There’s not a whole lot I can say about Bruce Canyon National Park that I haven’t already said. It’s truly one of the most magical places I’ve ever experienced. I’ve enjoyed and studied the works of some of the most incredible and talented artists known to man, but none compare to Mother Nature. It’s humbling… to stand on the edge of a canyon like this… looking out over such exquisite and unique perfection… and attempt to capture the beauty in a few meager images.
I try though. Oh, how I try.
This was my second visit to Bryce Canyon National Park. I remember quite vividly standing here in late fall of 2013. Describing the feeling is another thing. I do remember feeling incredibly blessed for the simple pleasure of being present there, taking in such beauty. I also remember wishing I had someone with me to share it with. My daughter, Elissa, often came to mind in moments like this. My brother, Topher too… knowing how much he appreciates natural beauty (and understanding it is unlikely he’ll ever see the remarkable vistas I get to appreciate almost daily). Now I have John. I actually have someone special by my side, who I can turn to with a smile on my face… and wonder in my eyes… and without a word, “Wow!” is communicated and understood.
Before reading further down this post, it might be worth taking a look at what I wrote about my last visit here, since I don’t want to repeat a lot of the details I shared before.
Follow this link to The Magic of Bryce Canyon
After leaving Zion National Park, and stopping for a few errands along the way, we arrived at Ruby’s Inn and Campground (just outside Bryce Canyon) late in the day. Their main campground was closed for the season, but we were able to snag an “overflow” spot in the middle of their huge complex of buildings. With night-time temperatures below freezing we were thankful for electrical connection, which we would have been without in the park campground. Understandably, their sewer and water were turned off. By the time we were “docked” it was too late to enjoy the park, so we went into Ruby’s for a bite to eat, and then settled in early knowing we would be enroute to a canyon vista well before sunrise.
With sunrise drawing near, we stopped at Sunset Point simply because we missed the turn to Sunrise Point. Either way, the sun rises. In the case of this remarkable place, while standing in the freezing cold with an overwhelming feeling of anticipation, the sun seems to take forever to actually peek over the horizon. When it does, there is really no other way to describe it than MAGIC. For a few magical moments… like the touch of a wand… it paints this canyon with brilliance and warmth.
After capturing sunrise I dropped my tripod in the car and we headed down into the canyon on the Navajo Loop Trail (a hike I thoroughly enjoyed during my last visit). I found myself amazed once again that trees are able to grow in the tall, narrow crevices of this canyon.
Day two began at Sunrise Point, followed by a hike into Queens Garden…
After our morning hike we drove through the park, taking in all the vistas. We also drove out of the park to take in a hike on the northern outer edge of the park… Mossy Cave. It’s not a hike I’d recommend this time of year. Waterway and falls were bone dry, and the “mossy cave”… meh. Let’s just say we got some more exercise and leave it at that. I’m sure it’s far better in the spring/early summer.
Later that afternoon we embarked on what has become my favorite hike in this park… Peekaboo Loop Trail. This trail was closed during my last visit because of “falling rock”. It’s not hard to imagine such an occurrence if you spend any time here. These fragile formations of rock are constantly changing… eroding away day by day. I would not want to be under them when they go. Peekaboo Trail is considered a strenuous hike… 5.5 miles with a cumulative elevation gain of 1,571 feet. It was SO incredible, and I stopped to capture SO much of the beauty, that I can’t possibly share it in this post. Peekaboo Loop is worthy of a post of its own. That will be up next… and soon!
In the mean time we finished our time at Bryce Canyon with one last sunrise before hitting the road again…
So… as I said… Peekaboo Loop Trail is up next. Don’t miss it. (You can sign up for notices [few and far between] at the envelope icon.)
From Bryce Canyon we headed out toward Kanab Utah. Another repeat for me. There are numerous incredible places in the vicinity, the most notable of which is “The Wave”, a permit only hike. We booked a campsite for an entire week in hopes of snagging one of ten coveted permits given per day. Will we succeed? You’ll have to stay tuned for that as well!