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Bryce Canyon National Park

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Trip List by Travel2Eat

Zion and Bryce in January

30 Jul 2006  lover of all things travel
4.5 of 5 stars based on 10 votes

A travelogue of our brief 3-day trip in January 2006. Blue skies (with cool temperatures in Zion and biting COLD in Bryce) coupled with thin crowds, wonderful sunshine, and glorious scenery made for a memorable trip.

  • 1. Quality Inn At Zion Park
    Quality Inn at Zion Park, Springdale, Utah
    CHECK RATES!
    Avg price: $144

    A convenient motel, located close to the park entrance. Our room was large and spotlessly clean, and the rate included an expanded continental breakfast. We spent two nights here, and would stay here again.

  • 2. ---------- Day 1 - Zion National Park ----------
    http://www.nps.gov/zion/index.htm

    See the National Park website link above for more information .

  • 3. Zion National Park
    Zion National Park, Utah

    A beautiful park. Because our visit was in January, we enjoyed the thin crowds, as well as the ability to self-drive the areas that are open only to the shuttles in the summer.

  • 4. Court of the Patriarchs
    Court of the Patriarchs, Zion National Park, Utah

    View of wonderful rugged peaks.

  • 5. Emerald Pools
    Emerald Pools, Zion National Park, Utah

    We hiked to all three of the pools. Nice view from the second pool, and a pleasant nice hike overall. Quiet. Enjoy.

  • 6. Riverside Walk
    Riverside Walk, Zion National Park, Utah

    Because it was January, we stayed well away from the cold water. But this was a pleasant walk nonetheless, and shouldn't be missed. If it's summer, we would borrow a walking stick and head on up into The Narrows.

  • 7. Temple of Sinawava Trail
    Temple of Sinawava Trail, Zion National Park, Utah

    Riverside Walk departs from the Temple of Sinawava. The Temple of Sinawava Trail is apparently another name for Riverside Walk.

  • 8. Weeping Rock Trail
    Weeping Rock Trail, Zion National Park, Utah

    Be sure to read the signs describing the Weeping Rock, and why (and how) it "weeps" - very interesting.

  • 9. ---------- Day 2 - Zion and Bryce National Parks ----------

  • 10. Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel
    Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel, Zion National Park, Utah

    We had wondered what those arched-shaped holes in the side of the mountain that we had seen the previous day were - and discovered when driving through the tunnel that they are ventilation windows. We were struck by the difference in landscape and terrain from one side of the tunnel to the other.

  • 11. Zion-Mt Carmel Highway
    Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway, Zion National Park, Utah

    The tunnel, of course, leads to/from the Highway. Beautiful scenery.

  • 12. Canyon Overlook Trail
    Canyon Overlook Trail, Zion National Park, Utah

    This was an awesome view, with an interesting, twistiy trail to the overlook. Park just after exiting the tunnel - the trailhead is very close to the tunnel exit. If the parking area just after the tunnel is full there is another parking area just up the hill. Enjoy the view!

  • 13. Bryce Canyon National Park
    Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

    Hoodoos, hoodoos everywhere! This is such a beautiful park - so colorful, with so many opportunities for photos. Our time was short, and it was SOOooooo very cold and windy, that we only hiked the Navajo Trail.

  • 14. Farview Point
    http://www.nps.gov/brca/tour_farview.html

    Our first stop on a drive out to Rainbow Point. Because snow was forecasted, there was some risk that this section of the road would close overnight, so we fortunately decided to do this portion of the park first. It was a good choice, as it snowed throughout the afternoon, and the road did close.

  • 15. Natural Bridge
    http://www.nps.gov/brca/tour_natural.html

    One of seven natural arches in Bryce Canyon National Park.

  • 16. Aqua Canyon
    http://www.nps.gov/brca/tour_agua.html

    Another gorgeous overlook. No hikes today, other than to the overlooks, as it was 19 degrees and windy windy windy.

  • 17. Ponderosa Point
    http://www.nps.gov/brca/tour_ponderosa.html

    A begging raven added to the photography opportunities here as the sun began to set.

  • 18. Rainbow Point
    Rainbow Point, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

    The end of the road, it was getting dark and snow was falling, so our visit here was short. But it is worth the drive.

  • 19. Sunset Point
    Sunset Point, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

    Sunset Point was the trailhead for Navaho Trail. It is also a spectacular overlook in it's own right.

  • 20. Best Western Ruby's Inn
    BEST WESTERN PLUS Ruby's Inn, Bryce Canyon City, Utah
    CHECK RATES!
    Avg price: $105

    Location is this property's big advantage. It's the closest property to the Bryce entry gate. Our room in one of the two-story buildings behind the Main Lodge was basic motel fare, with rather thin walls and becoming a bit threadbare. But good enough for sleeping, and the rate was right. We shopped for cheese and bread at the Inn's General Store, and feasted on our remaining wine (purchased at a shop in Springdale), carrots, and other picnic fare left from our trip.

  • 21. ---------- Day 3 - Bryce Canyon National Park ----------
    http://www.nps.gov/brca/virtual_tour.html

    The above link to the "Virtual Tour" on the NPS website give nice visuals of the park and the locations of various highlights.

  • 22. Navajo Trail
    Navajo Trail, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

    This was a fantastic trail - down amidst the hoodoos, with the wonderful winter light - just breathtaking. Many wonderful photo opportunities. It had snowed the day before, so there was snow in some areas, but the trail was clear - just a bit of ice here and there. We took a leisurely pace, with plenty of time for photos, and spent just over 1.5 hours completing the full loop of this trail.

    It was still very cold, so we used those inexpensive self-activating handwarmers - one for each hand. What a difference they made! They are definitely recommended for hiking in cold temperatures.

  • 23. Wall Street
    Wall Street, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

    A formation on the top segment of Navao Trail.

  • 24. Holiday Inn Express Cedar City
    Holiday Inn Express Cedar City, Cedar City, Utah
    CHECK RATES!
    Avg price: $108

    We used our Priority Club points to stay in a suite at this fairly new HI Express on our last night before flying home from LAS. The room was clean, and the breakfast was appreciated, although the motel is located in an un-exciting area. The extra space of the 2-room suite came in handy for repacking all of our bags in preparation for our flight home the next day (we had been to a 1-week tradeshow prior to our short vacation). I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again.

  • 25. Home Again, Home Again.....

    A drive back to LAS (wow there's a lot of smog hanging over LV - so visible when approaching from the north) and an uneventful flight home..... and now, time to plan for the next adventure.