Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the most stunning parks that I went to on my recent Utah National Parks road trip. The rock formations, called Hoodoo’s, reminded me of an ancient city. I felt like Indiana Jones exploring the Temple of Doom.
The shapes, colors, and sheer size of the hoodoo’s are impressive and fill the mind with wonder and awe. The park is also big! There is plenty to keep all skill levels entertained and the small town outside makes lodging and dinning easy as well. Definitely a must see sight if you are heading through Utah.
The National Parks that I have been to have all be very busy, which is great. To find a moment of quiet, I like to see the sunrises when I can at the parks. There is something about the stillness of the morning air. The slow reveal of light across the amazing landscapes really shows the magic of the land we are on.
At Bryce Canyon, the sun rises and illuminates the lower bowl of sandstone and the rock responds with an orange or golden glow. It is truly phenomenal. Made even more special by the fact that the sun doesn’t really hit the outside walls the same and just the center portion has the glow. It is spectacular.
If you are interested in more about the Sunrise over Bryce Canyon I have a detailed post here.
Inspiration Point is the birds eye view of the inner canyon at Bryce. One thing to know is that unlike most overlook’s at national parks, Inspiration point is going to make you work for it! There is a short but very steep hike to get to the observation decking that had me huffing and puffing.
Once there however, it was the view and not the hike that took my breath away. The view from the point highlights how steep the canyon walls really are as well as giving a panoramic view of the multicolored rocks down below. The shapes that have such detail when you are close, blend together at this vantage point into a mosaic of reds and whites.
It is truly beautiful.
I hiked the Queen’s Garden the first night I arrived at the park as the sun was going down. I had no idea that Bryce was full of such an assortment of unique rock formations. From Thor’s Hammer to the Queen herself, the rocks tell stories of their history, and the imagination of those who named them.
This was the first time that I felt like I was walking through an ancient city. Thor’s hammer looks like a statue. Another formation looks like a library or cathedral full of spires and columns. It was one of those hikes that I was worried I would fall over because my eyes were busy staring at everything around me.
If you would like a more detailed review of the Queen’s Garden Loop it can be found here.
The Peek-a-Boo Loop is the second half of a figure eight loop with the Queen’s Garden, although I found that it works just fine on its own. It continues in the feel of walking through an ancient town. With the Peek-a-Boo the views are bit bigger. You can see the canyon walls in all their multi-colored glory. The trail is also like a roller coaster with a bunch of ups and downs. Half of the hike is in the dry rocky landscape full of hoodoo’s, arches, and doorways. The other half of the hike is down on the canyon floor surrounded by trees and huge rock cliffs. It is like two hikes in one and each step is better than the next.
If you would like a more detailed review of the Peek-a-Boo Loop it can be found here.
Mossy Cave is located in the northeast corner of Bryce Canyon a little bit away from the main section of the park. This was a short hike that had a stream and small waterfall and was full of families and young kids. There is some access to the stream and you can get right above the waterfall. The hike the mossy cave is a little bit steep and the cave still had icicles in April!
So many people were at this hike and having a good time, especially around the stream and waterfall. It is nice and short so I saw pretty much every skill level of hiker on this trail. A great way to start your Bryce Canyon experience if you come in on Utah 12.
If you would like to see a more detailed review of the Mossy Cave hike it can be found here.
Wrapping Up Bryce Canyon
I didn’t know what to expect with Bryce Canyon National Park and it turned out to be one of my favorites. If you are a fan of cool rock formations this is a must see park. The inner canyon is full of every shape, size, and color of rock.
Most skill levels should be able to enjoy the park as well. They have a great paved rim trail that gives you an overhead view of the canyon. They also offer horseback riding. I have to say of all the parks I was at, Bryce Canyon also had some of the most helpful Rangers. Everything about my trip was amazing and if you find yourself in Utah and get a chance I would highly recommend spending a day or two at Bryce Canyon.
Connect with the Fatman
If you have any questions or comments about this post feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also keep the conversation going by following me on any of the below social media platforms. Happy Hiking!