We found amazing splendor at Bryce Canyon National Park. As first time visitors, the cathedral of spires and rock formations were beyond our imagination.
Bryce Canyon was the fourth of eight national parks we visited on our trip and it was unlike any of the other parks we had seen. The splendor was undeniable.
Sizing Up the Park
As we followed our route through all the parks in Utah, we began to form a habit that served us well. When entering a park, we would normally arrive in the late afternoon when traffic was leaving. We liked to drive the entire route of the park at this time of day and prioritize what we wanted to do the next morning.
This process was helpful because we could see the highlights of the park on a macro level and decide quickly what hikes and areas were most interesting to us. This became our strategy for maximizing our experiences at all the parks.
The afternoon we entered Bryce Canyon National Park, Gail recommended we stop at the Amphitheater parking lot. The suggestion was perfect because it was central to the most popular areas of the park.
From this starting point, we walked the ridge of the canyon to the most incredible panoramic views.
Our First Hike In Bryce Canyon
The next morning we woke early and entered the gates before the crowds arrived which allowed us to find the perfect parking place for our van Alice. The parking lot was near the Navajo Loop which was the trail we selected to start our adventure.
The early morning sun was waking up the canyon with its light as we headed down the Sunset trail. The path was a steep decline that was easily navigated by a series of switchbacks.
The canyon glowed with color and we walked slowly to soak it all in.
When we reached the bottom, we decided to take a connecting path called Peekaboo. The Peekaboo trail is a 3 mile loop that we consider a moderate hike. The interesting thing about this trail is it leads to about four different canyons along the way.
Each canyon is different than the next.
We completed the total hike in about four hours and climbed back to the top of the amphitheater about noon.
This is one of two hikes we did in Bryce Canyon National Park. Check back with us on a future story about our Sunset to Sunrise hike.
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