trip exploring Zion. That’s up next!

3 thoughts on “Bryce Canyon, Utah

  1. Pingback: Zion National Park in January | Heads East, Tails West

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