Hiking Bryce Canyon

Our recent visit to Bryce Canyon National Park was brief but packed full of beautiful scenery. The drive south up into the high desert Bryce Canyon was equally scenic.

We arrived in the evening and did our best to secure a (hopefully free) parking spot to spend the night, then hike in the morning. Well that didn’t work out so well as everything near the park was closed off. We drove through the park campground and found a couple of available spots that we didn’t like much. So we opted to backtrack back to town.

It was getting dark and we were tired having driven most of the day. So we decided to head back into the town of Bryce just down the road to find an RV spot. It turns out that Ruby’s Inn and RV Park has the monopoly on just about all of the RV parks around town so we headed to the office where we had the pick of RV spots all around town. We claimed a pretty decent and quiet pull through for the night.

We planned to go for a morning hike but when we awoke, the sky was filled with clouds. Luckily the skies opened up by mid morning to reveal a nice blue sky. The temperature had also dipped below freezing overnight but was warming considerably as each hour passed. By the time we hit the trail around noon, it was a sunny 58 degrees. Perfect!

Off we went into the canyon. We had read reviews online which had recommended taking the Navajo Loop Trail to the Queen’s Garden Trail. So that was our plan. The trails were well groomed and well traveled with orange cliffs and hoodoos were everywhere. Upon reaching the bottom of the canyon, the Queen’s Garden trail took us through wooded meadows before winding back up and out of the canyon. Of course there was a lot of stopping to take pictures and video.

It was a pretty non-technical hike that just about anybody could do. Not knowing what to expect, we took more gear than we needed. Just remember that after you hike down, you’ll have to hike back up. The only thing that we did not consider was the elevation. Both of us are in relatively good shape but unexpectedly found ourselves a little short of breath on the hike out. We later realized that Bryce Canyon sits at 8,000 feet of elevation. So mystery solved.

Overall it was a great visit and beautiful day to boot. I’ve been wanting to visit Bryce for some time now, but never had the chance. One more check off the list.

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