Bryce Canyon is a beautiful national park, but one that can be admired in a short timeframe. Last month my buddy Trent and I explored the national park in just a single morning.
Breakfast at the motel
The day started with a complimentary breakfast at a motel called Bryce Canyon Resort, only ten minutes away. The morning was looking bright. This particular Saturday was beautiful. The sun was shining, with a slight breeze blowing through the air. It was not too hot, not too cold. A perfect time to explore the incredible rock formations that grace Bryce Canyon's amphitheater.
We started the day by getting a bird's eye view of the vast mast of hoodoos before us. Driving through Bryce Canyon, we eventually made our way to Inspiration Point. The platform extended out over what essentially resembled a peninsula. Instead of water, this peninsula reached out over stunning views of the entire Bryce Canyon amphitheater. This was was my favorite viewpoint of the park.
After soaking in the views, we got back in the vehicle and drove a few short minutes to Bryce Point. This viewpoint was slightly lower in elevation than the Inspiration point, but closer to the main rock features. It was certainly worth seeing both.
One incredible thing about these viewpoints is that they are so accessible to anyone. I was imagining taking my grandparents to see the sights someday. These views don't require miles of hiking to see. They are just a simple drive away.
Queen's Garden and Navajo Loop Trail
The last thing we did in our morning of exploring Bryce Canyon was to hike the most popular loop in the national park. This loop dips in and out of the amphitheater, goes by Thor's Hammer, and follows along the rim. Read more about the hike here!
We parked and embarked on our journey, beginning at Sunrise Point, electing to take the trail clockwise. I would recommend taking this same route because as you descend at Sunrise Point you see the best views. If you instead went counter-clockwise and descended at Sunset Point, much of the view is blocked by taller rocks. Also, at the end of the hike, the ascent up to Sunset Point was steeper but quicker. I enjoyed not going uphill as long.
Overall, this is a great trail that does not take very long to complete. You get a feel for all of the beauties of the park, and a little workout while you are at it.
We hit the two viewpoints and the Queen's Garden Navajo Trail Loop all in one single morning. We didn't rush and didn't feel like we missed out on any major parts. This is a great itinerary for a short stay at Bryce Canyon National Park if you are strapped for time.
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Until next time!