Thursday, April 9, 2009

Driving Bryce Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

A nice way to explore Bryce Canyon National Park is to drive the 18-mile road (one-way) and stop at some (or all) of the scenic viewpoints. We spent a couple hours doing just that, and enjoyed the many views – most of which are accessible.

After visiting the Visitor’s Center and enjoying their displays – particularly the 3D perspective of southern Utah, which shows all the Utah National Parks and their elevations, we meandered first to Sunrise Point and then Sunset Point, which, by the way, are nicely connected via a ½ mile rim trail, in case you want to get out of your car and walk a bit (and it is wheelchair accessible). Both Sunrise and Sunset offer vast views of the Amphitheatre (the main canyon of Bryce), specifically Queens Garden. The next big road takes you to two scenic views ~ Inspiration Point and Bryce Point ~ all offering even grander views of the Amphitheatre.

Continuing on the main drive, there are many more viewpoints with such names as Paria View, Swamp Canyon, Farview Point, Natural Bridge (yep, there is an actual natural bridge to be seen), Agua Canyon and several others. All these stops offer panorama of unique and different hoodoo formations and colors.

Rainbow and Yovimpa points mark the end of the road and provide expansive views of southern Utah. You can also see the entire ridge that makes up Bryce Canyon.

In general, you’ll notice as you drive the northern viewpoints offer more hoodoo clusters, and the more southern viewpoints offer the more expansive views. Since all of the overlooks are on the east side of the road, if you want to just drive it and see everything, a good approach would be to drive to the very end (Rainbow Point) and stop as you drive out of the park (north).

Big tip ~ restroom locations: Visitor’s Center Sunset Point, Farview Point and Rainbow Point.

Of course, the best way to see Bryce Canyon is to hike………….that's tomorrow's post....stay tuned.............

1 comment:

Jerry and Suzy said...

Bryce Canyon is one of the true natural wonders of the entire world, and everyone should take advantage of at least the driving tour. We did that a few years back and came home with good memories, and good photos.
Again I have to marvel at the quality of your pictures -- they are (1) taken with an artist's eye, and (2) they are astoundingly clear and sharp, even to the horizon.
Thanks again for sharing!

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