Red Canyon and Bryce Canyon Nat’l Park

(Note: this is a re-post after I had technical malfunctions with photos for my last 3 posts)

Well, we tried to make our stop at Cedar Breaks Nat’l Monument, at Point Supreme Campground. We got there and did a drive thru, found no vacancies to be had, so we kept going on toward Bryce Canyon Nat’l Park. Our next choice worked out well for us, we found space at the Red Canyon Campground, a forest service campground. It was a typical forest service campground, no hookups but had water, toilets (pit and flush), and a dump station inside the park. The price was right at $7.50 per night (annual National Parks pass price) and we got a nice pull through site with shade and a view of some of the spectacular scenery. What was really nice about this location was the extremely cooler temps at night and mild daytime temps which gave our AC units a break.

Home at Red Canyon campground. What hideous views of our backyard!

Home at Red Canyon campground. What hideous views of our backyard!

More of those hideous backyard views!

More of those hideous backyard views!

'Nuff said...

‘Nuff said…

Red Canyon has several hiking trails, trails for horses, ATV’s, and bicycles. The trails ranged from less than 0.5 miles to about 10 miles long, many of them intersecting to the point you can almost pick any distance you want to cover incorporating multiple trails as you wish. We started out with the Arches trail which was only about seven tenths of a mile in a loop. That sounds extremely easy and it was a basic, easy trail, however there is still some uphill and downhill obstacle course hiking through the middle of massive hoodoo’s and very cool looking rock formations. The altitude adds to the labored breathing, even on the easy trails. And the plus for this area was they are K-9 friendly and Woody was allowed to hike with us everywhere we went. He was certainly enjoying his little critter hunts.

As we started out on the Arches Trail...

As we started out on the Arches Trail…

Absolutely amazing!

Absolutely amazing!

Looks like gnome houses...

Looks like gnome houses…

Woody showing me the sights.

Woody showing me the sights.

Jeanne the hikestress!

Jeanne the hikestress!

Way cool!

Way cool!

We did a few other shorter hikes, taking the Photo Trail, the Hoodoo Trail, and the Pink Ledges Trail, all taking us through a gigantic “forest” of hoodoo’s and other-worldly formations.

Hoodoo towers

Hoodoo towers

All by his lonesome...

All by his lonesome…

Looks like a fortress wall

Looks like a fortress wall

Welcome to hoodoo country!

Welcome to hoodoo country!

Jeanne and Woody enjoying a brief respite...

Jeanne and Woody enjoying a brief respite…

A hoodoo huddle?

A hoodoo huddle?

Did you ever wonder where all those cairns come from? We discovered the answer…cairn trees!

Did you ever wonder where all those cairns come from? We discovered the answer…cairn trees!

Some of the views along the Pink Ledges Trail

Some of the views along the Pink Ledges Trail

Me and my buddy, Frosty the Snowman, without the frost and without the snow...

Me and my buddy, Frosty the Snowman, without the frost and without the snow…

Jeanne on the Pink Ledges Trail.

Jeanne on the Pink Ledges Trail.

Makes one feel really really small!

Makes one feel really really small!

That looks suspiciously like a pile of bat guano on the wall to my left!

That looks suspiciously like a pile of bat guano on the wall to my left!

On our last day we decided to take the Buckhorn Trail combined with the Golden Wall Trail, the Buckhorn trailhead beginning from within our campground. These combined for about a 4 mile hike gaining quite a bit of altitude to the top of the ridge and back down into the valley, again weaving in and out between hoodoo’s and fortress-looking outcroppings. We found when we reached the top of the ridge we finally got cell service enough to catch up with some internet stuff and family contacts (cell service was non-existent at the campground. Yeah, I know what you are saying, “Who in their right mind takes a cell phone out hiking with them? Isn’t it time to unplug?”). But in the end, this was a very nice hike through the rocks.

On the Buckhorn/Golden Wall Trail

On the Buckhorn/Golden Wall Trail

Keep on trucking'!

Keep on trucking’!

A spyhole in the rocks.

A spyhole in the rocks.

Another one of those castle walls.

Another one of those castle walls.

C'mon, can't you unplug for just one hike?

C’mon, can’t you unplug for just one hike?

The golden colors of these formations is a good contrast to all the reds we have been in.

The golden colors of these formations is a good contrast to all the reds we have been in.

Jeanne on the Golden Walls Trail

Jeanne on the Golden Walls Trail

One more shot of another wall...

One more shot of another wall…

When we were still at Red Canyon, we had some time to burn so we cheated and drove the Jeep up to Bryce Canyon Nat’l Park and did the 18 mile scenic drive which had some 10 or 11 scenic overlooks. All of it was awe-inspiring absolutely fantastic! I got so many photos of so many formations I will probably get them all messed up here in this blog. But I’m a-gonna give it a try.

We got "high" in Utah!

