Published: June 3rd 2012June 2nd 2012
Another 7am breakfast in the cabins at Tropic, before an early start to do the Queens Garden/Navajo loop trail, which drops from the rim of the Canyon into the Bryce Amphitheater, whilst it was reasonably cool. This trail was listed as the worlds best 3 mile loop trail, which sounded a bit ambitious.
But, Wow! Wow! Wow! it has got to be true .It is the most stunning trail we have ever walked. The trail goes down a series of switchbacks into the main Bryce Ampitheater and at every turn and twist of the trail you are blown away at the views and the colours. Vern and Annette set off at a cracking pace (they had done it before) and we did not see them again until the finish. Dinah could hardly take a few steps before she had to take more photos. I ,for once, was happy to wait for her ,taking in the views. We were walking amongst the hoodoos, through them, round them, above them and below them.
I should explain a Hoodoo is a vertical column of rock, usually with a limestone top and and a sandstone base that has been formed by weather erosion
of what was once a ridge of rock. Most of the erosion is caused by snow and ice in the winter and summer storms.
The effect is to create massive sculptures ,some of which have been named, Queen Victoria ,Thors Hammer, Sinking Ship and Hat shop.
The finish of this walk is spectacular ,as you walk between very high hoodoos and then have to ascend back from the Ampitheater to the Canyon Rim.This is up through a narrow gorge called Wall Street.
I was just starting this ascent when I spotted Vern at the top and I shouted him for a top rope but despite my pleas no rope was forthcoming.
It is impossible to describe how good this walk is you just have to do it!!!
After this we went to the General Stores for a well earned coffee.
It was by now heating up mid 80'sF in the shade so we retreated to the Visitor Centre to watch a short informative film about Bryce Canyon, and look at some of the leaflets to identify some of the plants and creatures we had seen on the walk, the most unusual we saw
turned out to be a Short Horned Lizard (very small).
Then off to find some lunch and fill up the car for our long journey tomorrow.
On the way back to the cabins we stopped to do the short trail to Mossy Cave and a waterfall.
The water here is very precious and Tropic where our cabin is only exists because some of the early pioneers in this area built an irrigation ditch some 10 miles long from high on the plateau to this very arid valley. The ditch has provided flowing water into this valley now for over 100 years continuosly. There are some beautiful natural arches here and evidence of new hoodoos in the making as they are continually developing as the erosion takes place.
I now have so many pictures of the Canyon I shan't know what to do with them. Hopefully I have a good one to hang on the wall at home to remind us of this magic place.
Off to find supper at Clarkes , the largest and only shop in Tropic! Might be burgers again!!
There are more photos below