Bryce Canyon National Park

In a word - Breathtaking!


As soon as I arrived at Bryce Canyon this morning, I got my gear together and started on a hike down into the canyon. I was in no hurry and planned to spend the whole day exploring down in the depths amongst the "hoodoos", the otherworldly rock spires that are the canyon's trademark. As I entered the park I asked the ranger which trails he might suggest and his reply was to start at Sunset Point and connect with Navajo Trail, then Queen's Garden. So that is where I went, and, as it seemed, loads of other park visitors also. 


Descending down was on a steep, traversing, well made trail, I soon was in the middle of the towering hoodoos. Along the way I met some other hikers (there were a whole bunch of hikers along the trails, largely foreigners, and everyone seemed to be enjoying the amazing beauty with each step along the trails. In the bottom I switched to the Queen Garden, which led to the Queen Victoria hoodoo. Sure enough there was the old gal atop that pillar of stone. She resembles a statue of herself in London.

After returning to the Navajo Trail, I then started out on the Peek-A- Boo loop trail. This was a excellent choice. Fewer people were hiking there, but again, I ran into several Europeans and chatted with a French couple with suggestions of other parks they might visit while in the US. Other people during the day that I chatted with were from Holland and Israel, plus the always present and friendly Germans. Some of the languages of other hikers I could not determine. 


I hiked all day, starting at 11:30 and by later afternoon, thunder could be heard as well as darkening skies. As monsoon storms go out here, sometimes they produce rainfall but then again maybe not. I really did not want to get wet, but I was so in awe around every corner that I just took my time and finally ended my day in the canyon 5 hours later.

As I started my steep ascent, the rain did start to fall, but not much more then a steady drizzle. Getting a little damp was no problem as it seemed to relieve the stress of hiking up the steep zigzagging trail. At the top, instead of going directly to my car, I just stood and looked over and into the canyon from several points, in hopes that the sun would break through at some point and hopefully illumine the hoodoos. My wait paid off as the clouds parted for a spell and lit up the landscape below. A young French couple arrived at the moment the sun broke through and they were is stunned awe. The young man told me his parents brought him to Bryce 11 years ago but they did not hike. He and his wife were going to hike in the canyon in the morning. I suggested they try the trails I had done. They plan to arrive by 7 a.m. and hike to the bottom.

Words have such limited value in this place, so I will simply share photos with you. I believe I will go back in the morning, take the shuttle bus to several viewpoints and possibly, then, find another trail to hike. 

                                                                                                                                  This is the Queen Victoria hoodoo.

Here are photos from Bryce Canyon.


IMG_3742 © Donald E. Kline 2012                                         Disqus Comments