We got “high” in Utah!

It was like the Grand Canyon, with hoodoos!

It was like the Grand Canyon, with hoodoos!

Still at Rainbow Point.

Still at Rainbow Point.

We got "high" and stayed high...

We got “high” and stayed high…

A view through the gap at Ponderosa Point

A view through the gap at Ponderosa Point

Turn your head, new view!

Turn your head, new view!

It was nice all the viewpoints were on the same side of the road, so we drove to the end and worked our way back, all right turns...

It was nice all the viewpoints were on the same side of the road, so we drove to the end and worked our way back, all right turns…

Why did they name it Agua Point, not a lot of water down in the bottom canyons...

Why did they name it Agua Point, not a lot of water down in the bottom canyons…

Agua Canyon Point, view #2

Agua Canyon Point, view #2

What's a National Park without a natural bridge?!

What’s a National Park without a natural bridge?!

Lots of green through that window...

Lots of green through that window…

They say on a clear day you can see 100 miles in any direction from Farview Point...

They say on a clear day you can see 100 miles in any direction from Farview Point…

…and I believe it!

…and I believe it!

We never did get below 8,000'

We never did get below 8,000′

Magnificent! Lots of views at Bryce Point!

Magnificent! Lots of views at Bryce Point!

Some sort of entryway into an ancient castle?

Some sort of entryway into an ancient castle?

Almost to the end of the viewpoints, yee-haw!

Almost to the end of the viewpoints, yee-haw!

Mother Nature is some builder!

Mother Nature is some builder!

More Paria View

More Paria View

One more of Paria View

One more of Paria View

One last point to make, for now...

One last point to make, for now…

They call this viewpoint "Sunset Point", but I don't get it. Looking out you are seeing the eastern skyline. A sunset behind this view WOULD be spectacular though...

They call this viewpoint “Sunset Point”, but I don’t get it. Looking out you are seeing the eastern skyline. A sunset behind this view WOULD be spectacular though…

Time to move on. Just a mere 20 minutes up the scenic Hwy. 12 we pulled into Bryce National Park, intent on staying at the North Campground inside the park. Unfortunately, even though the sign at the entry station said there were vacancies, we pulled in at 8:30 am and found no vacancies (lots of reservation tags on the posts of empty sites and a little early to see if any of the occupied sites would be leaving). The Sunset Campground, also inside the park, is not suitable for larger rigs; the sites are too short and the interior roads are skinny and tree-lined for an exciting experience in motorhome navigation if you dare. So we opted to help support the Ruby family and stay at the Ruby Inn, RV Park, and Campground. It appeared the Ruby family owned everything in the town of Bryce Canyon City. The plus for this was they had FHU’s so we could do laundry, otherwise they charged $48 per night which is a bit much.

We got set up at our site and took off to check out Mossy Cave which had a 0.4 mile trail to the cave and waterfall and was located just outside the Bryce Canyon Nat’l Park off of Hwy. 12 toward the town of Tropic. The hike was easy and the scenery was still gorgeous.

This Nat'l Park has a "Hike the Hoodoos" program where they post these trail markers at various trails. It is a promotion for physical fitness/hiking.

This Nat’l Park has a “Hike the Hoodoos” program where they post these trail markers at various trails. It is a promotion for physical fitness/hiking.

This is from the trail to Mossy Cave, looking at the Tropic Ditch as it flows from the hills. It is man-made by Mormons in the 1800's for water management back then.

This is from the trail to Mossy Cave, looking at the Tropic Ditch as it flows from the hills. It is man-made by Mormons in the 1800’s for water management back then.

The waterfalls at Mossy Cave.

The waterfalls at Mossy Cave.

Moss grows on the roof of the cave. If you look close at the photo, you can see the water dripping from the roof.

Moss grows on the roof of the cave. If you look close at the photo, you can see the water dripping from the roof.

Jeanne checking out the cave.It is not a cave they allow you to enter, I would characterize it more as a grotto.

Jeanne checking out the cave.It is not a cave they allow you to enter, I would characterize it more as a grotto.

