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Exploring the Hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park | Things to See & Tips for Maximizing Your Trip

bryce canyon national park is one of the

smaller national parks in the US but

it's definitely worth a visit for its

incredible landscapes and rock

formations it's a park that's often

overshadowed by its neighbor zion

national park but one that is

surprisingly unique and breathtaking hey

how's it going everyone its Curtis for

Tripp astute in this video we're

exploring Bryce Canyon National Park

home to the highest concentration of

hoodoos in the world Bryce Canyon is one

of the smaller national parks but it's

also one of the most unique and popular

a lot of people visit Bryce Canyon in

addition to Zion National Park since

they are relatively close to one another

both parks are located in southwest Utah

and it's about a two-hour drive between

Zion and Bryce Canyon the park was

established as a national park in 1928

and attracts about two-and-a-half

million visitors per year despite being

called a canyon the park is a collection

of natural amphitheaters filled with

unique structures called hoodoos these

are spires shaped structures that are a

result of erosion in the sedimentary

rocks hoodoos can be found in other

parts of the world

however Bryce Canyon is home to the

highest concentration of them giving it

a very out-of-this-world environment and

landscape the National Park is about 56

square miles which makes it much smaller

than Zion National Park which is 229

square miles this also makes it a much

easier park to explore especially if

you're short on time or trying to visit

after exploring one of the other

national parks in the area in fact you

can easily explore the main attractions

of the park in a day in this video I'll

be reviewing our itinerary when visiting

the park as well as some tips in case

you're planning a visit we visited in

September 2019 during our honeymoon

which consisted of a road trip to six

different national parks if you're

interested in seeing more of the parks

that we visited check out our national

parks playlist Before we jump in if

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button so let's jump into our one-day

