Bryce Canyon is one of the most remarkable and memorable sights I have ever seen in my life, and I feel so lucky to have visited. Bryce Canyon has the largest collection of hoodoos IN THE WORLD. That’s right- you can see this crazy wonder of nature hiding away in Utah. What are hoodoos, you ask? Hoodoos are non-uniformly shaped pillars of rock that are created through erosion. While I do have a variety of pictures in this post, the only way to truly experience this park is to visit.
When you drive into this park, you really have no idea what you are about to see. The Aspen trees and open fields keep the major sight a mystery. If this is your first visit to the park, I recommend taking a stop in the gift shop to take a bathroom break, stamp your passport, and buy your souvenirs.
To see the hoodoos, one should start heading towards the lodge, either via the park shuttle or by parking in the parking lot. If you are not interested in hiking, the views from the overlooks alone are spectacular.
In my advanced research, I knew exactly which hike I wanted to do in Bryce Canyon. The Navajo Loop and Queen’s Garden Trail comes in at 2.7 miles with a change in elevation of 679 feet. This hike is considered a moderate hike, however, I think this is only because the end of your hike is the upwards part to come out of the canyon. Throughout this hike, one hikes down into the hoodoos, and you get to see everything up close and personal.
After walking between the rocks in the photo above, I barely could believe I was not in a dream! Bryce Canyon just feels like a magical land, and the Navajo and Queens loop let you fully enjoy the magic. You can see the changes in foliage as you get further and further into the canyon, and there are a few picnic tables at the bottom if you want to pack a picnic.
Usually, switchbacks are a little intimidating, but as I looked up and down along the switchbacks in Bryce, I was still blown away by the beauty of this park. If a park is so beautiful that you enjoy the switchbacks, you know you have found somewhere special.
Overall, this hike is really fun and probably one of the most interesting hikes I have ever been on. While Bryce Canyon is a larger park than just this area, this is definitely the main area of the park to visit.
After the hike, Dallin, Henry, and I did a little driving to look out from other overlook areas. We saw some active wildlife on our hike, aside from just chipmunks looking for leftover sandwiches. While driving along, we saw an elk running across a field, and this was in the middle of the day. In non-peak seasons, there are probably many interesting animals to see.
Bryce Canyon normally is $30/vehicle to visit. Thanks to my National Parks pass, this was another free visit, and this brings my pass value to $202/$80. The value of this pass really shows itself in the western part of the United States since there are so many larger parks to visit.
This post is my final post from my Utah trip. After a week visiting Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks, and Bryce Canyon, I definitely am feeling a bit of a travel bug! The parks in Utah were so amazing, and I would highly recommend visiting these parks when you get a chance!
Thank you so much for following along on my National Parks journey. The day I got back from Utah marked the 150th anniversary of the Antietam National Cemetery and 155th anniversary of the battle of Antietam in the United States Civil War. Despite being exhausted, Cacia and I made the journey to Antietam and Monocacy battlefields. To catch back up a little bit, this will be a two blog week, with my next blog discussing this visit.