Jeanne and I decided to do the Figure 8 Combination Hike; about a 6.5 mile round trip hike through the “castles” combining the Queen’s Garden, Peekaboo Loop, and Navajo Loop trails. Since daytime temps were still a bit warm, we decided to get up at 5:00 am for this extravaganza. We started out at Sunrise Point as the sunrise began. This was a popular spot at sunrise, the tour buses and tourists just flooded in for the viewing at that time. We took a couple of sunrise pix, then promptly headed off on the Queen’s Garden Trail. The scenery throughout the park is indescribable and photos just don’t do it justice. But the varying rock formations evoked memories from childhood when we used to “see” certain objects in the cloud formations in the sky. In the rocks we would see a castle over here, gnomes over there, a couple of times we saw Madison (our recently deceased Cocker Spaniel), and many other likenesses. The Queen’s Garden intersected with Navajo Loop, which then intersected with the Peek-a-boo Loop, and finished up at the tail end of the Navajo Loop, taking us through “Wall Street” and to the top at Sunset Point. Another half mile walk along the rim returned us to Sunrise Point. The Figure 8 Trail we hiked was listed as “strenuous”. Parts of it are combined for hikers and horses, and there were a couple of pretty steep grades which would certainly be challenging for the elderly (hey, that’s me!). But the entire trail was very solid and plenty wide enough, no rock scrambling required. And starting earlier in the day, fellow hikers are few and far between until about 10:00 am which seems to be the starting time preferred by many. All in all, Bryce Canyon Nat’l Park was a spectacular vision, not at all what I had envisioned and it should be a “must see” on anyone’s list if you happen along this neck of the woods.

Starting point for the Figure 8 Trail.

Starting point for the Figure 8 Trail.

What's a hike on the Figure 8 Trail without starting out at sunrise, at sunrise point?!

What’s a hike on the Figure 8 Trail without starting out at sunrise, at sunrise point?!

Sunrise, light them hoodoos up!

Sunrise, light them hoodoos up!

To me, this evokes the words in that John Denver song, "Sunshine, on my shoulders, makes me happy!"

To me, this evokes the words in that John Denver song, “Sunshine, on my shoulders, makes me happy!”

Here I go, through the tunnel.

Here goes Jeanne, through the tunnel.

Jeanne at the Queen's Garden "Hike the Hoodoos" trail marker.

Jeanne at the Queen’s Garden “Hike the Hoodoos” trail marker.

Ahhhh, Queen Victoria, I presume?

Ahhhh, Queen Victoria, I presume?

First junction off Queen's Garden Trail to Navajo Loop

First junction off Queen’s Garden Trail to Navajo Loop

Some Navajo Loop scenery

Some Navajo Loop scenery

Hey, looky there, Jeanne found the "Hike the Hoodoos" trail marker for Navajo Loop.

Hey, looky there, Jeanne found the “Hike the Hoodoos” trail marker for Navajo Loop.

Junction for Peek-a-Boo Loop.  Stand by for adventure!

Junction for Peek-a-Boo Loop. Stand by for adventure!

Jeanne huffin' and puffin' up the Peek-a-Boo Loop.

Jeanne huffin’ and puffin’ up the Peek-a-Boo Loop.

Hiking requires one to pace oneself. Ahhhhh, break time!

Hiking requires one to pace oneself. Ahhhhh, break time!

Cutting through a narrow pass. Nice background scenery.

Cutting through a narrow pass. Nice background scenery.

Nice window along the trail...

Nice window along the trail…

Peek-a-boo!

Peek-a-boo!

Cool shot coming through a short tunnel...

Cool shot coming through a short tunnel…

This formation is called the Wall of Windows.

This formation is called the Wall of Windows.

Jeanne found the "Hike the Hoodoos" Wall of Windows trail marker on the Peek-a-Boo Trail.

Jeanne found the “Hike the Hoodoos” Wall of Windows trail marker on the Peek-a-Boo Trail.

I can't imagine the terror involved in skydiving this area!

I can’t imagine the terror involved in skydiving this area!

What's this?!? Out in the middle of nowhere? Well, this pit toilet was near a small horse corral about midway around the Peek-a-Boo loop.

What’s this?!? Out in the middle of nowhere? Well, this pit toilet was near a small horse corral about midway around the Peek-a-Boo loop.

Giddyup!

Giddyup!

Watch out for those overhangs!

Watch out for those overhangs!

Break time again. Whewwww, I'm wiped!

Break time again. Whewwww, I’m wiped!

Aliens from afar...

Aliens from afar…

One more trail marker from "Hike the Hoodoos", this for the Peek-a-Boo Loop

One more trail marker from “Hike the Hoodoos”, this for the Peek-a-Boo Loop

Transition time, heading down the stretch...

Transition time, heading down the stretch…(Did we really cover 3 miles on this loop? You betcha…

And our last junction, heading through Wall St. up to Sunset Point. This park gets an A+ for signage...

And our last junction, heading through Wall St. up to Sunset Point. This park gets an A+ for signage…

Yeah, you wish YOU were here!

Yeah, you wish YOU were here!

The stairway up to Wall St.

The stairway up to Wall St.

Jeanne taking a stroll down Wall St.

Jeanne taking a stroll down Wall St.

Looking back and down on Wall St.

Looking back and down on Wall St.

Last look over what we just hiked through from the top of Wall St.

Last look over what we just hiked through from the top of Wall St.

Well, onward and upward. We’re thinking about a stop at Grand Staircase Escalante Monument, but you just never know where we are gonna land…

About rvrrat520

Recreational wanderers just livin' the dream while we can still get vertical.
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