This was the first stop in our departing USA National Park Tour. We left our appartment with camping gear for a one month trip and enough clothes and other items to last us a month in Japan. The car was jam packed.
For the first time ever we didn't stop in Las Vegas. We stopped near St. George as we entered Utah.
Once we got into Utah there were, as expected, red rocks everywhere. This photo is taken well before we arrived at Bryce.
We camped out most nights for the 3 weeks we were on our parks tour. To my surprise I enjoyed camping more and more as the trip went on. We tried to eat well and whenever we felt even a little bit like a break from camping we would stop off in a hotel for a change. This was sort of a trial run to see what it would be like doing this after retirement.
We had wanted to go to Bryce Canyon for quite some time. The key feature of this Park is the "Hoodoos". A Hoodoo is a special stone formation. Bryce is full of them. Bryce is the best place to see them because they are formed by water expanding as it becomes ice forcing rock spurs to split into these spires and Bryce has many days of freeze/thaw.
The best time to see the Hoodoos is at sunrise and sunset. You can get a pretty good view of them from the rim, so its possible to just drive your car into the park, stop at the rim and see them all there down in the valley.
One night we went to a ranger talk on the National Park. I guess I should have taken some notes. I do remember the average length of stay in the park is 3 hours. When we walked back to the camp site we got the best view of the night sky we have ever had. The stars were spectacular and the Milky Way was very clearly seen. Then Cassandra panicked about finding the campsite in the dark. But we finally made it back.
We did a walk down into the valley called the Peekaboo Trail. It was pretty hard work, reminding me of the Grand Canyon. We didn't deal with the heat too well.
Desert National Parks are spectacularly beautiful, but I just don't like being in the heat and the dry that much. Maybe it would be better to try them in winter. Bryce in particular looks like it would be great under snow.