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Published: March 24th 2020
View along Rt. 89N
Drive from Glendale to Bryce
To see Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks we stayed in between the 2 in the tiny town of Glendale, UT. Bryce was about a 50 mile drive. The landscape was through the mountains with farm valleys along the way. We passed through an area in the Dixie National Forest called Red Canyon. We did not expect to see this. Out of no where these tall red spires of rock appeared and we passed through 2 small tunnels, arches really. It turns out they were built for the sole purpose of allowing auto access over to Bryce Canyon from Rt. 89. There were lots of trails there as well as a camping area and a paved bike path that seemed to go all the way to the town at the head of Bryce, Bryce Canyon City.
Bryce Canyon is in a high elevation forest. We loved seeing the tall pines, also part of the Dixie National Forest. There was snow along the scenic drive and on some trails. Many were not open due to snow and ice. We parked at the first outlook called Sunrise Point. There is a lodge and store in this area. It is the most developed
area of the park. We walked down into the canyon on the Queen's Garden trail and then continued on part of the Sunset Point Loop until we reached a turn around point due to trail closure. In all we hiked a little over 3 miles. The trail was so muddy! I've included my muddy sneaker for you to see😊. I kept thinking how much our boys would have loved that when they were young and the song, "mud, mud I like mud...." stuck in my head. Even today they would love the beauty of the area as well as the hikes and climbing opportunities.
Just shy of 1 mile down into the canyon is the end of the Queens Garden trail with a plaque and a spire(hoodoo, they call them) that looks like "Queen Victoria" thus the name of the trail. It took us a bit to find it but once we did it was quite obvious the resemblance. We continued on along the sunset point trail that took us deeper into the canyon and into more of a forest with snow. Again, it was so pretty. We could see many distance views of another canyon that was green.
Looking at the map later I figured out we were seeing the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
It was a nice sunny 40 degree day. I mentioned a couple of times that it would have been a "sit in the lawn chairs while ice fishing" kind of day back home😊 Mike walked way ahead of me on our way back. He skipped his run so he wanted to see how quickly and whether or not he could make it out without stopping. I passed a group of kids we kept seeing on my way out and asked, 'did my partner come by here?' They laughed and said "oh yeah!" I told them he was a runner and didn't run today, they replied, "are you sure he didn't run today?" We had a great laugh! I was pretty winded and chomping on some snow but although not as fast, I made it out pretty much without stopping too....well except for taking a few more pictures😊 When I got to the top, Mike had gone to the car, grabbed our lunch and our chairs and we had our lunch on the sunrise lookout. It was great! And it got better......the lodge shop
was actually open and had HOT coffee! It was like a mirage! We also were so happy we put an extra pair of shoes in the car "just in case"
We spent the rest of our time at Bryce driving the scenic road. It has many lookouts and we stopped at them all. Driving through the snow covered forest was so pretty and the views as we continued along the canyon rim were amazing. The road is 18 miles ending at 9115 ft. elevation.
We would definitely like to visit here again in warmer weather. There are many trails, small campgrounds, and the town, Bryce Canyon City is only a few miles from the main area of the park. There is a paved bike path that goes into the town as well that we thought was so well thought out. Really inviting and accessible to see the area by bike or foot, or car of course. It was nice to see it without huge crowds. There were people at every stop and on the trail but not as busy as it was when we went to Zion the day before.....more about Zion in my next post.
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