Stunning . . . spectacular . . . awesome . . . magnificent . . . amazing . . . “okay I get it already. Keep it down out there; Backpack Kitty is trying to nap!” When Ms. Mar looked over the landscape at Bryce Canyon, she was rendered speechless. And that is something that doesn’t happen very often. The “hoodoos,” or pinnacles that make up Bryce Canyon are unique to any place I’ve seen.
One interesting fact is that the Paiute Indians believed the hoodoos were “Legend People” who were turned to stone by the trickster god Coyote.
As always, I’m getting ahead of myself. As you can tell, our day trip to Bryce was another beautiful, sunshine filled day. With the elevation at Bryce between 8,000 and 9,000 feet, his time Ms. Mar and Mr. C were prepared for cooler weather. Long sleeve shirts and jackets were the uniform for the day.
Before going into Bryce, we passed through Red Canyon State Park. Wow!! I couldn’t believe the color of the rocks. They were really red. Of course, Ms. Mar had to stop to take photos and I was able to get out and stretch my paws and my wrinkled tail. But to our surprise, it was really quite warm outside. So, we had to stop and pick up a t-shirt for Ms. Mar to wear so she wouldn’t be too warm hiking.
The drive to Bryce had given everyone an appetite so before we started any hiking, lunch was in order. A stop at the Bryce Canyon Lodge took care of that. The lodge has a beautiful dining room and the food was excellent. I even got a few scraps from Ms. Mar and Mr. C. I like that. Their server, Leslie, was wonderful and very interesting. They even had a little game of trivia going on.
After lunch, it was on to the day’s hike. So back into the backpack I went. Upon the recommendations of several people, Ms. Mar and Mr. C decided to do the Queen’s Garden/Navajo Trail hike. It is a 3 mile point-to-point trail that goes down into the canyon amphitheater. We started the Queen’s Garden hike from Sunrise Point and ventured down to the amphitheater floor.
We were told that the descent on the Queen’s Garden trail is the easiest way down. The trail was easy and the views were stunning. Ms. Mar had to stop every ten seconds to take photos. The constant starting and stopping was making me “backpack-sick.”
The Queen’s Garden Trail connects with the Navajo Trail along the floor of the canyon. It meanders along for a bit before you start heading out of the canyon on the Navajo Trail. At one point, you will reach an intersection where you can go right or left up the side of the canyon to reach the top. Someone told us the trail to the right is the shorter trail out but the trail to the left is longer but more beautiful and goes through a slot canyon. Of course, Ms Mar had to take the longer route.From deep within my backpack, I could hear Mr. C huffing and puffing. That told me that we were ascending the canyon’s wall. “Go Mr. C, I’m behind you…literally.” The slot canyon is a narrow path between the walls of the canyon.
They close that section during bad weather because flash floods can occur. There is also a sign that warned of the possibility of rocks falling and that a falling rock could kill you.
At that point I ducked my head back into the backpack and put my helmet on that I designed. I’m planning on marketing it “if” I get home. But all went well and there were no accidents. From that point, the switchback trail out of the canyon gets much steeper and narrower. I was happy to be sitting comfortably in the backpack while Ms. Mar and Mr. C clawed their way up the side of the canyon. I can see why they suggested going down the canyon at Queen’s Garden. I sure wouldn’t have wanted to walk down this steep switchback. We safely made it out of the canyon at Sunset Point. Yippee-Skippee!
Like the Grand Canyon, photos cannot depict the “awe”-someness of this place. You really have to see it to understand the beauty.
I hope you have enjoyed our little visit to Bryce Canyon. If you have, please share it with others and join me next week when we take a short visit to one of Utah’s beautiful state parks.