We were all sad to leave Lake Powell and the houseboat but excited to set out on the next leg of our adventure – to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks. We drove the 2.5 hours from Page to Bryce and enjoyed the scenery of red rocks and lush pine trees as we entered the Bryce area. As usual we had done virtually no research on the park – it was on the hit list because as well as being world famous, it had been recommended by several friends…so we were not sure what to expect…but hoped it would be cool!
It’s proving pretty hard even to keep track what day of the week it is but we weren’t fooled this time time-wise – crossing back into Utah from Arizona, this time we knew about the time change!
We had booked a camp site at the Rubys Campground, at Bryce Canyon City, about 3 miles from the Park Entrance. I’m telling you this town (well, hamlet, really) should be called RubyTown. Virtually every business, from the lodge, to the diner, to the grocery store was part of Ruby’s empire. And at the prices she’s charging Ruby is one rich lady!
The first day in the park we hiked 6 miles along the “Rim Trail” – which was gorgeous. We were able to look down on the unique “Hoodoo” formations from high above – they are stunning and very unique sandstone towers. Obviously the erosion that forms them is still happening so new ones are being formed (albeit very slowly!)
The second day we tackled one of the trails down into the canyon. I found this even more impressive than seeing the Hoodoos from up top.
We had understood that biking was not permitted in National Park – but in fact there is a tarmac ‘multi use’ track, for cyclists and walkers, which runs for some 30 miles leading up to the park entrance and another 8 miles into the park itself. We had a lovely ride!
Our campsite was lovely and we enjoyed some hanging out time….
A massive thank you to those who contributed to our “cash collection” – the kids chose to buy hammocks – they are wonderful and much used !
We had loved the Hoodoo’s and hikes & bike ride at Bryce but I was actually delighted to be leaving. The park is at an elevation of between 8,500 and 9000 feet and I suffered from mild altitude sickness the whole time we were there. I had a permanent headache for the whole 3 days – somewhat annoying when I had not even touched a drop of alcohol!
What Ed says: Bryce is indeed very unique and although quite small in comparison to the other National Parks it is well worth a visit. The camp ground out side the park is convenient for supplies but the camp ground just in the park also looked good. We met another traveler and he stated that if God made Zion then Walt Disney made Bryce, which is a nice analogy. The park shuttle system works well and keeps the number of cars down as there is not much parking in the park. Another thing that we are finding out is just how helpful the visitor centre and rangers are. So far, at every park we have visited the Rangers have been extremely knowledgable and helpful, offering great suggestions and advice.
We have now started putting the solar panels on the roof of the tent to power the freezer and storage battery. The reason is two fold 1) it keeps them out of the way, 2) it also helps darken the tent in the mornings as generally it’s bright sunshine at 6am!!!
Next Destination : Zion National Park, Utah