A Day in Bryce Canyon National Park

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.

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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!

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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. 

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TRAIL INFORMATION – Queen’s Garden/Navajo Loop

Rating

Round Trip Length

Average Time to Allot

Elevation Change

Moderate

2.9 miles

2-3 hours

~600ft

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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. 

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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!

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You can find my outfit details here!
(I even got to see someone out painting a landscape of the park. Pretty cool!)

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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

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As you can see on this sign Bryce Canyon has a fitness challenge called “I Hiked the Hoodoos” that you can participate in. My phone died after this point in the hike so this was the only benchmark I got a picture of.
I did bring my travel journal with me though and tried to take a pencil etching of my second benchmark. I was determined dammit! Unfortunately, I never found a 3rd benchmark and even if I did the visitor center wasn’t open for me to turn them in at so I’m not sure what the prize is for completing the challenge. Have any of you done it?

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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). 

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Sunset Point

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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. 

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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 

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From Inspiration Point I drove to:

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Bryce Point

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Natural Bridge

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Rainbow Point

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Farview Point

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!

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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. 

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TRAIL INFORMATION – Mossy Cave

Rating

Round Trip Length

Average Time to Allot

Elevation Change

Easy

0.8 miles

30 minutes – 1 hour

~200ft

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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 

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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. 

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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. 

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Where to Stay:

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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.

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Where to Eat:

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I.d.k. Barbeque

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!)

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The Pizza Place

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. 

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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!

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