Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon was our favorite of all of the parks we visited on this trip. Its beautiful landscape is made up of unusually shaped red rock pillars known as "hoodoos". The first thing we did when we arrived was to take a helicopter ride over Bryce Canyon and the surrounding area.

Bryce Canyon from the air

After the helicopter ride, we rode into the park and stopped to take some pictures at the first viewpoint, called Sunrise Point. There were several trailheads at Sunrise Point, and since we didn't have much water with us so we decided to take a relatively short trail called Queen's Garden Trail. Once we started to descend into the canyon, we were awestruck. As beautiful as the canyon was from the helicopter, it was incredible to be down in the canyon close up to the hoodoos. We took our time hiking into the canyon, not wanting to miss any detail and took several rolls of pictures along the way.

A View of Bryce from Inside the Canyon

After we reached the end of the Queen's Garden Trail, it was decision time - we either turned around and returned the way we came, or we continued another mile and a half to the Navajo Loop Trail. We were tired already and had even less water, but we were enjoying the scenery so much that we decided to continue on.

A interesting rock formation along Queen's Garden Trail

It was well worth the extra hiking - the scenery from the Navajo Loop trail was even more spectacular than the Queen's Garden trail. We hiked past incredible rock formations with names like Thor's Hammer and Wall Street. The trail out of the canyon was incredibly steep - but we enjoyed the hike tremendously. Hiking is definitely the best way to see Bryce Canyon.

Some more interesting formations as we descended Queen's Garden Trail

After the hike, we returned to the motorcycle and rode on the scenic drive through the rest of the park, stopping at many of the view points. We returned to the park entrance as dusk approached and were greeted by several mule deer. We definitely got a good night's sleep that night before our ride to Capitol Reef Park on Scenic Highway 12.

Next segment of our trip. Return to 1996 Motorcycle Vacation page.

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