Land of Hoodoos

Trip Start Mar 20, 2010
Trip End Aug 25, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Friday, May 28, 2010

From Moab we took the long way to Bryce Canyon via Capital Reef National Park.  The ride was beautiful and Capital Reef was well worth the slight increase in mileage.  Though we only drove through Capital Reef, there are tons of hiking trails that looked enticing - it would be good to go back one day.  We think this ride between Moab to Bryce Canyon via Highway 12 was the most picturesque yet, offering many layers of colors, textures and different mountains and elevations. Considering we have driven approximately 6000 miles so far, that is a big statement.  One minute we are in the middle of red rock and slick rock, then suddenly we are entering Dixie National Forest and raising up to 9500 ft in elevation and in the middle of pines and even snow!.  Soon after existing Dixie National Forest, we went through the Grand Staircase National Monument (Escalanta) then entered Bryce Canyon.

By the time we got to Bryce it was late afternoon, nice time to do some hiking and take advantage of the shades of the Canyon.  Bryce is different from Grand Canyon, and in our opinion, much prettier.  Bryce Canyon is made up of these eroded structures that are called Hoodoos (a pillar of rock, usually of fantastic shape, left by erosion).  There are thousands in Bryce, different colors and shapes, some offer window and arch formations.  Once in the park we drove to Sunrise Point and headed down the Queens Garden Trail to the Navajo Loop Trail and ended back up at Sunset Point.  It was a beautiful trail, and a far cry from the Bright Angel Trail at Grand Canyon.  

Right outside of Bryce Canyon National park there is a little village (tourist trap really), filled with tour buses and RVs.  The place was packed given Memorial Day weekend.  For dinner we refused to wait an hour and sit around with the tours, so we jetted away from the park at one of the locals suggestions and hit this really great place for dinner - Pines (Motel and Restaurant), which is known for their home made pies!!! yum.  Anyone that goes to Bryce should definitely go to Pines.

The next morning, Christina went into Bryce at 5:45 am to capture the Sunrise (Brian bailed). Catching the sunrise at Bryce is supposedly one of the things to do.  It was nice, but it wasn't the most spectacular view on earth.  Later in the morning we toured the rest of the park and took in the remaining vista points before heading to Zion.  We encountered scruffy deers and a prairie dog (an endangered species).

May 28-29

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Dad on

Bryce photos were all spectacular. I've taken many photos over the years and even the super ones still only capture one-tenth the feeling (depth, panarama, colors, etc.) when you are actually there--and I'm sure that was especially true at Bryce.

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