Bryce Canyon National Park
Travel has been suspended during the pandemic and it definitely is for me. International travel is a definite no but I have reevaluated my stance on domestic travel. I think the domestic hotels here in America have made changes in order to protect travelers and employees. Some hotels even keep a span of 24 to 48 hours between guests in there rooms along with disinfecting the rooms.
With that said, I put together a road trip through one of my favorite parts of the country through southern Utah. The mighty 5 would be my target, 5 national parks of Utah. The first destination would be the house of hoodoos, Bryce Canyon National Park. I arrived late in the afternoon so I had just enough time for a short hike.
I decided to visit the Mossy Cave. The trailhead parking lot is small and parking along highway 12 is not allowed so I suggest visiting early in the morning or later in the day. The trailhead isn’t inside the park so parking is free just as long as you can find a spot. It’s approximately three miles from the entrance of the park. As I pulled up to the parking lot, two vehicles were leaving in a pact lot.
This trail is short and only has a small elevation making it very family friendly.
It’s a short one mile up and back hike. Mossy Cave wasn’t the draw for me, It’s a cliffside overhang covered in moss and you can’t enter the cave as a fence is present between visitors and the interior.
The main reason for my visit is the small Tropic Ditch Waterfall. After the second bridge, you can access the stream and hike along it to the waterfall. You can relax your feet in the little pool at the bottom or even walk behind it, be careful the rocks are slippery. You can also see the waterfall from above if you continue past that second bridge. There, you will see a sign directing you to Mossy Cave to the left and the waterfall to the right. You can even hike further up along the creek if wanted to as well.
I didn’t have time so I made my way back and I discovered an amazing view at the first bridge. To beautiful not to spend some time at.
The next day I spent some time inside the park. The parks most famous trail is the Queens Garden Trail but it wouldn’t be on my itinerary on this trip. (click this link for my prior Queens Garden Hike) My next day hike would be a grueling seventeen mile hike, I wanted to pace my self.
I reintroduced my self with Bryce Canyon with a walk along the Rim Trail. The view from Sunset Point will leave you breathless.
I wanted to do a trail I hadn’t done before so I chose the Fairyland Loop Trail which is 8.5 miles long so doing the whole loop wasn’t going to happen for me. I chose to do only a portion of the trail.
I hiked to the Tower Bridge listed at a distance of 1.5 miles but I think it’s closer to two miles one way. I don’t think there is a bad view in this park and this trail will not disappoint. It actually exceeded my expectations with some amazing landscapes and hoodoos along the route. The Tower Bridge did fall below expectations as the viewpoint is below it and not a really good vantage point. It’s still a great hike due to the landscape along the way. And, be warned, the hike back up to the rim is elevated and will required a couple of stops to catch your breath.
Bryce Canyon was a great start to my road trip with many stops to go. This park is so unique, it would definitely be a prime location for a return visit.