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Published: December 2nd 2015
R: when we arrived at Bryce canyon it was snowing pretty heavily. The lady at the last motel did warn us we were going higher. We had about 2 daylight hours left to experience Bryce canyon in the snow. We headed straight for the Sunrise point, the first of the viewpoints into the canyon. The first view was incredible - thousands of rock formations all sticking up out of the canyon of varying different sizes, all made out of bright orange rock. (Early readers will remember me referring to Hoodoos in Canada). The orange of the rock combined with the green of the fir trees and white of the snow is truely a sight to behold.
The space and expanse is huge in the canyon - you can see for miles - that's when the clouds lift a bit. The sun was trying while we were there, but the snow was still coming down pretty heavily. We did the half mile rim walk to Sunset point for a different aspect on the canyon where coaches had just dropped loads of German tourists and went back again, but given the view we were prepared to forgive the weather. As we turned
the car around to go further, the park rangers shut the rest of the road around the canyon, so after a bit more gawping at the incredible scenery we headed to Ruby's Inn - a part hotel, part motel, part campground, part tour agency, part general store... We had a good night here, dined on Subway and Utah beer and watched as the thermometer outside hit -18c.
The next morning we left it late to give the place a chance to thaw out - it was sunny. When we got to the park gates, we enquired as to the road and they said it was being cleared and would be open later. So we headed to Bryce and Inspiration points and did some more of the rim trail.
I also took a steep walk down into the canyon at the Queens garden trail, one of the only relatively easy trails to do that went down into the canyon, given the snow. It was like walking in some silent fairyland, between all the Hoo doos, with only the sound of wind and my feet crunching in the snow. The Hoo-doos rise up around you as you wander by. The
path is fairly steep but wiggles in between Hoo-doos and where there was no access they have burrowed a little arch into the Rock, like secret passage ways. At the bottom is a Hoo-Doo which looks a bit like queen Victoria. See the pictures to judge for yourself. It was a perfect walk - I've never been anywhere like it, and probably won't again. It was perfectly silent until I ended up walking up with a guy from LA with knee problems. Over our (slow) ascent, he told me lots about Zion national park and Mexico and all the walks he can do with his dodgy knees, so I should certainly be able to do them. Now I feel like I owe it to him.
We set sail for Zion on yet more amazingly scenic highways with snow and ice falling off the car all the way. Just before we got to Zion we encountered a field of Buffalo / Bison. they looked pretty unimpressed to be being papped by us and a few cars of Japanese tourists...
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