Hiking in Bryce Canyon

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After yesterday’s strenuous hike to Angel’s Landing, we slept like babies. Unlike the previous few days, I was not the first to wake. In fact, I had a difficult time opening my eyes this morning, but once we got going, my energy returned.

Our hotel, Cliffrose Lodge, is perfectly situated next to the entrance of Zion Canyon National Park. After checking out, we drove into the park to complete one more hike, Canyon Overlook.

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This was a much easier hike than Angel’s Landing, and shorter (1.1 miles). I did this hike in my sport sandals. The name of this hike is fitting as the views from the top are incredible. I have a feeling I will run out of descriptive words for the sweeping views/landscape that surround me.

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As we were walking back to our car, I was joking about how I didn’t believe there were long-horned sheep in the area because I hadn’t seen any, and at immediately that same moment, we spot a group of them! So far, we have come across squirrels, chipmunks, lizards, hummingbirds, wild turkey, deer, and now the long-horned sheep.

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I got a kick out of watching them standing there, staring back at me, slowly chewing. They seemed so aloof, as if they were casually chewing tobacco and not really giving a crap about you.

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We continued to drive through and out of Zion as we headed towards Bryce National Park. The drive is approximately 2.5 hours, but it doesn’t feel that long because of the amazing scenery, and regular photo stops. Just before arriving in Bryce, we drove through Red Rock Park. It was slightly overcast, but when the sun peaked through, unbelievable!

We pulled the car over and decided to take some photos of the fascinating rock formations. The terrain here included some loose gravel. In the photo below, hubs was coaxing me up and telling me the easiest way to get up the slope was to run. I made it.

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At the top was a narrow ledge with open views. The park is aptly named with the glowing red rocks. The vast amount of trees also made the red rocks stand out further. It’s amazing how plant life can adapt and survive in the desert.

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These fallen trees made me feel so sad, though the tree on the right looks like it may actually still be surviving.

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It was the dinner hour when we pulled in to our hotel in Bryce. It’s a Best Western and likely catering to the older population because the bathrooms have many handles installed.

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The first thing I actually noticed was the damp smell. Turns out the carpet was damp, hopefully from a steam clean and not some type of flooding. We decided to drive into the national park before dinner. Right before leaving our room, we cranked the AC in hopes that it would dry the carpet (it didn’t). At Bryce Canyon National Park there was a short 1.8 mile hike dubbed Sunset Point, but hubs later confessed that it was harder on the lungs/heart than Angel’s Landing, and it was definitely colder. Both of these factors can be explained by the altitude, putting Bryce at 8,000 feet above sea level. The needle-like formations here are jaw dropping. When the light hits at just the right angle, it’s a photographer’s dream.

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The roots of this adaptable tree clearly show some sand erosion over time.

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I’ve seen numerous blue birds in the parks. They are so small, but hard to miss as they dart around looking for shelter in trees and bushes.

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The hiking today helped to work up an appetite. Dining options are seriously limited in this area. We ended up at Ruby’s restaurant. They basically own this tiny town. We each ordered the prime rib, which was supposed to be 14 oz, but I’m sure it was much more. The entire plate was American sized.

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I managed to finish all my vegetables, most of my baked potato, and maybe just over half of my prime rib. Hubs ate EVERYTHING! And he scarfed down our shared dessert – five fruit pie.

We are now researching our hiking options for tomorrow, but it looks like we may face some rain showers.

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