I’d really been looking forward to Bryce Canyon since I first saw a photo of it in National Geographic’s “Guide to the National Parks” (an awesome book!), and it didn’t disappoint when we finally got there. A lot of people had described it as simply being breathtaking and easy to understand why some people believe the idea of God creating the Earth. This was the Bryce Amphitheater from Inspiration Point:
Stunning was the only way to describe it, and I could easily have spent all day here! Here’s the amphitheater again from Sunset Point:
There were plenty of trails winding through the base of the amphitheater along with mule rides. A helicopter buzzed overhead a couple of times too which kinda spoilt the tranquility, but there were no others the remainder of our time there so it’s not like they need to implement restrictions as with the Grand Canyon. The base of the amphitheater let out into a valley to the south which runs down onto the same plateau that forms the North Rim of the Grand Canyon:
Along the scenic drive along the ridge to Rainbow Point were a few awesome viewing spots into the different canyons all made up of the same hoodoo’s (standing rock formations) as in the amphitheater, along with Natural Bridge:
The trail ends at Rainbow Point where a short trail led to Yovima Point which clearly looks south to the North Rim plateau. On a clear day (and usually in winter), it’s meant to be possible to see for 200 miles as the air in this area is so clear due to minimal commercial and residential development:
On our way back out the park, one final stop was at Fairyland Point which we’d completely missed on our way in! Worth the short drive as we also saw a couple of mule deer wandering right along the roadside. There were plenty of other deer wandering around the area along the scenic drive too which was nice, even if it did make an interesting drive when a mother and two young deer ran across the road a hundred yards in front of us!
With the temperature not really getting above 95F as we were in + out of shade and up around 6,000-8,000 feet in elevation it made for a nice trip through the park, and we both feel Bryce Canyon is one of our favourite parks we’ve been to 🙂 The shuttle bus system didn’t quite make sense as they didn’t seem all that regular and didn’t wait at stops for people which would have been annoying if we had taken the shuttle. The fact there’s an extra charge to then go on the scenic drive to Rainbow Point didn’t add up – it seemed like it would have cost a lot more for the two of us to take the shuttle bus than our own car, and we’d be waiting around shuttle stops. At Zion National Park tomorrow we have no choice, but an early start to avoid the crowds and plenty of short hikes in Zion mean it shouldn’t be too bad!