The Five – Bryce Canyon

September 10th, 2013

Outdoor adventures, Travel

This fall is the perfect time to explore some (or preferably all) of Utah’s five national parks. They’ll be less crowded and cooler. So we at the Lodge at Red River Ranch have decided to help motivate you. In this five-part mini-series blog we will focus on the best ways to explore these parks. And this time, we’re talking about Bryce Canyon. Bryce is the most unique of the five parks.

First of all, Bryce Canyon is not a canyon. It is an enormous amphitheater of strange rock formations known as hoodoos. Bryce is different from the other five parks in another way: it has the highest elevation. This makes it the first park to get snowfall. However, the snow always makes the red rock more colorful by contrast. Visit Bryce Canyon in the winter and you’ll know what we mean.

Because Bryce Canyon National Park is relatively small, you can fit a lot of sight seeing in one trip. But here are the places you shouldn’t miss:

Obviously the Main Amphitheater – this is, after all, the main attraction of Bryce. You can hike into the hoodoos, or enjoy them from above. There are several observation points, which each offer different perspectives. Check out Sunrise, Sunset, Inspiration, and Bryce Points. If you want to hike around the amphitheater, consider the Rim Trail.

Visit Mossy Cave – this is an easy hike that takes you past hoodoos and rising spires. The trail follows a river to the mouth of a moss-covered grotto, aptly named Mossy Cave. In the winter, as with all aspects of the park, Mossy Caves changes dramatically. Columns of ice form in the grotto creating an eerie ice-cave.

Fairyland Loop for Adventurers – the Fairyland Loop trail is one of the hardest and most rewarding in the park. It takes you past such scenic wonders as: Fairyland Point, Boat Mesa, Tower Bridge and China Wall. If you want to experience the complete Bryce Canyon package, hike this trail.

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