Bryce Canyon National Park
Updated: May 7
Why Bryce Canyon is a playground for kids
Mule Rides - must be 7 years old and it is awesome
There are arches here, too
Trails to waterfalls
Trails that take you to places to explore
18 mile road to scenic viewpoints and trails
Bryce Canyon is part of the Grand Circle of National Parks. It is located at 8,000 ft above sea level in the Southwest corner of Utah just East of Zion National Park. When someone thinks of or mentions Bryce Canyon the first thing they picture are the hodoos. Bryce Canyon, was designated as a National Monument by President Warren G Harding in 1923, and designated a National Park by Congress in 1928.
We traveled from Capitol Reef/Escalante to Bryce and were ready to see the park in the early afternoon. During our hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls, we met a nice family that recommended Mossy Cave Trail. So, that was our first hike in Bryce and we were not disappointed. The trail followed Tropic Ditch and leads to a fork where one route leads to a cave and the other takes you to the Tropic Falls. The map to the trailhead is true even though it feels like you drive away from Bryce Canyon to get to the trailhead parking lot. This trail was a delight and an unexpected surprise.
The next morning we got up early to beat the heat and the crowds at Navajo Trail. To many this is the trail that shows Bryce Canyon's hoodoos in all their glory. The trail is best done first thing in the morning. Although we met a few people, of course we met some people from Michigan. Is your state like ours? Whenever we travel we see people from Michigan. However, I think this year in Utah, Michigan people were generally absent. It was a nice change from our normal travel. Maybe we just all go to the same places.
Navajo Trail loop is 1.3 miles with an elevation change of 550 ft. Most of the elevation change is at the beginning and end of the loop. We took Wall St. down into the amphitheater. Before you descend, keep in mind that each turn is a new view and memorable. Take your time, explore with your children and take time to breathe. This is truly one of the experiences to never forget.
When at Bryce, if you have an affinity for riding, take a mule ride. As you know we have a horse farm. We had planned to ride in Monument Valley. However, we had our plans changed, and we were quick to book a ride at Bryce. We took the two hour ride to the floor of the canyon and it was a completely different view than what we saw on Navajo Trail. The terrain was dusty red dirt, and was more desolate than the Navajo trail. The landscape was as beautiful and unforgettable as the Navajo Trail.
Our last experience with Bryce was a quick drive through the rest of the park to see the viewpoints. from the visitor center to Rainbow Point is 17 miles, 30 minutes. We didn't have a lot of time, so we checked out the natural bridge, the Canyon view, and whatever else we could see from the various vantage points.
We stayed only two nights. It was a brief stay that was a little rushed. We would have liked to try the Peekaboo Loop trail and some of the others we missed. However, with Mossy Cave Trail and Navajo Trail we had a great experience hiking Bryce and we left wanting more. The mule ride was the highlight of our time at Bryce. The landscape was different and spectacular. Let us know if you have any questions about Bryce. We would be happy to share our experiences with you in more detail.