Bryce Canyon National Park, located in southern Utah, was a side trip for us from our week long spot in Zion National Park. We drove the two and a half hour route, through the “tunnel” in Zion, and spent one night in a hotel right outside of Bryce Canyon.
The highlights of the National Park were all located relatively close to one another, and like the other Parks, there were several hikes to choose from. We first stopped by the Visitor Center to pick up the Junior Ranger books and ask for the recommended, kid-friendly hikes and viewpoints. Then we headed for the Rim Trail to attend a half hour Ranger Led walk, which is required for the kids program, and gave us a nice overview of Bryce Canyon. We were at the top of the Canyon, looking down.
Then we decided to venture down into the Canyon because we saw several people hiking down winding paths all around us, and we could not resist. We went via the Navajo Trail, which had steep, winding walkways that seemed to go on forever. Being a mother, I was quite nervous of the steep edges, but we each held onto one child as we descended the trail. It was about .7 of a mile down.
The reward was at the bottom, being able to now view the Canyon from the bottom, looking straight up at the enormous hoodoos, as they are called!
When rains come down in the canyon, it can quickly turn into a dangerous place for hikers, but on this evening, the river was completely dry.
The return trip was a little rough, about .6 of a mile back to the top, but we arrived just in time to see the gorgeous sunset over Bryce Canyon!
Bryce Canyon was such a great experience, and we only did a couple hikes. If you enjoy hiking, you could spend several days here, otherwise one day is sufficient to cover all the viewpoints. Although Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon are relatively close to one another, keep in mind that there is a 10 – 15 degree difference in temperature due to the elevation change.
More information: Bryce Canyon National Park