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Bryce Canyon, Utah

Bryce Canyon, UtahBryce Canyon is an out of this world natural wonder and designated national park located in southern Utah. The Grand Canyon impresses visitors with its sheer dimensions.

Bryce Canyon relies on form and color to engrave itself into the minds of the visitor above all by use of the full spectrum of beautiful colors and shapes that can only be said to wring the last iota of awe-inspiring wonder from rock, stone and clay.

Most who visit the colorful canyon even go as far as to refer to Bryce Canyon as being their favorite national park in the western United States, even more than the Grand Canyon.

The term "fairytale landscape" is often used when it comes to the name of this bizarre landscape, which is characterized above all by the so-called "hoodoos".

Hoodoos are the turret-shaped limestone sculptures dominating the landscape, which can produce beautiful color displays with appropriate light, especially because of their full spectrum use of orange-red shades.

These towering Hoodoos - the ones off the main path were fairly soft and will crumble easily, while the ones along the park trails were much more solid.

Hiking along the trails you come into a few narrow paths where the Hoodoos are towering over you - which make for some inspiring views when looking up at the sky.

Bryce Canyon, UtahWhile these photos give you a taste of Bryce Canyon, they can not capture the true majestic beauty that will put you in awe when they are experienced in person.

Bryce Canyon often marks the outermost point of the route for travelers through the southwestern United States. The Yellowstone National Park., which lies much further north, is often passed over due to limited available time.

Admission to Bryce Canyon costs $35 per car. But, if you visit several national parks in the USA, you should always buy the national park pass for $ 80 - as it is a great bargain if you do much in the way of travel to America's park system

A drive to Fairyland Point, again arriving in time for sunrise. In contrast to the sunrise at Thor’s Hammer, sunrise at Fairyland Point was more yellow and muted.

Hoodoos glow in the morning at sunrise at Fairyview Point. The morning light illuminates the Bryce Amphitheater, seen from Fairyview Point.

After sunrise, start down into the Fairyland Loop (8 miles, 1700′). On the descent there are great views in the distance and to Boat Mesa. Soon, the trail brings one back among the hoodoos.

After four miles, you will have reached a spur trail to Tower Bridge. While you could see Tower Bridge from the main trail, try following the spur trail around to a better vantage point.

Tower Bridge features a natural bridge connecting two spires of hoodoos, with an additional arch off to the side. This spot made a good location for an early lunch break.

Bryce Canyon, UtahFrom Tower Bridge, the loop trail continues another 1.5 mile back to the rim near Sunrise Point. Instead of turning left to the point, though, try turning north at the junction and follow the trail 2.5 miles along the rim, back to Fairyland Viewpoint.

With the early start, you'll still have much of the afternoon still ahead of you. Then drive back to Inspiration Point and then Bryce Point to see them in different light.

In the early afternoon sun - you'll not get the long shadows of early morning or late afternoon. Instead, the entire amphitheater will be illuminated so you could see down amongst each hoodoo.

Inspiration Point - Bryce Canyon National Park - With plenty of time left in the day, you can also go back to Sunset Point and the start of the Navajo Loop Trail.

Next follow the trail down to Two Bridges, completing the portion of the trail that had been missed the previous day. This section of the trail - the orange canyon walls, the tall trees was gorgeous in the late afternoon light.

The national park itself is open around the clock, but the Visitor Center is only open in summer from 8 a.m. to 20 p.m., in spring/autumn from 8 a.m. to 18 p.m. and in winter from 8 a.m. to 16.30 p.m.

Once back at Sunset Point, consider driving out to the Mossy Cave section of the park if your bodies are not reminding you that we were getting over colds.

Working from a short list of well-reviewed restaurants you have not visited and that might be open, maybe decide to drive tfor dinner at Rustlers (TripAdvisor.com). Rustlers offers friendly service and has decent burgers, and then we were off for a nap.

Bryce Canyon, UtahWhile we had enjoyed the sunrise at Fairyland Point, our sense was that the sunrise would have been better about a half mile down the trail, among the hoodoos. So, on Monday, we woke up even earlier to drive to Fairyland Point and head partway down the trail.

Should one wish to extend their stay, there is overnight accommodation in Bryce Canyon - there are 2 campgrounds and a lodge in the park.

You should reserve well enough in advance, as accommodation in the national parks is generally quite popular. Rooms are priced at $200 upwards per night. These 2 campgrounds are beautifully situated in the forest. One in North Campground and one in Sunset Campground.

