Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bryce Canyon National Park (Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend)

Let's just start my acknowledging that 3 day weekends are the  I know that's a no-brainer, but 3-day weekends are just such beautiful things, especially when you live in place like Las Vegas, where there are virtually an unlimited number of outdoor adventures that are just an easy car ride away.

During this most recent 3-day weekend, Adam and I, along with a couple of our friends, traveled to Utah to visit another National Park that is within driving distance of Las Vegas: Bryce Canyon National Park.
yay! another stamp in my National Park Passport =)
I think there are two primary things that are recognizable about Bryce.  First, we have the brilliant red and orange rock, which looked even more spectacular against the clean, white snow.  Second, this place is covered in hoodoos, which are like narrow spire-like towers of rock that just rise out of the desert floor.  They are spectacular.

Now, we didn't drive all that way to just look at it.  Of course, we needed to get down and hike in it!  There are a lot of really well maintained trails of all lengths.  We didn't have a ton of time, so we selected a 3 mile loop hike that took us down into the amphitheater from Sunrise Point down the Queens Garden Trail through a magnificent desert wonderland.
The trail was really remarkable.  There were a series of switchbacks that led you further and further into the natural amphitheater.  In addition, there were countless overlooks that just took your breath away (and provided opportunities for shadow pictures).
V-O-L-S! Go Vols Go!!!
Once we got to the bottom, we began walking through a forest of hoodoos and incredibly tall evergreen trees.  
We coninued along until we came to a fork for the Navajo Trail.  This trail is normally a loop on its own that starts and finishes at Sunset Point (not to be confused with Sunrise Point, where we started our hike).  However, the part that walks through "Wall Street" was closed due to falling rock.  We climbed out of the canyon on the "Two Bridges Side" of the Navajo Trail.  We hiked back to the rim of the canyon at Sunset Point and the view was still inspiring.
We completed our loop by hiking the Rim Trail from Sunset Point back to Sunrise Point, where we left our cars.

Overall, it was a great hike.  It was just under 3 miles (2.9 miles) with about 550 ft in elevation change. I would highly recommend going to Bryce in the winter.  First, the red rock and the white  Second, it is far less crowded.

No comments:

Post a Comment