23rd Jun, 2011

Arrived in Bryce National Park on June 5, 2011

Total distance driven (includes in-city driving): 16,600.7 kms (10,292 miles)
Average gas consumption: 16.7 L per 100 KM

We decided to stay at Kodachrome Basin State Park while visiting Bryce Canyon National Park. For $25 a night we landed one of four electrical sites at the park.

The cliffs in and around Kodachrome had a beautiful chocolate color.

The park is famous for spire-like rock formations standing out amongst the cliffs. Apparently this is the only place in the world where such a thing occurs.

We drove up scenic highway 12 to reach Bryce Canyon, driving through the Red Canyons.

Bryce City – just outside the national park – had many typical tourist things to look at.

But we were really excited to arrive at Bryce Canyon National Park.

The panoramic views alone where amazing – hoodoos everywhere!

The park starts at 6832 ft (2390m) elevation and rises to a height of 8296 ft (2529m). Those elevations mean a lot of cold. Bryce has approximately 200 days per year of freezing and thawing cycles – leading to a high level of erosion.

Some of the hoodoos have names – like Thor’s hammer.

Here it is up close.

And the park has a natural bridge – although technically it’s an arch. What’s the difference? A natural bridge usually forms from water erosion whereas arches tend to occur from freezing and thawing cycles.

We decided to really experience the hoodoos up close and personal by doing a combination hike – Navajo Loop to Peek-A-Boo Loop through to Queen’s Garden Trail and then up the Sunset Trail.

So, we hiked down the switchbacks at Navajo Loop – check out the amazing view!

Then we went through this narrow slot canyon…

…and we found ourselves looking at this famous scene – the guide book called it a Douglas Fir on Wall Street!

So many things to see…

…a slot canyon side trail…

…a Steller’s Jay…

..more hoodoos…

To give a sense of size – check out the top of the first hoodoo from the right, at the cliff edge.

It’s one of the many overlooks along the 18 mile drive through the park.

We stopped for lunch and were surprised to see a rock slide off in the distance.

Then back to our hike for more amazing views.

Looks like a double arch up there…

The views just keep going…

There’s the Queen Victoria formation.

These two look like Bishops in a chess game.

Nearly done the 6 hour hike and still seeing amazing views!

After spending three days at Bryce Canyon we decided it was time to hit the road and head north. Next up…Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.

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