Only 1.5 hrs from Zion National Park, it is almost inexcusable not to visit Bryce Canyon National Park. The road to Bryce Canyon passes through the stunning scenic drive of Zion National Park. After the rigorous exercise from the day before, we took our sweet time getting there.
We stopped along the scenic drive and through Dixie National Forest. Red Canyon was the first indication that we were nearing our final destination, but this was only the tip of the iceberg of the amazing scenery we would soon see.
The doctor could not have ordered anything better than Bryce Canyon. All major viewpoints along the canyon are accessible by car. There are several easy to moderate hikes that offer amazing views. This was perfect for us since we could barely move. Every single muscle was painfully sore from our 8 hours of hiking (clearly, we need to work on being more active at home). Once we arrived, we started from the very top, Rainbow Point, and drove all the way down, stopping at every vista point.
At the highest elevation, Karl the Fog seemed to follow us all the way from San Francisco.
While driving, we also passed stretches where the surrounding forest had clearly been through a recent fire. It was very spooky against the foggy backdrop, but it seems that Bryce Canyon regularly experiences wildfires throughout the summer.
Every single viewpoint offers a unique view of the canyon unlike the last. The ones at the lower elevations are the most popular sites at Bryce Canyon, including Bryce Point and Inspiration Point, with more epic views of the hoodoos (the distinctive geological formations). The Rim Trail is an easy path that takes you through the major viewpoints. It’s almost seems unreal that these hoodoos were created by weathering and water erosion over time. I’m sure we all have seen these views many times through our preset Windows desktop backgrounds. But, the real thing is seriously jaw-dropping.
(Including myself in this picture for epic size comparison)
At both Sunrise and Sunset Points, the sun casts beautiful light and shadows onto the hoodoos. Bryce Canyon also acts as a natural amphitheater. Its rock formations are practically carved out in a half bowl, bouncing sounds from one end to the other. When we shouted, our voices echoed back.
There are a few easy trails that take you through the rocky formations. I definitely recommend hiking all or part of the Navajo Loop and Queens Garden Trail where you can view “Wall Street”, standing amongst the hoodoos, and see the canyon from the bottom-up instead of a top-down view.
Bryce Canyon was one of the highlights of our entire road trip. There are fun activities to do around the area, including ziplining and ATV-ing. If you are planning to visit any part of the Grand Canyon circuit, this is a must-see location!
Bryce Canyon National Park
Hwy 63, Bryce Canyon, UT 84764