After our short trip to Page with Tom and Ellen, we headed up into Utah, to re-visit one of our favorite National Parks, Bryce Canyon. The park contains the largest concentration of hoodoos, which are irregular columns of rock. The hoodoos are formed through erosion of the cliffs from the wind, rain and snow. As some of the rock formations erode away, new ones are created. The park is always changing. As we arrived in the park on May 1, just in time for what seems to be our annual May snowfall!
Given the snow, and our limited time in the park (2 days), we were not able to do any hiking in the park. We stayed at Ruby’s Inn campground, in their brand new pull-thru section. It’s pricey, but very nice. The family that owns Ruby’s Campground, owns the majority of the businesses in the area. And they hire a lot of work campers for the season.
We were able to meet up with our friend Bob, that we worked with at Amazon a few years ago. Bob decided to get his commercial drivers license, with a passenger endorsement. This has opened up a lot of high-paying work camping opportunities for him. In order to ease up on overcrowding, and the pollution that goes along with it, the National Park service is using shuttle buses in many of the parks. Bryce Canyon has a free shuttle service taking visitors to most of the viewpoints in the park. Bob was able to get a job as a shuttle bus driver. For those interested, it pays $24/hour, with a discounted RV site.
When we told Bob that we were coming, he booked us on a free shuttle tour of the park, as he wanted to check out the tour as well. If you plan on visiting Bryce, I would highly recommend the free tour. This is separate from the regular shuttle that just takes you to the overlooks. It is called the Rainbow Point tour, and lasts three hours.
This is the view from Rainbow Point, elevation 9115 feet. The park borders Dixie National Forest, and off into the distance is Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument.
This is the view at Agua Canyon, elevation 8800 feet. Can you see the “face” in the rock formation on the left?
The Natural Bridge is at elevation 8627 feet.
The view at Bryce Point, elevation 8296 feet, is one of the prettiest in the park, containing many hoodoos. You can hike down into the canyon to get a better view of the rock formations.
More views at Bryce Point…
There are over 60 miles of hiking trails in the park, and someday we will return to hike down into the canyon for a closer look at these amazing hoodoo formations.
One thing I want to point out for anyone traveling to Bryce Canyon in an RV, they have two arches that you have to drive through to get to the park. For whatever reason, they have signs stating 13 feet, 6 inches. This would give pause to anyone driving an RV, particularly a fifth wheel. The height of our 5th wheel is 13-3. I’m not sure who did the measuring, but as you can see from Tom and Ellen’s fifth wheel going through the arch, there is plenty of room.
If you are interested in Astronomy, they have special programs at the park in June; and in July, they have programs for those interested in Geology. We plan on coming back to the park someday to hike down into the canyon.
Quote for the Day: “Stepping out onto any lookout, you are invited to connect with an amazing example of some of the most unusual terrain on this planet, making you feel as though you are stepping foot on the edge of another world.” – Stefanie Payne