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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

Driving the Rim of Bryce Canyon

I was ready to kick back and relax after a long day of driving to Bryce Canyon National Park. Sure, it was a beautiful drive and I had an absolute blast doing it, but I was looking forward to a relaxing night at the hotel reading a book or watching a movie as I looked forward to exploring a bit of the canyon the next morning. So, with that said, imagine my surprise when one of the park rangers told me that I could see the park in its entirety in about three hours.


Yep, that’s three hours my friends.


I arrived late enough where there was no longer a ranger at the gate, so I went into the gift shop to get a map and see what my best options would be for the rest of the day as I wanted to get a bit of an overview on the place. The ranger checked her watch, which said 4:30pm, and said that as sunset was just over three hours away I had a good chance at seeing the whole park yet that night.


I was surprised by this and asked about the possibility of a hike, thinking that’d take about three hours on its own, but she shook her head no and said that’d be impossible unless I had snowshoes along. All of the trails, as this was still relatively in the winter season, were covered in at least three feet of snow. There was simply no way I could do any hike on this visit, and I’d just have to settle for admiring the park from the various observation points along the one road that runs the length of the park; with 15 minute stops at each of the points, and time for driving included, this would take approximately three hours.


Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed in this. I was hoping to be able to go for a hike among the amazing hoodoos, but it was just something that would have to wait for another time. Still though, I wasn’t going to rush through the place and see one of the best national parks in the country, part of the Grand Circle of parks, in a simple three hours. I wanted to enjoy the view and take in a few breaths of fresh air that would amount to a bit more than 15 minutes per stop.


Well, sadly enough, I ended up doing it in about three hours, just as Ranger Jan had said. But, despite having seen the park in that time on the night I arrived, I wanted to get up early the next morning and see the sun rise on the hoodoos at one of the famous observation points that offers such specatcular views as the sun sheds its first rays on the park. For those of you that know me though, you know that this didn’t happen. I’m a night owl and have the worst time waking up early. I’m thankful though for being able to roll out of bed at about 8am and make it the short distance from my hotel, Ruby’s Inn, on into the park and to the Bryce Overlook – one of the most amazing spots in the park.


My return visit the next morning was truly blessed as I had this great vantage point all to myself for a good chunk of time. It must’ve been 15 minutes until someone else came tromping down the snow-covered trail to snap a few photos and break the silence that I was truly enjoying. It was really a special moment as I snapped a few photos and then just set the camera back in my bag and marveled at such a special view.


And it really is quite special. Out of the 18 national parks I’ve been to in the past year, 15 actually when I arrived at Bryce, I can’t recall such an amazing view before. I was really rendered speechless the first time I laid eyes on it; I knew full well that there was no choice but for me to come back that next morning to see the hoodoos one last time before I continued on to Las Vegas later in the day. It was really quite fantastic and something that I’ll never forget – enjoying the hoodoos on my own – as I continue on and see more of this great world as this is really a very special place.


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  1. The Most Beautiful Road Trip | Jason's Travels - August 2, 2013

    […] drive through Capitol Reef National Park from Utah’s Natural Bridges National Monument to Bryce Canyon and on to Zion National Park is one of the most beautiful road trips int he […]

  2. Bryce Canyon National Park | MowryJournal.com - September 23, 2013

    […] Jason’s Travels: Driving The Rim Of Bryce Canyon […]

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