Our 2009 Summer Trip - Arizona and Southern Utah - Part 3
Bryce Canyon

Bryce has always been my favorite of the three national parks on this portion of the trip. Zion is viewed from the bottom up, and any hiking goes up. The Grand Canyon, like Bryce, starts from the rim, but unlike Bryce is too big to get a good feel overall. Bryce is colorful and accessible. Hikes at Bryce start from the rim like Grand but the depths of the canyon are easily reached.

The only park I personally like better is Cedar Breaks, but due to motor home and time restrictions we didn't go there. Cedar Breaks is a little more open than Bryce, a little smaller and, in my memory, more colorful than the other parks.

I thought about staying at Ruby's Inn, but instead we stayed at Bryce Pines which is just a few miles further west. This wasn't a bad choice overall, especially since we were going to the Anasazi State Park, Esclante State Park and Kodachrome Basin State Park.

Like Zion, Bryce has a shuttle bus service but unlike Zion, the service starts outside the park at Ruby's Inn. You need a ticket which covers your entrance fee. Hint - travel with a senior who has a golden age pass or whatever the NPS calls it now.

There are a couple of shuttle loops so you may find yourself waiting for short periods. From left Alex, Lindsey, Jaxson and RoseMary. Looking out over Bryce from Sunset Point. Another direction from Sunset Point
Most of the group at Sunset Point, waiting to start the Navajo Loop Trail - Zeke, Lindsey, Kenny, Robbie, Cassie, Ryan, Alex and the old man. Starting at Sunset Point we took the Navajo Loop Trail Here Jeannette, Zeke and Jaxson are set to go through the hole. The trail starts with a bunch of switchbacks that lead down into the canyon. Here's Alex, with zeke and on another switchback are Jeannette and Jaxson.
Jeannette and Zeke in front of the slot at the top ofthe Navajo Trail. Hydration stop along the trail. From left - Alex, Cassie, Zeke, Ryan, Robbie, Lindsey, Kenny. Ryan checks out an eroded "cave" at the base of the canyon wall.
Everywhere you look in the canyon there's something more. Here Lindsey, Kenny, Cassie and Alex check out the erosion in front of them while the hoodoos in the background stand vigil. Zeke really didn't tire out, but little legs don't climb back out of the canyon as fast as those teen-aged legs of Ryan and Robbie. The trail is a bit crowded as shadows move across the sun-lit rockwalls. The hikers aren't really aimlessly wandering, but are following the switchbacks.
More rock formations along the trail. Near rocks nicely frame other formations in the background..
Almost back to Sunset Point
Zeke and Jaxson back on top

After hiking the Navajo Loop, we still had some time left so we caught the shuttle to Bryce Point. We didn't have time to take any trails there, so I just have a couple of scenic pictures from there.

At Bryce Point we found another crazed Utah Squirrel. The group, by the dead trees, looks over the canyon from Bryce Point. RoseMary and Robbie at Bryce Point.

Wow! What can I say. I loved the play of light and shadow on the towers, spires and hoodoos.

And that concludes our visit to Bryce Canyon. Next up, Anasazi, Escalante and Kodachrome Basin State Parks - and, oh yeah, the famous/infamous route 12.

San Francisco Bay Area

Part 1 - Parties and Graduation

Part 2 - Jelly Belly, Big Trees and Natural Bridges
Southern Utah and Arizona Part 1 - Travelling, camping and Zion Part 2 - Grand Canyon
Part 3 - Bryce Canyon Part 4 - 3 State Parks
Part 5 - Cove Fort and Manti temple Pageant
Northern Utah Part 1 - Visit to Kayleen and Andy's, Oquirrh temple, Bear Lake and Heritage West Center Part 2 - Fourth of July at Lewiston, other Cache Valley pictures, Saint Anthony Dunes and Idaho Falls wedding
Yellowstone    

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