Bryce Canyon, despite its name, is not actually a canyon! Its main attraction is a collection of orange, red, and white hoodoos in its natural amphitheaters. The colors of the rocks provide spectacular views for park visitors from the rim trail or, for the more adventurous hiker, from the bottom of the amphitheater.
Ruby’s Inn RV Park & Campground
One of the best parts of our trip to Bryce Canyon National Park was our campsite. Right outside of the gates of the park lies the town of Bryce Canyon City, formerly known as Ruby’s Inn. It’s a “company town”, owned by a family in the hospitality industry. This generally means high prices ($7 for a box of cereal, $4 for a bag of goldfish… I don’t recommend shopping here) But, if the “off-season” what this meant for us is a beautiful campground with decent wifi within 2 miles of Bryce Canyon National Park! It allowed us to go in and out as we pleased! Plus, we had access to the indoor pool at the lodge!
Sunset & Sunrise
We stayed at Bryce Canyon for 2 nights, and, as I said, we came and went as we pleased. For me, that meant sunrise and sunset. These are two of the most magical times at Bryce Canyon National Park. In fact, they have a “Sunset Point” and a “Sunrise Point” in the park. You can find the times for both listed at the entrance gate (if a simple Google search is too much work). During our stay, I watched the sunset from Sunset Point and Inspiration Point. I saw the sunrise from Sunrise point. Despite sub-freezing temperatures, there were hordes of people. I imagine during the warmer months, it would be very busy, even crowded. I must have snapped a hundred photos of each sunset and sunrise. While I don’t think that they capture the full majesty that I witnessed, I’m just not sure that I can put the beauty of these experiences into words. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
Fairyland Loop Trail
Chris is always looking for a good hike, and with our close proximity to the park, he was actually able to take one! Fairyland Loop Trail begins at Fairyland Point (which is actually before the parks entrance gate) and takes you along the rim and into the ‘canyon’ where you walk among the spectacular hoodoos and scenery, including China Wall, Sinking Ship, and Tower Bridge. This trail is 8-miles long, has an elevation change of 2221 feet, and is arguably the most scenic day hike in Bryce Canyon. It’s less-trafficked than shorter day hikes in the park, Chris ran into maybe a half a dozen people total. We picked him up 3 hours later from the Sunrise Point trailhead, and he was one sweaty, happy guy.
October SNOW and Wild(ish) Horses
We woke up on October 17th to about an inch of snow on the ground. Since we knew this was coming we actually canceled our reservation for that night, and we ended up pulling out that morning. But, we stayed long enough to see a herd of horses run through the snow-covered campground. It was gorgeous! Everyone assumed that they were wild, and we (as tourists) were just so mesmerized. I happened to look down and notice that their hoof prints had horseshoes, and I thought I should mention it to the office. That’s when I found out that they don’t have wild horses in the Bryce Canyon area, and it must’ve been a broken gate at a nearby stable. Oops! Well, it was still gorgeous!
We spent the morning throwing a few snowballs, making snow angels, and snapping a few photos of the hoodoos in the snow before we headed for warmer weather.