Vacation: Day 2 (Bryce Canyon National Park)

We opened our eyes to a vast land “wild and rugged”and quite different from the Indiana we left the day before. We were thrilled to be once again in Utah! The red and white bluffs looming above the desert were surprising sights since we had arrived in the pitch dark of the early morning.

After arriving in pitch darkness, this was the view from our motel this morning!

After eating an early lunch, we drove to Bryce Canyon State Park. Our first stop was the park’s lodge that had been constructed in the 1930s. We then set out on a three mile loop hike starting at Sunset Point and ending at Sunrise Point on the edge of the canyon. Stephen and I both agree that Bryce is more impressive than the Grand Canyon due to its vibrant red color and the intricate hoodoos (sculptured formations). The rim view is awesome, but we were anxious to explore the canyon on foot.

Us at the park entrance.

Some of the park’s famous hoodoos.

God gave us an unseasonably mild day with temperatures in the high 70s and even a sprinkle of rain! The hike down into the canyon was steep and full of switchbacks. The hoodoos and two small natural bridges were fascinating. Our hike was a loop that combined the Navajo, Queen’s Garden, and Rim Trails. On our ascent up to Sunrise Point we passed through a natural arch in the sandstone.

An interesting formation we saw on our hike inside the canyon.

Next, we drove the length of the park stopping at the overlooks. One huge formation that was especially beautiful was Natural Bridge formed by a huge arch in the rock formation. We decided we’d like to come back in the dark to view the stars we saw the night before.

The natural bridge.

Taking in the view from Rainbow Point.

So, at 2:00am we drove to Rainbow Point to see the stars. At 9,115 feet in elevation we stood on the brink of Bryce Canyon overlooking miles and miles of mountains, plateaus, ridges, valleys, and bluffs. There were surprisingly few lights in the valley compared to the amount of land we were viewing. Far off on the horizon (probably about 100 miles away) we saw God’s firework display of lightning topped off with a falling star!

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