Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Trip Start Apr 11, 2010
Trip End May 20, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Monday, April 12, 2010

I guess it's because Bryce Canyon has the National Park designation that it gets overrun with tourists, even in mid-April when the snow is still deep and temperatures chilly at it's elevation of 8,000 to 9,000 feet.  "Canyon" actually seems to be a bit of a misnomer since Bryce seems to be more of an escarpment than a canyon even to someone as geologically challenged as myself.

Bryce is one of those parks that has some long back country hikes, a busy shorter loop hike or two for the moderately fit to take in, and lots of scenic pullouts along its main road for the RV and tour bus crowds to "oooh" and "ahhh" while having their photos taken at in every possible group permutation.  Note to self:  If Bryce is this congested in snowy April, avoid it all costs in mid-summer.

We drove the 20 mile road back and forth through Bryce to its end at Rainbow Point, making brief stops for photos at all overlooks like the good tourists that we are and then returned to Sunset Point.  Considering how deep the snow still was in most areas, a ranger advised us the three mile hike through the Hoodoos on Navajo Loop to the Queen's Garden was the only one passable without snowshoes.  The weather on our hike started out clement enough but by the time we got back up to the rim two hours later it started snowing.  Fifteen minutes later on the drive out it had turned into a windswept whiteout.  Hmmm, I don't think camping will be in the stars for tonight!

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