Bryce Utah National Park – A Magical Week

We spent a magical week at Bryce enjoying the scenery enjoying the beautiful red rocks, the hoodoos and trail.

Named after Ebenezer Bryce, who homesteaded in the area in 1874 and called ‘Bryce’s Canyon.’ This National Park covers 35,835 acres – thanks fully we only hiked a few of those! 

The edge of the canyon was easy hike from our campground inside the park (North Campground).  Once again we stayed inside the park and are SOOOO glad we did that.  As we drove up to the park entrance long lines of cars were getting turned around.  We were concerned and thought maybe a wildfire?  We found out the park was full and had no parking.  Of course since we had a reserved camping spot, the gates were opened and we drove in all by our lonesome.  So glad we could walk to buses and didn’t have to fight the crowds at the entrance gates each day. 

We started our trip with a ranger led bus tour to Rainbow Point – the farthest drivable point in the park. We learned tons about the park and the entire Paunsaugunt Plateau. This tour is provided by the Park Service and not at all marketed. You need to call within 24 hours (or go into the visitors center).  The tour runs 2x a day and is well worth the time commitment. And of course a great way to spend time on a busy weekend.

Don’t get me wrong – there were a few people at the canyon!

We were surprised to find such an international crowd of visitors – rarely did we hear any english spoken.  We heard Deutsch, Spanish, Italian, French, Swedish just to name a few.  Utah is really advertising the heck out of their parks! The crowds were large, but as usual they the crowds stick to the easy to reach vistas and short trails.  Just pick a longer harder trail and you will loose most of the crowds. 

We had one really disappointing interaction witnessing a tourist carving their name into a wall along the trail.  ‘Laura’ wanted everyone to know that she was on the trail just across from Thor’s Hammer (a more famous hoodoo).  I approached her and gave her a piece of my mind.  Took some pictures and scared her a bit. Unfortunately there were no park rangers close by. If you see something, say something! Loads of people saw her carving her message into the wall and just turned a blind eye. The park ranger I spoke to suggests taking a picture of their license plate, the person and the damage.  They will do the rest.  

The colors and rock formations (more hoodoos) are amazing.  I made many sunrises and sunsets to try and capture the best light and avoid the crowds.  

We also took a day and drove over to Kodachrome Basin State Park to hike and enjoy another part of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. This area of Entrada Sandstone is formed into spires.  An interesting variation from Bryce and yet just next door. 

Utah continues to impress – definitely diversion worthy! 

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