Bryce Canyon

Leaving Capitol Reef National Park we drove southwest now on Utah’s Scenic All American Road 12. This was our most epic drive during our whole exploration of Utah’s National Parks. As we climbed in elevation at Boulder, Utah we stopped at overlooks to play in the snow.

Between Boulder and Escalante we drove the Hogsback where there were hair pin curves and sheer drop offs into deep canyons on both sides with NO guardrails, I was driving this section between Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon and believe me I had both hands tightly on the wheel in a real death grip. This road was once called the Million Dollar Road because of the cost to build such a narrow road through this rocky and seemingly impassable area. There were only a couple of pull offs where we could stop to look in awe of God’s Natural Beauty of this land.

Notice the road at the bottom of this canyon that we drove along to get to the top.

It was a most exciting drive but our real destination for the day was Bryce Canyon which got its name from the 18 year old Ebenezer Bryce, a Mormon missionary, who built a road into the amphitheater to harvest timber. The locals began to call this Bryce’s Canyon and the name stuck. When we checked into the lodge in the park we realized quickly why they had given us a second floor room.

After getting settled into our room we drove all of the Scenic Drive in the park that was open. Perhaps mid April was a bit early to visit Bryce Canyon but the park was already crowded and to have waited even a few weeks I do believe tourists would have flooded the park. We do always try to avoid the crowds by getting out to see the sites early in the morning and I have always wanted to see snow on the HooDoos in Bryce so all was well.

The highlight of our first day in Bryce Canyon was the spectacular sunset. William and I both have had a great deal of difficulty deciding which pic was the best so I will share two of our favorites and let you decide.

Hoodoos are similar to spires except that they have variable thickness and are shaped like totem poles. Hoodoos can be found in many places along the Colorado Plateau but nowhere other than Bryce Canyon are they so abundant. The Hoodoos range in size from 3 to 5 foot up to the size of a 10 story building. There are many overlooks in Bryce Canyon National Park to see these bewitching formations but to me the best view is from Inspiration Point where you can look into the whole amphitheater. We took this picture below of the amphitheater at sunset the night before.

This picture below is from Sunrise Point taken the the next morning just outside our room at the Lodge.

There are so many views of these Hoodoos from so many points around the rim. and perhaps this is why Bryce is my favorite of all of the Big 5 Parks in Utah. Here are some more of our favorite snap shots for you to enjoy.

Typically one would hike down into the canyon to walk around in the hoodoos but not in mid April at almost 9000 feet in altitude after unprecedented heavy snowfall this winter. It was quite understandable that the trails would be closed because of snow and ice but still very disappointing. That is until we came upon Red Canyon as we descended in altitude continuing along the All American Road Scenic Highway 12.

We rounded the curve only to be greeted by the Arch we had to drive under and although there was still small traces of snow the canyon floor here was free of ice and totally safe to hike.

How delightful it was to be able to hike in around all these beautiful Hoodoos!

Finding this State Park just a short drive from Bryce National Park was a real treat and it made our visit to Bryce Canyon complete. After visiting Arches, Canyonlands, Captiol Reef, and Bryce Canyon we only have one more of Utah’s Big 5 left so we are now on our way to Zion National Park.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Edith Propst says:

    Awesome pics of Bryce! And I must say that I was wrong in my last comment about Hwy 24. Hwy 12 is the most scenic! We stayed in an adobe lodge in Escalante and drove Hwy 12 to Capitol Reef. Wilson would have corrected me if I had asked him before commenting as he always mentions to people coming to the canyons to be sure to take Hwy 12! Many parts of Zion will be off limits due to melting snow and flooding this time of year, but it’s always magnificent! Enjoy your time there.


  2. Melissa says:

    Gorgeous! I love your sweatshirt too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment on my sweatshirt. It was birthday present.


  3. Priscilla & Steve says:

    Bryce Canyon is our favorite of all the parks we visited. Loved looking out over the expanse of hoodoos. Again great pictures.


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