Day 6 - Bryce Canyon Driving TourSeptember 16 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C
We can barely believe it's Day 6! Feels like we've been gone ages and on the other hand, like we just got here.
The Yurt was a perfect place to spend our morning. Nestled among grey-green salt bush and stunted pines, the only unfortunate fact was its proximity to the highway. The landscape is so different to the places we've come from and actually reminds us of Glenlock (some lovely nostalgia). Thankfully, it's much cooler too, but 10C at night!
We awoke with the sun, slowly crawling out of our warm sleeping bags and headed to Bryce! Only a 25 min drive through Dixie National Forest and the Red Canyon which were both stunning!
The town outside of the park is dominated by 'Ruby'-named stores/hotels/restaurants etc. Ruby is the nickname for Reuben someone-or-other, whose family settled in the area in 1919 (not realising the incredible place they had nearby!). When it became a dedicated park, Ruby set up shop to the north, close to where the original homestead existed. Today, it is a remote, classic, western-themed town filled with every adventure or experience you'd wish to do. We wished for nothing but the park, so on we went.
We toured the visitor centre exhibits and learnt about the formation of the land: such an interesting geological story, which was expounded further by a ranger at Sunset Point. Skip the paragraph below if geology isn't your thing! :)
Two of the earth's plates collided here: an oceanic and continental plate smashed together and caused a massive upheaval which raised the deposited layers of rock (and there are so many layers!!) high into the sky ... Ergo, the Colorado Plateau (of which Zion, Bryce Canyon, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Capitol Reef and Grand Canyon etc. are all a part). Here at Bryce is the top layer of the sedimentary rock, where pinks, light reds, oranges and whites are exquisitely layered. Because of the hard cap of dolomite on the top of this 'softer rock', the erosion causes vertical splits which is widened by 'ice wedging', forming pillars called 'hoodoos'. The name hoodoos comes from the Paiute Indian term 'oodoo' meaning spirit, who believed they were people frozen in the rock.
Our lonely planet guidebook suggested we start at the end of the scenic drive and stop at the views on the way back. Stop 1: Rainbow Point (8,924 ft) with far reaching views of the distant Aquarius Plateau that's (another 500ft higher!) and the valley carved out by the Paria River (an offshoot of the Virgin River).
Each scenic stop revealed its own unique wonders. We even began to experience 'wow fatigue' and felt a little overwhelmed with the epic views. Once we hit the Bryce Point lookout, Nomes and Cilla needed a bit of a break. I decided to scout ahead and see if there was a place we could bring our chairs to quietly enjoy the magnificent vista. Walking along the Rim trail I found the perfect place with less foot traffic and a million dollar view.
After chilling for a while, it was definitely supper time. Thanks to a friend's recommendation we ate the most amazing bbq (for the Aussies, north american bbq consists of pulled pork, pulled sweet chicken, beef brisket and ribs etc...no sausages or steak in sight, but still great :))
Then a hustle back up to Bryce to catch the setting sun at Inspiration Point.
We'll be back in 12 hours for sunrise.
- Becky & NomesRead more