Day 83 - Bryce Canyon National Park - Utah (USA)
Trip Start Mar 29, 2013
141Trip End Aug 17, 2013
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
We go to pack up Dylan's carry rucksack for the day to find that it's no longer in the van. Stolen or left somewhere but whichever one we are without it and totally gutted.
Thankfully we have a super day planned to lift our spirits, and droopy eyelids. We have picked a three mile walk at Bryce which is a combination of two loop walks - the Queen's Garden Trail, and the Navajo Trail
We park the RV at Sunrise Point have a quick breakfast and go. We start our descent from the viewpoint along a bumpy dusty track heading down into the hoodoos. They are even more amazing from close up. They are bright orange set against a deep blue sky, quite a sight. We have fun looking through slots, ducking through arches, and taking loads of photos. There is a good shot at every turn. We wonder if we've taken more photos at Bryce than anywhere else. The track makes a gentle descent over sloping erosional fins. Dylan is really good at spotting what he thinks the rocks are shaped like - we have a carrot, a man, and a castle, and he is pretty accurate. Another example of why travelling with a toddler helps you to see things differently.
We meet lots of lovely people on the walk who are fascinated by the children and us doing this walk. We get asked the usual about if we are Australian
The scenery is totally captivating and other worldly. We gasp and wow at every view and try to take in the enormous stone structures rising around us. As we reach the floor of the canyon the sights include beautiful pine trees which are dwarfed by the hoodoos.
We have bought Dylan another new water bottle, mainly because he drinks so much that on longer walks we are not able to carry enough for him in a single bottle, but also because Taya much prefers his straw cup to her sippy cup, so she now has his hand me down
Today's walk is obviously inspiring for toddlers too, and he walks and runs a lot of the flatter sections. Of the three miles we think he probably walked about half. The rest of the time he is perched up on Rich's shoulders or dancing around at Rich's feet saying that he needs a carry. The floor and rocks are all dusty and Dylan sits and falls on his bottom a few times leaving a grubby looking boy, and daddy, by the end.
We reach the section described as difficult which is called Wall Street. Gosh! You just couldn't miss this despite the uphill trek. The hoodoos close in around you. In places the 100ft walls block out the sunlight to make you feel like you are in a cave. The ascent climbs up 159 metres from the canyon floor via 30 switchbacks/ zig zags. It's steep, but incredible, and perfectly doable, despite some of the looks we get from other 'hikers'.
We reach the top at Sunset Point, then walk along the rim trail back to the start at Sunrise Point. Truly amazing walk, the best we have ever done.
Lunch in the RV and a sleep for Dylan. Taya refuses to nap for the first time ever, which prevents a family nap time. You'll be tired later little one. We drive to a supermarket we spotted to stock up. Emma is in and out in 5 minutes empty handed, there is literally no fresh produce at all. Back to the campsite shop for a much better shop. Emma lets Dylan sit on her lap whilst she drives the RV in the car park and he helps
Taya pulls up to standing from sitting for the first time today.
Another sunny dinner time outside, and a very speedy bedtime for an exhausted Taya. Fairly quickly followed by Dylan. The adults are looking forward to some s'mores and an early night.
Bryce is definitely the top of the charts in terms of US National Parks for us, so far. It will take a lot of beating. Just a completely awesome spectacle. The Parks are difficult to compare, since despite being relatively close together, they have been completely different.
Tomorrow we start our journey north towards The Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park. It's about a ten hour drive (without stops) so we are breaking it in half with two nights in Salt Lake City to make it a little more palatable.