Duration: 4 hrs
Distance: 6 miles
Difficulty: Easy -> Moderate (on a hot day).
Best time to hike: Start early and finish early.
Trail: Amphitheater hike. Sunrise point -> Queen’s garden -> Peekaboo Trail -> Navajo trail -> Sunset Point
Trailhead: sunrise/sunset point
More Info: here
The third and final part to the wonderful Labor day weekend trip to the canyons end with this description of camping and hiking at the Bryce canyon national park. Ang, Evan, Sridhar and I reached Bryce canyon by 3pm after getting done with Zion backpacking. We first drove to the visitor center, watched the quick 20 minute presentation about the park and then drove over to the campsite. We quickly pitched our tents and then decided to drive around the national park covering all the touristy stuff that day.
All the view points were just amazing. The landscape here is quite different from other canyon areas and national parks around here. The Hoodoos as they call it, finger like projections shined bright red/orange by the help of the rays from the setting sun. It was a very beautiful sight to observe. We stayed back at the point at the very end of the park. The road that enters the park ends inside the park. It’s one of the easier National Parks to visit due to the fact that it has only one entrance to these sights. After sunset we got back to the campsite for a good night’s sleep. After dinner Ang, Sridhar and Evan headed out to witness and observe the star lit night sky. I was pretty sleepy and went to bed soon after we reached finished dinner.
The next day we woke up early with the plan to catch the sunrise from the sunrise view point but we were relatively late to get up. I quickly got dressed and gobbled up a cold meal and was ready for the day’s hike. Ang was quick and wanted to get some good sunrise pictures so he walked away first. Sridhar, Evan and I later followed the trail from the campsite (Sunset Campground) to Sunset point and then walked along the rim to the sunrise point. All along the way we were privy to the beautiful picture of the Hoodoos and the early morning rays of the sun. We took the double loop 3+3miles down into the canyon amongst the Hoodoos. The first stop was the queen’s garden which had a Hoodoo shaped like a queen. The landscape is quite different from what can be see from the rim. I have come to realize that after all of the hikes I’ve been doing over this year.
Oh and yes, we did get to use Ang’s walkie-talkie on this hike since we never got to meet him on the trail. On the way back towards sunset point the trail goes through narrow canyon walls with numerous switchbacks to help hikers slowly trod up to the rim. The sunlight here creates magnificent shadows and silhouette of the canyon walls. There seems to be something magical here. We finished the hike quite quickly and were back at the tents by 11am which was the checkout time. Quickly folded up the tents and drove out of Bryce towards Las Vegas. On the way we did make a pit stop at the Kolob Canyon entrance which is the 2nd entrance to Zion National park. We did a small 1.5 mile hike there to get to the vista point and capture a couple of pictures. This completed my adventurous and fun filled labor day long weekend trip.