I forgot to mention we spent Monday afternoon at the nearby Red Canyon district of the Dixie National Forest. We expected some second rate trails but were blown away by the castle wall and buckhorn trails. This area doesn’t get a lot of hiker attention because of nearby Bryce but is well worth it. Some tough up and down made this four mile trek challenging and rewarding.
We made good time getting to Zion, and after all the warnings of crowds we were surprised with a painless parking and tour bus experience. I think late April might be a sweet spot for these parks — after spring break but before May crowds.
Today we hiked all the Emerald Pools plus Grotto trail, Hidden Canyon plus Weeping Wall, and finally the river walk out to the narrows. Tomorrow we will day hike the east rim trail plus Observation Point, about 15 miles total. We are getting some serious mileage on our feet this trip.
We woke up this morning to snow on the ground and 24 deg F temperatures at 6:15am. Didn’t stop us from enjoying a clear sunrise at Sunrise Point. Within five minutes of our return to camp the snow started falling hard and the skies locked up in grey.
We are now driving to our final Utah park stop: Zion.
One of a few nice shots I got today during my first ever visit to Bryce Canyon National Park. Weather is turning cold and windy but we had some clearish skies for our figure 8 loop down through the amphitheatre.
We are camping here and enjoying our first campfire of the trip. Seems like the winds have been too high or we’ve been in no-burn zones most of the time.
Bryce is beautiful beyond description but I must say I like the parks and monuments with more back country and fewer tour busses a bit more.