Monday, September 24, 2012

9/23 Bryce Canyon

Bryce is only about 85 miles from Zion National Park, and a relatively easy drive through several small towns and ranch land.  Because the two parks are so close together, people who see one tend to stop at the other.   The parks, however, and their weather are considerably different.  While Zion is a long canyon, Bryce is actually a single, long ridge of land with “hoodoo” formations on only one side. 

It was a very nice drive in through Red Canyon.  There was a paved bike trail for several miles, which looked interesting, but I think I am confining my bike riding to lower elevations:

Zion is hot during the days because it is only at 3,000’, but Bryce is much cooler because it is at 8,000+’.   Zion is mostly desert with shorter trees and a lot of desert plants, while Bryce has mostly Ponderosa pine and is more forested.  See my campsite for an example of this type of forest at Bryce:

Frankly, I am a little disappointed with Bryce.  There is really less to see and do here.  No real museum and not as many ranger programs as at Zion.  While I spent eight days at Zion without getting very bored, I am getting bored here fast.  I got here yesterday and took the shuttle today around the entire park, getting off at most stops and taking photos.  Here are some photos of what I saw:

There is a longer drive down to Rainbow Point at the far end, and I signed up for a ranger tour of that for Tuesday at noon.  It is three-and-a-half hour tour, so I will need to bring water and a snack.   
It is really cold here, and it rained a bit, which does make me less likely to want to go out and explore.  Kept my furnace running all night and will do the same tonight.  I spent quite a bit of time today researching where I want to go over the next 4 weeks through Arizona and New Mexico, and I made some reservations where I could.  Looking forward to the Flagstaff area and Phoenix! 


  1. You got some great photos so far.

  2. a three-hour tour, a three-hour tour... Gilligan.

    Bryce's view is from the top, while Zion is from the valley floor.