BRYCE CANYON: A NOT-SO-HIDDEN GEM
Utah sucks. Mormons are weird. There’s nothing to do. There’s no nightlife, according to the 2017 Golden State Warriors. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. To that I say: Whatever. I hate the winter, so yeah, for me Utah sucks for 5 months a year. Outside of that though, Utah bloody rules, and Bryce Canyon is one of the many many reasons why.
THE NATIONAL PARKS PASS IS WORTH IT IF YOU DO 2+ PARKS
First off, since the Grand Canyon already cost $35, the National Parks pass made sense for us…we just didn’t know it yet. I paid the $35 to get into Bryce Canyon National Park…so, by my crude math, it seems we had spent $60 $70 dollars. I didn’t think anything of it, so we went into the park. But, on our way out, I saw that the yearlong pass was $75. Alas, thought I, I missed my chance since I didn’t do it on the way in. Plus, I’d done the Grand Canyon the day before. BUT WAIT!
Luckily, I’d saved my Grand Canyon receipt, and since we’d just done Bryce, I had that receipt too. So I asked the guy at the window if I could just pay the extra $5 and get the yearly pass and he said…YES! So yeah, if you’re gonna do both Grand Canyon and Bryce, pay the extra $5 and have access for a year. If you’re not gonna do more than those, do the pass and give it to someone else, they don’t make you sign it on the spot or anything.
5 HOUR DRIVE FROM GRAND CANYON TO BRYCE
I was actually surprised how long the drive was between these places, but considering it was only 3.5 hours from Bryce to home, it made sense for us to catch it along the way. And I am bloody glad we did! The drive isn’t anything too special, but Bryce absolutely is, including the little town around it.
I can’t remember if I’d ever seen Bryce in my life. I think I had as a kid with scouts, as we did lots of cool hikes and camps (I hate camping) like Goblin Valley and The Narrows. Still, seeing Bryce for the first time (at least, the first time I remember) is pretty dope.
STAYING RIGHT INSIDE THE PARK = YES
Since I learned my lesson by staying outside the Grand Canyon and having to drive forever to get in, this time I sucked it up and paid a bit extra to stay close to Bryce, and it was totally worth it. It meant we got to go in, stay as long as we wanted, go home and sleep, and go in again the next morning before heading home. So perfect.
BRYCE VIEW LODGE
Not going to devote much space here except the Bryce View Lodge was decent and had access to a nice pool at Ruby’s that we enjoyed for about 5 seconds, until the multitude of little kids screaming in an enclosed and echo-filled area drove us crazy. The breakfast at the lodge was decent, it was in their cool farmhouse, which was nice. Otherwise, strictly utilitarian.
I THINK BRYCE IS MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN GRAND…SO SUE ME
Just seeing Bryce is freakin amazing. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. Just looking from Sunset Point, which is a view area,, seeing all the crazy colors and the endless jagged peaks and stuff was just rad. So rad. Caitlin was still sick and pregnant and miserably happy, but we were both amazed at the first few. Just seeing that alone would have made the drive worth it, and I am not even kidding.
QUEEN’S GARDEN TRAIL
Not sure if I’ve mentioned it yet, but Caitlin was nearly bursting with her pregnancy, and the entire pregnancy sucked. So yeah, stopping to puke along the way and feeling nauseated and miserable is not awesome, and that meant every trail and hike we decided on doing had to be doable for her. Queen’s Garden is really cool. It’s super easy, just a road down into a forest of red rock formations. There are so many cool places for photos and it’s this mixture of beauty and a bit of eeriness (in my opinion) to just be surrounded by these crazy tall formations. It’s like being in a big city where the skyscrapers block the sun and stuff, but instead of buildings it’s massive rocks. So cool.
It’s pretty steep both up and down, so Caitlin and I took it very slow, but she was a champion—as usual—and did amazing. It was fun to stand at the bottom and just bask in the coolness of the area and soak in the view. It’s one of those ultra-unique places on the planet, and it’s cool to be there and appreciating it.
NAVAJO LOOP TRAIL
Because we were so close to the entrance, we were able to come and go to the park at will. We went and got food at the Bryce Canyon Pines, which was a better option than rubbish like Subway or the Canyon Diner, which people recommended but looked gross. The restaurant was decent, but we were stoked to get back to the park which is why I’m not mentioning the restaurant any more than this sentence.
So yeah, the Navajo Loop trail is another super famous one. It’s got some steep switchbacks and is something like 2 miles, so we didn’t do all of it on account of Caitlin being about to pop. But it’s still fun and gorgeous and awesome and cool and good and we loved just meandering around. We had to get home at a decent hour (actually can’t remember why, but probably lame work or some stupid adult thing) so we weren’t out super late or anything. But we ended up going to Sunset Point once in the afternoon when we arrived and again the next morning before we left. Hence, stay inside the park. Have I hammered home that point yet? Just listen to me please. Thanks. Bye.
So…what did we miss? Hit us on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube and tell us how we’re the worst travelers ever and missed the best parts of Vegas, the Grand Canyon, or Bryce Canyon or drop us a line at email@example.com.
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I did all 5 Utah national parks solo in February. I would suggest to anyone getting to the park early (around 8 or earlier) because it does get fairly crowded. I would recommend doing the Navajo loop trail and/or the Queens Garden trail. The parking is only about a mile from the visitors center. If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend staying in Moab to see Arches national park and Canyonlands.
Oh my gosh I love Utah! My last solo trip included Bryce Canyon on my way to Nevada. There are so many trails everywhere around Bryce & more. I take my mtn.bike. Needless to say I spent a week there because the gas station overfilled my oil & blew up my engine in my camper van as I was leaving. This was my 1st trip in my new used 2014 van I drove from Tx. Needless to say they made good, put me up in Ruby's Inn.I left Bryce Canyon with a new engine & no miles. It had 30k on it when I got it. Anyway this pic is called inspiration point 5mile bike ride from Ruby's. And I love Moab too.
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