July 30, 2008

Bryce Canyon National Park

Ready, set, go! It is time for the next segment of the Southwest USA trip we took back in April! The destination is beautiful Bryce Canyon National Park.

Located in southwest Utah, this park is renowned for its unique geology. The limestone rocks has been transformed by erosion and rain over the years to create bizarre shapes, including slot canyons, windows, fins, and spires known as “hoodoos”.

hoodoos in the canyon, including Thor's Hammer
At elevations between 8000 and 9100 feet, it was a challenge for me to breathe and do anything strenuous during our stay. Even walking slowly gave me a slight headache and a dull feeling in my chest. Knowing our physical limits, we did not bring hiking gear (boots, hiking poles, etc.) for the myriad of trails leading into the formations. However, we were quite content to stay on the comfortable trail along the rim. The views were nothing but spectacular!

looking down from the rim trail between Sunset and Sunrise Points, the late afternoon sun blankets the canyon floor
a brave pine tree tiptoes along the edge at dawn
our Texas friends call this rock formation in the middle as bunny kissing squirrel!

We were able to see the rock amphitheaters at sunset, sunrise, and mid-day. The beauty was incredible. In contrast to the rest of the trip, it was cold! We set an early alarm to see the sunrise and were able to take some incredible pictures. But we paid dearly for our enthusiasm because it was a windy 14 degrees. Brrrrr! Even wearing our polertec jackets, we only lasted about an hour before we retreated back to the room to thaw ourselves out with lots of hot coffee. (That white stuff in the picture below is snow.) The bitter cold didn’t last for long, and the day soon warmed up.

the rock amphitheater wakes up in the morning light
We stayed right inside the park in one of the historical cabins of
Bryce Canyon Lodge. Our room was charming and comfortable, and the large rock fireplace kept us toasty as night. Our rooms were literally just a couple hundred feet from the rim, near both Sunrise and Sunset Points. In the opposite direction, we walked over just a little way to the main lodge for our delicious meals.

our historical cabin, nestled in the woods near the canyon rim
check out the cool shingles on the cabin roof!
wildlife we spotted outside the main lodge
This is one place we would love to visit again, spend more time, and see the park thoroughly. Perhaps we could take a horse ride down into the canyons because the vantage point from there is totally different than at the rim. The shuttle bus season had not started yet, so we were limited to see a few locations on foot and with the tour bus. But we saw enough of this unique park to know that it is truly a special place.

what a glorious overall view from Bryce Point!
a close-up view from Inspiration Point
trails weave their way in-between the rock spires

Once we arrived at Bryce Canyon, we thought it was our number one favorite on the tour. But we soon changed our minds when we got to the next stop: Zion National Park. And that location will be the final chapter of my traveling adventure tales! You won’t want to miss that post!


  1. Again..awesome..this is a place I never did get to go see while in the southwest...great pictures!

  2. OH MY WORD!!! GORGEOUS!! And look at that Tree on the edge of the rim!!! And the Chickmunk!!! Awwww......Great photos Sweetie!!! I love my visits!!hughugs

  3. Glad you liked the pictures, Cindy! It is a unique and beautiful place!

  4. I'm so happy that you liked these scenic shots! I LOVED that tree hugging that bank for all it was worth! There were little chipmunks all around the place too. They will sneak into your room if you're not careful, LOL.

  5. Wow Donna, Bryce Canyon looks incredible. I've not been to this part of the country yet but hope to someday. The photos are great and the lodge cabins look nice. Okay, this goes on my ever growing list of where I want to go. LOL

  6. Thanks, Joan! It was gorgeous! Yep, add this one location to the "bucket list", LOL!

  7. That was so beautiful..I have to go there someday!!

  8. I want to go!!!! It looks very beautiful..

  9. I have been to Bryce and it is one of the most beautiful places...far better than the Grand Canyon in my opinion! Looks like you had a magnificent time, thanks for sharing your pictures - they look just like mine...lol.

  10. Oh BREATHTAKING! I love those pictures. I wanna go! I've never been out west. The furthest west I've been is West Virginia lol. I'm an east coast girl. One day we want to take the family on a tour of the U.S. via camper. But who knows when that will happen so it's nice to take a tour through your pictures.

  11. Hey, Jeanette! Be sure to put it on your "must see" list!

  12. Hey, Karen M.! You would love it there!

  13. Thank you, Kim! You are welcome to be an "armchair traveler" until you can go see such sights directly. Maybe you can start a list of USA places you want to see!

  14. Bryce Canyon has long been on my list of places I want to see. I love your photo of the tree clinging by its roots to the top of the canyon wall. Can't wait to see Zion!

  15. Thank you, Cindra! I love that picture too, clinging to the edge! Such determination, LOL.

  16. I agree with you, Joni! I liked Bryce Canyon much better than the Grand Canyon. Glad that you coud relive the visit again through my pictures!

  17. it is truly a breathtaking place to visit.. your pics are beautiful!


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