The Sunset Campground is, as the name suggests, located just opposite the Sunset Point, which is well suited to watch the sunset. North Campground is just a bit further north.

Both campgrounds have, as usual, a fire pit with grill, benches and a table. However, there are no showers at the Sunset Campground (but nearby at the "general store"). Sunset Campground and North Campground cost $20.

By the way: The temperatures are very low, especially at night, partly because the Bryce Canyon is a high mountain range - over 2000 meters. Therefore, even in summer it is quite cold at night (around 10°C) and you should prepare for it.

Bryce Canyon - Sunset/Sunrise and Starry Sky. Especially the sunrise, if the weather cooperates, can be really impressive, when thousands of hoodoos shine in beautiful red-orange colors.

Bryce Canyon, UtahThe Sunrise Point is located near both campsites and the lodge. Sunset Campground is a bit farther away from Sunrise Point than the lodge and North Campground, but still within walking distance (about 15 minutes).

Bryce Canyon also has one of the clearest starry skies in the western United States. This is probably due to the altitude - at about 2400-2700 meters and the distance from light polluting cities.

Even long after sunset, it is worthwhile to look at the sky. If it is clear, you can also see the Milky Way and supposedly you can see a total of about 7500 stars at any given moment

Anyone visiting Bryce Canyon should of course not only see the scenery from above, but also walk one or more trails/hiking trails that run through the middle of the hoodoos.

Anyone who has previously stopped at the Visitor Center will have taken an information brochure with them, in which, in addition to information and a map, all the hiking trails are also marked.

In advance, you can also view them online on the website of the National Park Administration. The hiking trails in Bryce Canyon are comparatively easy and actually easily done by everyone.

Queens Garden & Navajo Trail combined - Easy A very varied, but at the same time not so strenuous hike is the combination of these 2 hiking trails.

Bryce Canyon, UtahOn the trail you start at Sunrise Point - ideal if you have previously watched the sunrise and start walking with the beautiful lighting mood.

From Sunrise Point you start on the Queens Garden Trail, which initially leads downhill to the bottom.

Arriving at a fork at the bottom, you can now continue on the Navajo Trail, which leads on another, varied route back up to Sunset Point. If you have to go back to Sunrise Point, simply walk back along the canyon rim ("Rim Trail").

Medium/Difficult – Fairyland Loop Trail The Fairyland Loop is a very nice hike, because on the one hand it is quieter due to fewer visitors and on the other hand you dive deep into the canyon again and see some interesting rock formations.

The hike is indicated as "strenous" and admittedly this trail is not as easy to tackle as most other trails here. Nevertheless, it is actually manageable for everyone. Since there are some sections where you walk in the blazing sun, you need a lot of water and possibly sun protection.

Bryce Canyon - Fairyland Trail - The trail is, if you run through it completely, 13 kilometers long and gaines about 700 meters of altitude. Normally, the trail starts at Fairyland Point, but you can also start directly at Sunrise Viewpoint and descend to shorten the route.

In addition to many numerous hoodoos and other rock formations, you will encounter highlights such as the "Chinese Wall" and the "Tower Bridge"

Overall, it takes about 4-5 hours in normal condition. If you stay 2 days at Bryce Canyon, you should not miss this trail.

Bryce Canyon, UtahBryce Canyon - Tower Bridge Bryce Canyon – Southern Scenic Drive If you have hiked enough or do not have a little time to descend into the canyon, you should not miss the southern scenic route. On this 29 kiilometer easy direction some viewpoints can be accessed.

These include highlights such as the "Natural Bridge" at kilometer 20 and the end of the road with the viewpoints Rainbow and Yovimpa Points, on the highest elevation of the national park.

Usually you first drive the route to the end and then stop at the viewpoints on the right on the way back.More information and the map of the viewpoints can be found in the brochure of the national park here.

If you want to find out more, you can find much more information on the official website of the National Park: www.nps.gov/brca

Finally, there are the most beautiful impressions from a total of 3 visits to Bryce Canyon National Park:

The Fairyland Loop is a very nice hike, because on the one hand it is quieter here (that means fewer visitors) and on the other hand you dive deep into the canyon again and see some interesting rock formations.

The hike is indicated as "strenuous" and admittedly this trail is not as easy to tackle as most other trails here. Nevertheless, it is actually manageable for everyone. Since there are some sections where you walk in the blazing sun, you need a lot of water and possibly extra sun protection.

National Park Service - Bryce Canyon

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