I’ve already written an overview of our (fantastic) holiday to Southwestern America last summer. I’ve been to this part of the country a few times, but it was my first-ever visit to Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah.
My family and I adored our time here, and I highly recommend it to anyone headed out to this region.
The colors and rock formations formed by wind erosion (called hoodoos) are stunning and changed dramatically around every corner…. and I can assure you we did enough hiking to explore almost each and every corner.
The Indians from this region would not walk too close to the rim. They thought the hoodoos were petrified evil spirits. My kids loved that story and my youngest kept asking if they come back to life at night.
Although there are lots of tourists, most of them stay concentrated on the rim, so if you enjoy hiking, you can enjoy many of the trails in relative solitude. We took one 14-kilometer trail early in the morning, and we must have bumped into a half-dozen people along the entire route.
The wonderful thing about hiking is observing the changing colors and forms of the hoodoos around each corner, and in the changing light of day.
As you can imagine, Bryce Canyon can get extremely hot during the summer months. Carry plenty of water and drink at regular intervals during your hikes.
Take advantage of the wonderful Visitors Center and discuss your hiking plans with the experienced rangers. Trail conditions can change depending on weather conditions, and you should always ensure you have up-to-date information. There are also interesting ranger-led walks you can join, teaching you about the area’s geology, history and wildlife.
If you are travelling with kids, be sure to start your visit at the Information office to pick up your booklet for the Junior Park Ranger Program .
By completing an activity book, taking a ranger-led tour, and hiking a certain amount of trails (proved by taking photos with medallions hidden found along the trails), kids can earn their Junior Park Ranger program. It’s a lot of fun for the kids to learn while working towards their badge.
The Bryce Canyon Lodge was booked when I was looking for hotels, so we stayed nearby at Ruby’s Lodge. The hotel is large, with an indoor swimming pool that was relaxing after our long days of hiking. There was also an easy shuttle bus service running from the hotel to the park.
One morning we went on a horseback trail ride organized by the hotel along the Bryce Canyon Ridge. However, if I go back, I’d prefer to organize the mule rides directly in Bryce Canyon. It looks like a spectacular way to view the Canyon.
Bryce Canyon was the last stop on our southwestern tour. With all the hiking we managed to fit in during our holiday, I boarded our return flight to New York with aching muscles – but it was well worth it. Hiking and marveling over the stunning nature at national parks such as Bryce Canyon made this a spectacular family vacation.
Enjoy your hiking in beautiful Bryce Canyon!