Bryce Canyon: An Underappreciated Gem of a Place
WHEN DID WE GO: August 9-10, 2017
WHY DID WE GO: USA Road Trip - en route to Zion National Park
HOW LONG WERE WE THERE: 3 hours
WHERE WE STAYED: Bryce Valley/Cannonville KOA
As we left Grand Canyon, we had two choices. Drive to Zion and spend the afternoon or drive to Bryce. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to talk to my dad before we made this part of our plans and he suggested Bryce as Bryce is a bit more compact and easier to see in an afternoon. Thank goodness he made this suggestion, because, as you'll see when we get to Zion, the 3 hours we spent at Bryce would NOT have been enough time at Zion! But it was perfect for Bryce!
A bit crowded. Before I "complain" about crowds, I will fully admit that we got here kind of late in the day. It was still enough time to explore the parts of the park that we wanted to explore, but it was definitely late enough in the day that finding parking was a little bit hectic and the buses to get around the park (which were awesome, I might add - seriously, public transportation win Bryce Canyon!) were a little packed. But if we'd gotten there earlier in the day, I think it would've been a little less hectic.
Queen's Garden/Navajo Loop. I love love LOVE the loop we ended up doing! Seriously, I don't remember why we ended up choosing it, but it was awesome and exactly what I was hoping for! Not only did we get to skirt the rim of the canyon a bit and take in some absolutely amazing panoramic views, but we also got to venture a bit deeper into the canyon!
The scenery is mind-blowing. Take a moment and look at those panoramas at the top of the page. See those insane rock formations that dot the entire canyon? They're called hoodoos. They're these tall, thin spires of rock that are basically like geological totem poles and when you're looking at an entire landscape full of them, it's pretty freaking incredible. As immense and spectacular as the Grand Canyon is, I actually preferred the scenery here in Bryce. It's so alien and interesting, and those I don't want to take anything away from the Grand Canyon, it's, well, a canyon.
Our KOA. There were some KOA campgrounds along this trip that I just loved and this was one of them! There wasn't great kindling around for us to make a fire (though we managed, as you can see below!), it had great bathrooms, a great kitchen area, great flat, soft-earthed spots to pitch the tent, and incredible views! They also had a pancake breakfast in the morning, though we didn't have a chance to take advantage of it! I really enjoyed this KOA!