There are a couple places in the Southwest that we’ve visited that have made us say “Holy moly, is this place for real?” Like Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, the Devil’s Bridge, Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly, Chiricahuas… now we can add Bryce Canyon National Park to that list!
For our time spent in this surreal park, we chose to hike 2 trails, the Navajo Loop and Queen’s Garden. These 2 trails, from what we read, are considered the best way to see Bryce Canyon as it takes you up close to the national park’s significant view points. We ended up missing the trailhead because we ventured onto the Rim Trail and hiked a mile into it before realizing what we were doing and had to back track… so we had a warm up hike before our real hike. Here are views from our warm up hike:
Navajo Loop starts at Sunset Point. One of the first significant view points on the Navajo Loop…
…is my husband’s hammer. The real name is actually Thor’s Hammer….
With snow beginning to melt, things were slightly muddy at this time of the year.
Behind and to the right of
my husband’s Thor’s Hammer are the 3 Gossips.
After The Gossips & Thor’s Hammer is “Wall Street” however, we could not get into “Wall Street” because it was closed down by the Occupy Wall Street protestors. Just kidding. It was closed due to falling rocks.
Can’t take Thor anywhere!
Two Bridges viewpoint
Venturing into Queen’s Garden.
Can you spot Queen Victoria standing regally?
This might help.
The last leg of the hike back up was strenuous… many recommend doing this hike in reverse so you descend the difficult part instead of ascend. But my husband and I tend to run on the masochistic side of life (see our hike to the top of Flat Iron) and hiked up. It was breathtaking. Literally and figuratively:
The breathtaking view. Bryce Canyon has one of the highest concentrations of hoodoos on the planet.
Holy moly, is this place for real? Why yes, yes it is.
Navajo Loop & Queen’s Garden Trail
(Bryce Canyon National Park) Overview
- Coordinates: 37.622726, -112.166149
- Fees: $30/vehicle; $15/person; $25/motorcycle
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Usage: Moderate
- Length: 3.5 Miles
- Hike this trail “backwards” to avoid a moderately strenuous ascent.
- Pets allowed: Not permitted on trails. Pets only permitted on campgrounds, parking lots, paved roads, paved viewpoint areas, and on the paved trail between Sunset Point and Sunrise Point.
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