If Capitol Reef reminds me of a Wild West movie and the land of outlaws, then Bryce Canyon National Park is straight out of Indiana Jones film set. #thisisunreal Formerly an ancient sea (and never a canyon actually) Bryce was formed by erosion caused by water freezing in the rock spires (hoodoos) every night and melting next day, dripping down and taking a few grains of sand with it…
The park is small (by Utah’s National Park standards) and you can hike all the trails in one day and even take a horseback ride to top off your experience (I highly recommend the horseback ride in Bryce!!!). Also, there is no “scenic road” to drive per say, instead you have to stop at view points and walk to the end. Sunrise or Sunset Point will make for a good parking spot and you can explore the trails from there (you’ll also have bathrooms and drinking water). The views are spectacular and you never expect what lies 100 ft away from the pine forests you drive through on the road.
Bryce’s Amphitheater (the road is along the rim if you could imagine that…)
Trees still grow at the top of the “hoodoos” or hang off them and they use nutrients from the rock, air, and water to survive. All species in the desert are highly adapted to the harsh weather conditions. #thedesertisalive
If you were to do ONLY ONE thing in Bryce – make it be the Peekaboo Loop on horseback! It is a once in a lifetime experience – Indiana Jones movie set, Western horses and tack! Call and make reservations in advance so you don’t end up like me begging the cowboys to take you with them #doasIsaynotasIdo The animals (horses and mules) are super calm and friendly, they do this loop at least twice a day, they know their job, and all you need to do is sit comfortably, relax, and enjoy the views. The horses are VERY sure footed, so don’t worry about them, and if you are afraid of heights, just don’t look down, the trail can get very narrow with steep drops at times. I talked to the owners of the trail rides at Bryce and then went and rode with them again in Zion and loved both experiences!
Yes, there is a trail that takes you down there, it ended up being my favorite – Wall Street!
You can do this on horseback, just make sure your horse is sure footed…and don’t look down perhaps… 😉
Where I expected Indiana Jones to pop out of a crevice…
Wall Street from the bottom!
Queen’s Garden Loop is where I met a very nice elderly couple that reminded me of my grandparents and their love for exploring and was also so kind to take pictures of me!
If you look closely at the rock formation on top, it resembles the Queen of England with a crown and hands crossed at her chest.
And just when you think Utah couldn’t get more beautiful, you exit Bryce Canyon National Park to head West and enter Red Canyon State Park with its rock tunnels! Another stop was had, another hike was made, another time I was late for my check-in…