Bryce Canyon National Park

Sunrise point.
Sunrise point.

May 9-10, 2015

Weather in Utah has been uncharacteristically rainy here in Utah for the last few weeks.  The last few weekends have been rainy or threatened rain.  This weekend and the coming week are forecasted for more of the same.  The precipitation isn’t all bad, though since we got very little snow over the winter the water is needed.

Carly and I took advantage of the questionable weather to take a trip down to Bryce Canyon National park and be Utah tourists.  Many of the attractions that bring normal people to Utah get ignored by me and my friends.  Usually we are always trying to figure out the next climbing trip.  But, with at least 30-40% chance of rain basically everywhere within a reasonable drive we decided to visit Bryce.

The drive from Salt Lake is only about 4 hours, which we did midday Friday.  Leaving work a little early allowed us to make dinner in the park.  Along the drive we hit some snow squalls which were quite heavy and foreshadowed what we’d see Saturday morning.

Saturday morning we woke up to a couple inches of snow on the ground and flakes still falling.  After sweeping off the picnic table we made some breakfast.  Our two bundles of wood were pretty well depleted after Friday night, but we saved a bit for a fire in the morning while we ate.  After breakfast we walked over to Sunset Point to start our day.  The snow provided a spectacular contrast to the red rocks.  I could attempt to write about how unique and amazing the scenery is, but the pictures below will do that much better than I can write.

Our day went down the Navajo Trail and then around the Peek-a-boo Loop which winds around the amphitheater of Bryce and through the forested floor.  We took the Queen’s Garden Trail to get back to the rim.  A short though, confusing shuttle ride brought us to Bryce Point and Inspiration Point.

Saturday evening we picked up another couple bundles of wood to keep warm while making dinner and for Sunday morn.  Luckily there was no more precipitation overnight and Sunday was clear, but windy and cold.  My cold symptoms ramped up and I wasn’t feel up for more hiking–our plan was Fairyland loop.  Instead we took the car to the southern tip of the park and some of the overlooks there.

It isn’t hard to see why this area got protected by the government as a National Park.  The views are spectacular.  I’m hoping we can come back and do the Fairlyland loop some time soon.