We rolled into Tropic, UT, our stopping point before Bryce, where the coziest little log cabin sat next to several like it. We checked in, and with the cold front having arrived, I was tempted to extend the stay here simply for the coziness of the situation. Instead, I stared at the ceiling half the night and listened to the wind whip around us as seems appropriate for a tiny UT town.
Lack of sleep notwithstanding, we filled our tanks and rolled towards Bryce just after the daylight appeared. The road to Bryce is nothing but uphill, and before we knew it, we were back at 8K elevation…so why not hike? If you haven’t been to Bryce, I won’t spoil it too much. Think a color orange that varies between a creamsicle and a terracotta pot, then shape it in rounded, tall bizarre spires, and surround yourself with them. There is no comparison. Go hike between sunset and sunrise point, maybe adding a detour as we did, and just take it in. Abso-frickin-like nothing you’ve seen before. So let’s move on….
Two plus hours from Bryce and we’re in Zion, aka a whole new world. The changing Utah landscapes are no joke, and I’m not sure how to describe how quickly the landscape view changes. Entering Zion territory, we’re surrounded by both rounded and squares, both white and orange imposing “rocks,” each of which talks of millions of years, while I can only speak for 30-something. Bryce had the strange, but Zion has the stunning hikes and landscape photography. We moved quick and reserved our gear to hike “the narrows,” an experience I would spare my own babbling and only encourage you to do, weather permitting. Gray skies forced us out early, but dominoed us to hiking “The Watchman Trail,” which proved to be way more than advertised in both climb and show-stopping views. Note: Zion is crazy. People go there. Many of them. Don’t cancel your trip b/c of it, just plan accordingly.
I kept that brief, because the parks speak for themselves. Walk through the weird of Bryce, soak in the everything of Zion. Until next time…