We got up early that Friday–6:20 am–to beat the crowds at Bryce Canyon. This was actually later than planned. I had planned to get up at 6 am, but overslept because we had gotten in late the night before.
We headed to Bryce Canyon and it actually was a bit cool when we started, but heated up quickly.
The canyon, itself is unusual. The hoodoo formations looked like they were made of very crumbly orange rock. The rock is easy break up into smaller pieces and it seemed that the trails that we’d be hiking on were just piles of that rock. This actually made it a bit difficult to hike.
Looking over the canyon
A view of the trail
At the overlook
When we started out, we saw (and smelled) a group of horse trail riders heading off into the canyon.
Watching the trail horses
Heading down the trail
We picked a trail called “Queen’s Garden” that went into the canyon. We were a bit limited as far as choosing trails that would meet the needs of the family–nothing could really be too long.
The trail was steep at times and we had to hold on tight to ~A~. He slipped several times hiking down the trail.
Starting down the trail
View of the canyon
Unusual rock formations
The 3 stooges
Protected from the sun.
A hidey hole
There were several places that they had made doorways in the rock that the trail went through.
When we got to the bottom of the canyon, we found the “queen”. There were more trees and some interesting formations.
A view of the queen
Some sort of tower.
A castle wall
The older boys wanted to go longer, but ~A~ was done. So Christine and the boys headed on to do another loop, while ~A~ and I headed back up the way we came. Hiking back up was a little harder and so I told ~A~ stories as we hiked to keep his mind off of the steepness of the trail, but I ended up having to carry him the last half mile of the trail–the steepest part.
Waiting for Christine and the boys
At the trail head
We caught back up with Christine and the boys and visited several other overlooks. Each new view of the canyon was new and surprising, but everyone was getting tired, so we headed to our lunch hike.
The plan for lunch is that we’d go on a short hike called “Mossy Cave”. I pictured it as shaded and cool with cool stream nearby. It wasn’t like that at all.
The hike was longer than expected and in the direct sun. There was nowhere to sit near the Mossy cave and it was mostly blocked from getting near it–you could just look to see the cave.
We backtracked our way down the trail and ~K~ found a semi-shaded spot under some pine trees and we ate lunch there.
Bad to the bone
In sun and shade
Celebrating pirate day (photobomb!)
Afterwards, we waded in the nearby creek. The water was icy cold–probably melted snow from the mountains.
Wading in the creek
Hot and tired after lunch, we packed it in and headed back to the hotel.