Earlier this year my adventure buddy, Jenna, and I planned a trip to Utah to see Bryce Canyon and Zion, two bucket list National Parks.
The Rim Trail
After driving 4 hours from Vegas, Jenna and I grabbed water and a snack and went directly into the park to hike the Rim Trail of Bryce Canyon. We parked with ease and walked up to Sunrise Point, and were immediately blown away by the incredible view. As soon as you step up to the rim of Bryce Canyon, you have a panoramic view of all the HooDoos (rock formations) rising up from the ground. It feels like you’ve landed on another planet. You can walk the Rim Trail for over 2 miles to Inspiration Point, it’s mostly flat and worth the gorgeous views all along the way. The Park has a wonderful shuttle system so at any point you can take the shuttle back to the start.
Best Western Ruby’s Inn
Ruby's Inn is the hub of Bryce Canyon City. It’s a massive hotel and has camping, restaurants, gift shops, a western show, and a rodeo all within walking distance of each other. It’s very easy to get into the park from this hotel. The rooms are comfortable, and the food is descent. When you walk into the lobby it feels like a large cozy cabin, and the rooms have the same cabin-like cozy vibe. No major frills, but comfy beds and spacious with all the necessities.
Western dinner show at Ebenizers Barn & Grill
There isn’t much to do in the evenings in Bryce Canyon City, so we got tickets for the western show at Ebenizer’s across the street from our hotel. It's family style dining, with a barbecue buffet complete with all the fixins'. The food was really delicious, and they have a bar serving HooDoo Kölsch Style Ale from Uinta Brewing Company. I recommended giving that a try since you're in HooDoo territory. The show is jam packed with cheesy jokes in between each western song, but the band itself are incredibly talented musicians. They harmonize perfectly, have amazing voices, and play their instruments flawlessly. If you can handle the cheesiness, I highly recommend going to see this show.
Off-roading in dixie national forest
Jenna and I got up on day two of our trip hoping to find some ATV rentals. Most companies in Bryce only do guided tours, but we prefer to go at our own pace. After some poking around, we drove to Bryce Wildlife Adventure, where they'd rent us ATVs without a guide. There is also natural history museum here to explore. We got a quick briefing from the owner and then hit the trails on a 33 mile path through Dixie National Forest. We rode swiftly through yellow flowered meadows into the backcountry. We came across an entire herd of antelope that galloped right across our path! Definitely a highlight of the trip! We continue speeding on the dirt trails to the final lookout over red sands and forest green trees, and finally came upon a large lake. After a solid 3 hours of exploration, we zoomed back to the to return the quads and head out on another hike.
Location: UT-12, Bryce, UT 84764
Queen's garden to Navajo loop trail
Queen's Garden to Navajo Loop Trail is in my top 3 hikes I've ever experienced. It's no surprise since it was voted top 10 hikes by National Geographic. Jenna and I walked down into the canyon, descending into a maze of HooDoos that spike up from the ground with layers of red and white. We zigged and zagged down the path through carved out archways, taking in the odd shapes and sizes. Once we got to the bottom it felt more like a forest, but then as we continued onto the Navajo Loop Trail and ascended we came upon a walled in bright Sienna colored slot canyon, dark and cold from lack of light, but utterly mesmerizing. When you exit the slot canyon there are red rock switchbacks up to the rim. The total trip is about 3.5 miles. Give yourself plenty of time to take photos, and also because of the elevation it'll tale a bit more time to catch your breath.