itinerary

seeing the park number-one visitor

center as with all other trips to

national parks our first stop is always

a check-in at the visitor center this is

a great way to pick up a free park map

and talk to Rangers about how to plan

your visit

the Rangers offer a unique insight to

the things to see in each park and they

can give you a heads-up on potential

trail closures that you should be aware

of

number two Sunset Point and Bryce

amphitheater our first and possible

favorite stop in the park was Sunset

Point to explore the Bryce amphitheater

from here there are plenty of trail

options depending on how far you're

looking to hike we did a loop that

started at Sunset Point and passed along

the Rim Trail to sunrise point we then

went down into the amphitheater along

queens garden trail so we could walk

among the many hoodoos we then join the

Navajo loop trail and made our way back

to the top via Wall Street which offers

incredible views of intense red rock

formations above I would rate this an

easy to medium level hike since there

are so many pathways through the Bryce

amphitheater you can control how far you

want to go and the level of difficulty

while you'll likely be in awe of all the

hoodoos and rock formations in the area

make sure you also embrace your other

senses for example there are many

ponderosa pine trees in the area and you

may notice a sweet smell while passing

by them take a moment to smell the bark

the trees smell like vanilla or

butterscotch number three inspiration

point and Bryce Point the next stop for

us was inspiration point a view point

offering a different perspective of the

Bryce amphitheater we drove to the view

point although you could take a short

hike from Sunset Point via the Rim Trail

if you're looking to enjoy more of the

spectacular views a short drive from an

inspiration point is Bryce point where

you can either check out more views or

use it as a starting point for the

peekaboo trail another popular hiking

option in Bryce number 418 mile drive

the rainbow point there are 18 miles of

scenic road from the park entrance to

rainbow point where you'll pass 13

viewpoints to explore along the way we

enjoy taking the drive slow and stopping

at many of the viewpoints before

reaching rainbow point the stops are

hard to miss and are clearly marked on

the Bryce Canyon park map which you can

pick up at the Visitor Center our

favorite included Natural Bridge where

you can see a natural bridge formation

with a backdrop of

more red rocks and hoodoos in the

distance other stops included aqua

canyon ponderosa canyon and rainbow

point we parked that rainbow point and

took the short bristle cone loop trail

to stretch our legs after the scenic

drive this was an easy hike through some

wooded areas that offered beautiful

views of the landscape

number five mossy cave trail and

waterfall this stop is outside of the

main park and was on the route back to

tropic where we were staying during our

trip if you park at the mossy cave

trailhead a short hike will take you

along a beautiful stream to a modest

waterfall there's also a small cave to

explore hence the name mossy cave it's

worth noting that there are plenty of

additional hikes and stopping points to

explore in Bryce Canyon if you have the

extra time we only have one day to

explore the park however you could

easily extend this by another day and

try one of the extended hikes in the

park in terms of lodging you can stay in

the park

there is the Bryce Canyon Lodge which is

located closer to the entrance and

visitor center there are also several

camping options in the park immediately

outside the park entrance are several

smaller hotels and motels in Bryce

Canyon City this area is a bit kitschy

to be honest but still fun to explore we

often to stay at an Airbnb in a small

town called tropic about a 15-minute

drive southeast from the park entrance

in fact we loved our Airbnb experience

at bee bee's nest the host of the Airbnb

did a great job of creating a

comfortable clean and safe space it had

all the amenities that we needed for two

nights day I'll include a link in case

you're interested in booking a stay at

bee bee's nest for dining there aren't a

lot of options in the area if you're

exploring the park you should plan to

take in food and drinks to keep you

going you can find a light meal you're

the bryce canyon lodge alternatively

just before entering the park

there are several food and dining

options including a couple of general

stores to stock up on some items before

heading in

since bryce is a relatively small park

it's easy to take a detour out of the

park for lunch if needed if you're

staying near the tropic area I'd

recommend the stone hearth grill which

offers an upscale dining experience with

excellent food options they even offer

patio dining with some beautiful views

I'll include a link in the video

description below and if you're looking

for

nice cafe for coffee or breakfast we

recommend the Bryce Canyon Coffee

Company in tropic it was very close to

our Airbnb and a great place to start

our day before traveling to the national

park lastly if you're planning a trip to

Bryce Canyon National Park here are a

few tips to keep in mind number one

consider buying an annual national park

pass if you plan to visit more national

parks and you should since they are such

incredible places then you might want to

consider an annual park pass the cost is

only $80 per year and covers the

entrance fee for all national parks and

other federal land areas and since the

area is full of amazing national parks

and monuments it can easily pay for

itself especially if you make more than

two national park visits per year

and don't forget about national monument

sites that are covered by the pass for

example we stopped at the Cedar Breaks

National Monument on our drive out of

the park and it was a great place to get

more scenic views of the area number 2

bring your own water and supplies to the

park since Bryce Canyon is a much

smaller national park you won't see as

many amenities in the park like water

filling stations I recommend being fully

stocked with water and food supplies

before entering as I mentioned earlier

there are stores in the town of Bryce

Canyon City just outside the entrance

where you can stop and get some basic

supplies number three pack hand

sanitizer and wipes many of the bathroom

facilities do not have running water so

you'll be much happier if you have some

hand sanitizer or wipes with you and

since we are releasing this video during

the pandemic this is even more important

than ever

number four consider using the shuttle

system we visit the park in late

September which was during the

off-season we didn't experience any

issues finding parking at the stops but

we did notice that the parking lots got

more crowded as the day went on if

you're visiting the park during the peak

season we highly recommend utilizing the

National Park shuttle

while we didn't use it we have used a

shuttle and other parks like Zion

National Park and we can save you a lot

of time and frustration trying to find a

parking space on that note number five

start early

the earlier you enter the park the more

likely that you'll experience fewer

crowds this is true for all of the

national parks starting early means less

waiting and more exploring number six

rare layers of clothing and appropriate

Footwear depending on whether you only

visit the viewpoints or actually explore

some of the trade

I highly recommend wearing layers since

Bryce Canyon sits at a higher elevation

the temperature tends to be cooler even

during the summer months the difference

between the daily high and low can be as

much as 50 degrees Fahrenheit also we

found it to be quite windy especially at

the viewpoints wearing layers will help

you stay comfortable especially if

you're hiking on the trails as an

example I wore a wool t-shirt light

jacket and breathable outdoor pants I

also wore my hiking shoes and a wide

brim hat Fiona wore multiple layers and

her leggings along with a hat and hiking

shoes before heading to Bryce Canyon we

visited arches national park which was

significantly warmer bringing multiple

layers music you'll be prepared

especially if you plan to visit multiple

parks on a single trip and avoid wearing

flip-flops on the trails the National

Park Service says that improper footwear

is a cause of most injuries when

visiting the park you'll want to make

sure that your shoes have enough support

and grip when walking down the dirt

trails number seven be prepared for

higher elevations since the park

elevation can reach over 9,000 feet you

may experience less oxygen when hiking

most of Bryce canyons trails start at

the top and work their way downhill this

means that you'll be going uphill at the

very end of your hike

make sure you manage your expectations

and listen to your body when in doubt I

recommend erring on the side of safety

and finally number 8 be kind and

appreciative of the park staff the

National Park Service is an incredible

resource that is maintained by the

hard-working staff would not only

provide guidance on what to see but also

clean the facilities and keep us safe

they are stewards of our National Park

System so make sure you express your

appreciation for their hard work

as many of the national parks start to

open up again the National Park staff is

being asked to support guess despite the

potential dangers show them your support

by respecting the rules and protecting

the environment

have you been to Bryce Canyon National

Park if so what are your recommendations

and tips let us know in the comments

section below

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until next time travel safe travel smart

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