Solo Road Trip: Part IV – Bryce National Park

In case you missed previous posts:

Before I begin…

If you’re ever planning on taking a road or camping trip where you’ll be sleeping in a tent or vehicle that isn’t conditioned and the weather could get below 50, do yourself a favor and buy an arctic sleeping bag.

The last post ended with my arrival in Cedar City, Utah to spend the night. Much like most of the other nights, I spent this night sleeping in my Jeep. However, unlike other nights, the low this night was 19 degrees. 19 degrees. I wouldn’t suggest anyone try this unless properly equipped, which I was not. I woke up shivering around 6 am and I couldn’t start the Jeep fast enough.  My thinking was that the mattress below me would insulate me from the cold below and my blankets would from above and my body heat would keep my Jeep at least a little warm. I was a little too optimistic for my own good. You live and learn though.

Day 5:

So after warming up I planned my route to Bryce National Park, my next stop. I had considered skipping Bryce National Park for more time in Zion, but someone I talked to in Moab said that I would be doing myself a disservice if I skipped Bryce. I left around 8:30, it was a 90 mile, hour and a half long drive. I arrived at Bryce National Park around 10 am and by that time the temperature had finally climbed back into the 30’s. At Bryce National Park you start at the bottom of the park, around 7600′ and work your way to the top. Much like the other park, there was one main road that ran through the park, with other roads branching off with pull offs. There were also several campgrounds at Bryce and a shuttle that runs from the entrance to each of the pull off areas, but I chose to drive myself. The rock formations at Bryce were one of a kind. hundreds of rock shaped spires of many different heights ranging from tens of feet to hundreds. The colors at Bryce was vibrant in the sun, the oranges and reds seemed to explode from the rock.

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At the first stop there were multiple trails that led you down into the canyon, down by the through the rock spires and down into the trees. The views from down there were spectacular. The contrast of the evergreens against the orange red rocks made a beautiful sight. I made some friends with two retired couples from Washington State, with one couple having graduated from Washington University and the others having graduated from Washington State they had a bit of a rivalry going, but the conversation was interesting and we all discussed life and travel experiences. I had the least to contribute, but it was good conversation nonetheless.

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View from inside of the canyon

As you work your way up the park the view don’t change too much. I would say the views down toward the entrance of the park are some of the greatest just because the landscape there is most interesting. As you climb higher you lose some of the depth, although you can see more of the area from higher up. The highest point in the park is Rainbow Point with an elevation of 9,115′. There are multiple trails to explore here with wildlife all over. The view from the top was awe inspiring.

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View from Rainbow Point looking back toward the start of the park

After walking some trails and photographing some wildlife I was on my way out of the park and on my way to Zion.

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Next post: Solo Road Trip: Part V – Zion National Park

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