Another Utah park means more rock formations! With 2 million visitors every year, Bryce Canyon, is one of the most popular parks in the country. It is known for it’s “hoo doos” which were really beautiful. These are created by canyon walls or “fins” that erode into windows or arches, and finally, collapse into hoo doos! The water also plays a part here with it’s freeze-thaw cycles; it goes from freezing temps to water overnight over 200 days a year, which speeds up the process of rock erosion.
While I was kind of getting disinterested in seeing more rocks, I really enjoyed this park because it had the most intense junior ranger booklet I’ve done so far! They also have a “I hiked the hoodoos” program to get people to actually hike which is really awesome. A large majority of park visitors seem to do the scenic drive and overlooks at parks but never really experience the trails or the backcountry.
Per usual, we arrived in the evening for sunset. It was recommended to go to Paria point which looks into the amphitheater (the main attraction at Bryce Canyon). It was okay – but to be fair, we’ve gotten pretty spoiled with sunrises and sunsets.
The next morning we arrived early for sunrise at Bryce Point. It was gorgeous, but definitely a lot of people around. Despite the number of people, there was only one a-hole who thought he was entitled to the best viewing spot the whole time just because he had a big professional camera. (I mayyyy have been cranky from not having coffee yet). The sun hits the hoo doos and illuminates the colors – definitely makes for some beautiful photos.
We then went up to Inspiration Point which is just another view of the amphitheater at a different angle. We then hiked Sunset Point to Sunrise Point via the Rim Trail. This took us to some of the more popular highlights; Queens Garden, Navajo Trail, and Wall Street. Most people go through Wall Street first, but we ended up going the opposite way as most people. I think it’s actually better that way because it ends with the coolest section.
We then drove the scenic drive to random overlooks; Rainbow Point, Agua Point, Natural Bridge, and Far View Point. Honestly, the overlooks aren’t that cool if you’ve already done the amphitheater and inner hikes. There are some views of the Grand Staircase National Monument, which from photos it looks amazing, but sadly it was very smoky/foggy while we were there so we couldn’t see too much.
With the junior ranger program, I learned so much! This park requires you to go to a ranger program. I picked one that was about how the park was created and it’s geology. It was extremely interesting, and the right length of time (about 25 minutes) and interactive enough that it would keep anyone, no matter their age, listening!
Also for the Junior Ranger badge, you had to pick up 10 piece of litter. I decided to pick up cigarette butts that were all over the rest area. I filled a WHOLE bag! Gross. PSA – these hurt animals and children when not thrown away. And of course, you’re hurting yourself by smoking. Soooo, stop it.
- This is one of the busiest parks. Plan ahead. Get your accommodations in order early. Carpool if you can! They do not allow RVs to drive through the park. They do have a shuttle though!
- Personally, I’d love to come back to this park in the winter. It’s supposed to be magical, and it’d be a great way to avoid the crowds and see this park in a different way than most.
- Hike through the hoo doos, and end the trail with Wall Street! Save the best for last!
- Do the junior ranger program! This one was so informative, engaging, and just plain fun!