I’m not going to lie, Bryce Canyon was one of the national parks
on my last trip I was least excited to visit. However, once I got there
I was completely blown away. This park is beyond beautiful (I would
even go so far as to say that it is prettier than Zion) and I loved every
minute I was there even with the cold wind and snow. Lol Definitely
one of my new favorite national parks and I promise you will love it too.
I drove into Bryce Canyon from Tropic, Utah and of course had to
make a stop at the national park sign and at the visitor center. I know
a lot of people when they go on vacations tend to skip over the visitor
center, but I always make it my very first stop. There is a TON of great
information there, including rangers who can really help to make your
trip in the park the best ever, usually restrooms, and of course souvenirs.
Every time I visit a new park I like to stop and buy an ornament for my
travel Christmas tree to commemorate the trip. Here’s my one from Bryce!
After the visitor center I drove to Sunrise Point and somehow
lucked out in finding a parking spot. The parking lot for this point is
actually quite small (in fact it was probably one of the smallest I saw
when I was there) so my advice is to try and get to the park early and
start here if you are planning on seeing the view from this point. After
parking the truck I walked out to Sunrise Point and began the Queen’s
Garden trail. I was literally stopping every few hundred feet to take
a photo because the landscape is just breathtaking.
TRAIL INFORMATION – Queen’s Garden/Navajo Loop
Round Trip Length
Average Time to Allot
Starting from Sunrise Point made the hike almost entirely
downhill….until I got to the very end and had to deal with my
most worthy hiking adversary, switchbacks. I believe there were
about 8 in total, each was uphill, and those switchbacks were straight
brutal. I would have given anything to have taken them in a downhill
direction rather than an uphill one. However, the NPS does actually
recommend you take this trail in a clockwise direction (descending from
Sunrise Point and ascending to Sunset Point) as I did so you can have
better views of the amphitheater in front of you as you hike and to also
help keep injuries low since the hike down from sunrise point is less steep.
Now even though I hated that last part of the hike, the rest of it
was so amazing. Not only was the scenery gorgeous (I know I have
said that like 100 times already, but y’all it’s true. Much like how I was
when I was there I can’t stop gushing. I think I’m in love. lol), but there were
also some really awesome natural features like tunnels and archways
that I got to walk through as well!
So why is this trail called the Queen’s Garden trail? Well allow me
to enlighten you. This trail will lead you down into the Bryce Canyon
Amphitheater to a rock formation that is shaped like the Queen herself.
You do kind of have to use your imagination a little to see it, but once
you do you will be standing there waiting for the rock
to give you a royal wave. Lol
Once I reached the Queen’s Garden I continued on the rest of the
trail to sunset point. I was planning on doing the Navajo Loop as
well, but unfortunately the trail was closed due to winter conditions
(yet another reason why this is a great summer vacation spot
as all trails are more likely to be open).
After reaching Sunset Point I walked along part of the Rim Trail
that connects Sunset Point to Sunrise Point and took in some
incredible views. Once I made it back to my truck I had a little
picnic lunch (inside the truck because by this point it was really
starting to snow) and then drove on to Inspiration Point.
Walking back to the truck from Inspiration Point some guy
asked me if I felt inspired and in all honesty I totally didn’t get
it at first. Blonde moment alert. Lol I was almost to the truck
when I saw what he did with the wordplay and dude, gotta say, props
to you. That was good. Sorry I was slow to get it. *face palm* Lol
From Inspiration Point I drove to:
Out of all the scenic viewpoints I went to I definitely think the
ones you NEED to stop at are Sunrise and Sunset Points, Inspiration
Point, Bryce Point, and Natural Bridge. Also the Queen’s Garden trail is a must do hike!
After stopping at all those scenic vistas I decided it was time
to make my way out of the cold, snowy park and go on
my final hike of the day, the Mossy Cave Trail.
TRAIL INFORMATION – Mossy Cave
Round Trip Length
Average Time to Allot
30 minutes – 1 hour
This short hike led to a waterfall caused by a man-made ditch and
I of course had to climb down and walk behind it! Lol
This trail also had a natural spring on it that was really
more of a cave with icicles, but it was still cool to see.
And that was my day in Bryce Canyon! Again I was so surprised
by this park and I would definitely go back again. Hopefully I can
make it when it is warmer and I can do even more hiking through
the park. Highly highly recommend a visit here in the summer.
Where to Stay:
When I visited Bryce Canyon I stayed in the nearby town of
Tropic, Utah at Red Ledges Inn. I definitely recommend this place.
The rooms were nice and big, clean, I felt safe while I was here
(which was a HUGE plus considering I was travelling alone), and
it is also within walking distance of a lot of great restaurants.
Where to Eat:
This is an amazing little BBQ joint. I did have
to stand in line for idk (lol) about 20-30 minutes, but eventually
got my pulled pork sandwich (on a pretzel bun with nacho
cheese….yum) and the thing I wanted most, a side of their gloriously
cheesy mac and cheese. I also got a small piece of peach cobbler and
ice cream because why not?! Lol Everything was absolutely delicious and
sooooo worth the wait. (Someone get Triple D out there please!)
My second and final night in Tropic I was craving
pizza hardcore and this place gave me exactly what I wanted. I
ordered a 10 inch meat lover’s pizza and breadsticks (of course)
and nearly demolished all of it in one sitting. It was fantastic.
Have you been to Bryce Canyon National Park? If so, what was
your favorite part? If not, do you want to go now? Share
this article with who you’d go to Bryce Canyon with!