Bryce Canyon National Park
There are over 400 national parks in USA. It is difficult to choose which ones to visit if you don’t have a year to spear. It turns out Google has a rating and Bryce Canyon has the third place in it. If you check the pictures you can easily understand why. It has totally different landscape than any of the others. Compared to another similar place elsewhere – that is the largest collection of odd-shaped pillars in the world. The best time to visit the park is from April to October. Since I visited at the end of December, I would say that it had its advantages. Not so many tourists, nice weather for trekking and no thunderstorms, which often happens during summertime. Although, I must admit that watching one of those in the Bryce Canyon will look amazing.
My journey started early in the morning from Panguitch – a small town in Utah. Bryce Canyon park is 35,835 acres and if you want to really explore it, it will take a week. If you want to see only the attractions, along the main road and do some treks, you can do it in one day. If you just want to drive on the main road and check out the viewpoints, it will probably take you no more than few hours, but you will miss the most interesting part – walking among the rock formations.
Those are called hoodoos, which has no translation in my native language. The entrance fee to the park is around $30 and if you are planning to visit more than three of the national parks it will make sense to buy “America the Beautiful” pass. The pass is valid for one year and costs only $80. It gives unlimited access to you and three other people in all the 400 parks plus the Federal recreation lands (haven’t visited those, yet). The person who owns the pass should be among the visitors and should have an ID.
The road in Bryce Canyon is 18 miles long and in the summertime, there is a shuttle bus which stops at the points of interest. I didn’t find it very difficult to drive there. It is mountain area, but the road, as everywhere else in US was perfect. I was really lucky that it wasn’t snowing recently, so the road was clean. If you visit it drive within the speed limits, as there are a lot of animals, especially after it gets dark. I haven’t seen anything inside of the park, but on a way to eat there were 6 deer just staying on the side of the road, while I was passing. They didn’t pay any attention to me, so they should be used to cars.
There are four different points where you can stop. The first one is the Sunrise point where you can as well go down and give the hoodoos closer look. The Queens Garden trail starts from there and you can walk to Sunset point through the Navajo loop trail. Take water with you and enjoy this 2 hours long trek. You might be faster if you are not taking so many pictures. My intentions were just to go downhill a little bit and climb up and do the Navajo loop afterward. But once you are down you cannot stop walking among the fairytale castles and I am glad I didn’t because this trek is actually the best one you can do. It covers pretty much the Navajo loop as well. At the end of the trail, you can see Wall Street – spectacular massif rock formation and Thor’s hammer.
Once you are on the road again, you can return very fast to your car, as the distance between the two viewpoints is only 0.5 miles. Continue on the road and you can get another perspective over the Amphitheater from the Inspiration Point. You need to climb a little bit, but the view, as from any other point there, is rewarding. The last point, named after the park, has its own Amphitheater. It is the highest place you will reach (8296ft/2529m), so don’t forget to put warm clothes before going out of the car.
All pictures are mine, except the ones I am visible, those are someone else’s.
If you want to see other beautiful parks close by, check out these:
Thank you for reading and upvoting. Stay tuned for more natural wonders in US. Cheers, Eva (: