Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park, located in southwestern Utah, is quite otherwordly. Known for it's hoodoo's, or spire-shaped rock formations, this national park looks like no other I've ever been to.



The hoodoo's are rock pillars shaped by erosion. And there are hoodoo's all over the planet but this is the largest collection of hoodoo's in the world. 




The basics:  There are 18 viewpoints in total in Bryce Canyon. A shuttle bus will take you to all the viewpoints in a loop - but it is not required (though it may be in future, like Zion) Your first stop should, as always, be at the Visitor Center where you can learn all you need to know about the park. Sunrise and sunset are prime viewing times as the golden light off the hoodoos is supposed to be amazing. And the park is open 24 hours so you can stay past sunset or arrive before sunrise.






Since Bryce Canyon is one of The Mighty Five in Utah, we expected large crowds. So we went with a unique approach to the viewpoints - we started at 18 and worked our way the opposite of most visitors, back to one. So the largest viewpoint of hoodoo's was our last viewpoint. We were there on a very cold May day - in fact, we had snowflakes on our visit. 


Trying to catch a snowflake


One of the most popular viewpoints is Natural Bridge - which is actually an arch. The arch is in danger of collapse, as the hoodoos are, because of the constant forces of erosion.









Another popular spot is Thor's Hammer





Unfortunately, there was a snowstorm happening in Colorado and my son and his girlfriend had to drive through it to get back home. So we visited the viewpoints and then sent them on their way. No hiking for us this time. But there are several hikes to do in the park - including the famous trail on Wall Street which takes you down into the hoodoo's - definitely doing that next time!








Can you see the people hiking on the path below?







Bryce Canyon is definitely one of those national parks with plenty of Wow! factor. Expect large crowds - maybe plan your visit off-season if you can.( I think it would look awesome in snow!) And plan to do some hiking amongst the hoodoo's. I plan to next time.






Have you been to Bryce Canyon? Did you hike there?



This post is part of a link-up with: Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute, The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond and Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and A Southerner!












18 comments:

  1. This is a truly amazing sight. I can imagine once you have hiked down and are standing amongst the hoodoos it would a totally different aspect altogether. Maybe all you could see would be hoodoos and they would be much higher than yourself. Kind of like a hoodoo maze. I wonder if there are restrictions on where you can walk once amongst them.

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    1. I'm not sure on the restrictions as we didn't get to go down amongst the hoodoos - but I'm definitely going to find out next time. Isn't it amazing? Truly a unique sight! Thanks for visiting, Jan!

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  2. I am mesmerized because of your pictures! I have never visited the park. Can you believe it? I hope this is the year I can visit it. I have only been to Zion.

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    1. Thanks Ruth! And I hope you make it this year, also! It is such a unique place but I have to say all of southwestern Utah was so incredible - I was just blown away by Bryce Canyon, Zion, Kolub Canyon and even some of the state parks we visited. I loved it!

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  3. I love Bryce Canyon!! What a good idea to work the viewpoints backwards, did it help avoid the crowds much? Great photos, looks like a great time!

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    1. Thanks Jessica! And I think it did help to do the viewpoints backwards - less traffic on the road and at the viewpoints!

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  4. It is such a beautiful Park! You have a great tip to go through backwards. Thanks for the good tip!

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    1. Thanks Corinne - I can't really take credit though - my husband is the one with the logistical mind and he always figures it out. I just take the photos and find the good places to eat ha ha!

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  5. You have some magnificent and inspiring photos. I've never made the time to get to Bryce but I now have it in my sights for future trips to the area.

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    1. Thanks Rhonda! And it was a bit cold and overcast - would love to see that sunrise or sunset! Thanks for visiting!

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  6. Didn't know Bryce Canyon was this beautiful. Can't wait. This I HAVE to do one day!

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    1. I hope you make it there - it's truly something to see! Thanks for visiting The Unpaved Road!

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  7. Gorgeous! Utah is #1 on my US wish list. I'd love to go and I'd be hiking for sure!

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    1. Utah is pretty amazing -and it flies under the radar alot next to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. I hope you make it there someday!

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  8. The hoodoos are awesome. I'd love to see them and photograph them someday. Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursday

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    1. Thanks for the link-up and for visiting The Unpaved Road!

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  9. We love the hoodoos and Bryce Canyon. Love your photos and they brought back great memories of our trip there. We went during February and the hoodoos had some snow on them. We did a very short hike near Thor's Hammer but would love to return to do a longer hike.

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    1. Thanks Mary! Aren't those hoodoos the best? I'm going to get back someday to walk amongst them!

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