Grand Circle Road Trip: Day 3
The drive to Bryce wasn't very long and we stopped at Ruby's General Store on the way in to get some supplies for the day.
Bryce Canyon was cold and at 8,00 feet it was the highest point we would reach throughout our trip. The good news was that the sun was shining to balance out the cold. We layered up and headed into the park.
The amphitheater is a thing to behold. Each hoodoo from above looks like it's own intricately carved piece of art and there are so many layers of rock to see. Today, I was determined to hike and complete the hike start to finish.
After talking to a park ranger we decided to take the Navajo Loop / Queens Garden Trail from Sunset Point. All the snow was beginning to melt and the switchbacks at Sunset Point were better traveled going downhill instead of up. She was right and we made a great decision to take the trail from this direction.
We were ready to descend into the hoodoos and complete our first intermediate trail of the trip. It was an estimated 2.9 miles with steep elevation, but that's what we bought hiking boots for. With a little hesitation, all it took was a $20 bribe to get all my kids to go for it.
The switchbacks descending into the canyon were slippery, muddy and steep. We took short small steps and tried to focus on walking, but it was difficult when you're surrounded by so much beauty.
The wall of textures, colors and shapes surrounding switchbacks were unmatched and the coral colored rock is unlike any color I've seen.
There a lots of cool arch formations as the rock at the bottom of the hoodoos is softer than the rock at the top. We found quite a few places to stop and take it all in.
The closer we got to the bottom of the trail, the less red rock we saw.
We were ready to make the ascent back up 646 feet to The Queen's Garden Trail and Sunrise Point.
I didn't take any pictures of the hike back up, but I did take lots of video. We all were so happy to see the end of the trail and know that we conquered the entire thing. It's a hike I'll never forget.
After a long day (and night) visiting all that Bryce Canyon had to offer, we headed to our next destination, Escalante.
I was so tired at the end of the day that I didn't even take a picture of where we stayed. This little "Cowboy Cabin" was a haven from the rough winds blowing outside. I cleaned off all the caked-on mud from our boots and we all went to sleep early in our warm cabin.
Up Next: Day 4