Day 3 – Kanab and Bryce Canyon

The next morning, we got up early to prepare for our day in Bryce Canyon. On our way out, we spotted a little museum that contained the sets from many old western films that were shot in the area. We just had to check it out.

All of the building had been relocated to the site of the museum and reconstructed beautifully.

We left the museum and arrived at Bryce Canyon after about an hour and a half of driving. My dad and I were so excited to hike here, and were eager to climb all the way to the bottom and hike some trails from the inside of the canyon. Luckily for me, he had brought two trekking poles, so we each took one and I was able to put my weight on it instead of on my bad knee. Bryce Canyon also uses a shuttle system, so we hopped on and took it to the farthest point, Bryce Point, and headed down amongst the hoodoos.

This place was full of these strange twisted trees

It’s unbelievable how all of these formations were created. Millions of years ago, all of that land used to be ocean. Then the sea receded and the land crunched together to create jagged moutains and mesas. When ice and snow accumulate around the rocks in the winter and thaw in the summer, the ice melt takes away bits and pieces of the rock, creating those spires called Hoodoos. As we saw many of these hoodoos, my dad would remark what they looked like to him, and I had to laugh because I was bothered that I completely saw the same crazy things. Great minds think alike, I guess.

We thought that hoodoo in the middle looked like Snoopy

The trail we took to the bottom was called the “Peek-a-boo” trail, and we quickly surmised that it was so named because every time we turned a corner, we saw an entirely new and incredible view.

We kept noticing as we were walking that there were huge boulders precariously perched over our heads. Even worse was the rubble around the trail where rocks had tumbled before! We kept joking that the road runner would come topple those boulders onto us.

Wile E Coyote

We decided to stop at one particular overlook (though really the entire trail was an overlook) and have a bit of lunch. It was FREEZING in the morning when we started our hike, but thankfully the wind had begun to die down and the sun was warm.

We finally made it to the bottom where we encountered a tour group on horseback and followed the trail as it meandered through the forest.

The loop we were on eventually joined up with the Navaho Loop trail. We took the middle path (of three) to make our ascent and view the Two Bridges formation along the way.

The Two Bridges

We ascended via switchbacks all the way back up to the ridge, where we took one last look from the edge.

We followed along the ridge, passing sunset and sunrise points along the way, finally back to the Welcome Center where my Mom and Grandma would be waiting.

We happily left Bryce Canyon after fulfilling our desire to get in a nice long hike, and headed back to Kanab. Later that night, we headed up the road toward the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary to view the stars, and boy we were not disappointed.

Day 4 – The Grand Canyon National Park


Day 2 – Zion National Park

After a restless night of sleep adjusting to the jet lag and new environment, we got up the next morning and headed for Zion National Park.

Not understanding how the shuttle system worked, we ended up driving almost all the way through the park before turning back to park and take the shuttle to the various hikes and sightseeing opportunities. We saw some beautiful sights along the way though!

(Photo courtesy of my Grandma)

My father and I wanted to do some more serious hiking, while my mother and grandmother preferred to spend more time relaxing and taking in the sights, so we split up after taking the shuttle to Weeping Rock trailhead. The path was paved, and after a short easy climb we reached the top, where there were hanging plants and water filtering through the cracks in the rock.

We stopped beneath a walkway to investigate a small creek, then set off to our next destination.

We were a bit disappointed because we really wanted to do some incredible hikes, in particular Angel’s Landing, but we just didn’t have enough time before the shuttles stopped running for the day. So instead, we decided to do the Emerald Pools loop. The trail was very flat and sandy, and very easy to follow.

Despite how simple the trail was, my knee was already starting to bother me. It’s all the more frustrating because I walk a lot at home, I exercise a lot with squats and lunges and knee intensive moves, but GOD FOBID I walk on a trail. A trail, mind you, that VERY out of shape people are walking on in flip-flops. Despite the persistent pain, I was determined to do all of the hikes that we had planned for this trip. So I hobbled my way along the Emerald pools trail until we got to THE emerald pools, which were honestly a bit lackluster, but cool all the same.

We made our way back to the Zion Lodge, where my mother and grandmother were perusing a gift shop and some friendly deer were hanging out on the lawn.

At this point we really didn’t have time to do any more trails before the shuttles stopped running (unbeknownst to us, we were all an hour behind because we didn’t realize we crossed a time zone on the way from Vegas! So we were REALLY close to the shuttles stopping!). So we hopped on the shuttle back to the car, and made our way out of the park.

We made our way out of the park just as the sun was beginning to set and drove the 45 minutes to our hotel in Kanab. I was getting so excited because I could tell that the stars out there would be AMAZING. The sky in UT and AZ is just enormous; you can see for hundreds of miles in every direction.

Day 3 – Kanab UT and Bryce Canyon National Park