Friday, April 3, 2015

Bryce Canyon

Odometer  46948
Trip Meter  (Car) 202 miles

Friday April 3, 2015

Bryce Canyon is about 80 miles north of where we are staying here in Kanab, UT and Zion National Park is only about 41 miles north and west.  It was our plan initially to go to Zion this morning, however as we were loading our lunch and cameras, and jackets into the car we got to talking with our neighbors who had gone to Zion yesterday.  They let us know that Utah schools were having spring break and the parks were very crowded- all the parking lots were full to exclusion, and the shuttles were booked by 10 AM.  They suggested that Bryce seemed to be less crowded, but still very busy.  At least in Bryce Canyon you drive your own car and don't need to cram onto a packed shuttle.

Bryce Zion RV park Glendale UT

Heeding their advice we headed up Route 89 to Bryce Canyon.  As we drove up 89 we found that there is also lots to see outside the National Park.  In Glendale we noticed that the RV Park we called for a reservation yesterday isn't even open for the season yet- but what a backdrop to the park!

Red Canyon in the Dixie National Forest

We turned off  Route 89 onto State Highway 12 which heads east into the park.  Even before we got to the visitors center and Bryce Canyon, we started to see a magical landscape of spires and hoo-doos.

Entrance Sign to Bryce Canyon National Park

Once again, the Senior Pass gets us into the park.  You can see from the picture above there was a crowd everywhere we went.  After being mobbed at the first overlook, Joan had a  plan to drive all the way to the end of the canyon and stop at the scenic overlooks on the way back.  It worked beautifully!

Honda CRV parked in Ponderosa Canyon overlook

The Canyon drive is actually on the ridge above the canyon- so you look down on top of the scene below.  The vistas are impossible to capture with a camera, but they are breath-taking!

View from Sunset Point Bryce Canyon

Here is the view from Sunset Point.  At each stop along the canyon road there are trails that one can hike, either along the rim of the canyon or down into the canyon below.

Overlook at Natural Bridge
Joan at Natural Bridge.

Natural Bridge at Bryce Canyon

The bitter wind that was blowing yesterday moderated today but at 8,000 plus feet- let's just say the snow wasn't melting very fast.  We ate our picnic lunch in the car with the windows rolled up!
We don't believe for a minute that we can have seen all of this magnificent place, but it is a good first impression!

At 3 in the afternoon we decided to head back to Kanab and our home on wheels.

We know we'll be back to see a lot more of Utah, but tomorrow we are heading out on the next step in our journey towards our summer home in Oregon.  We just don't have the fortitude to join the spring break crowds in Zion.  On to Nevada!

Your Traveling Friends

Jeff and Joan

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