The Fairytale National Park

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After our longer than planned stay at Zion National Park due to technical issues, we had to revisit our upcoming schedule and make some tweaks. Our next planned stop was Bryce Canyon National Park, another place I tried to get to previously without success. The weather in Bryce was looking sketchy: windy, rainy with a chance of snow showers in higher altitudes. But Hector was steadfast, he insisted on stopping there, if only briefly, because he really wanted me to see the park. And once there, I realized why he was so insistent, I will always remember this place as the fairytale national park.Bryce-2

Bryce-3The drive from Zion to Bryce was uneventful. Yay! Hector wanted full hookup and he chose a park that he had stayed at on a previous visit which also happened to be the absolute closest to the park. Check out my review of Ruby’s Inn RV Park and Campground here.

Bryce-12Bryce-4Bryce Canyon National Park was established in 1928 and protects 35,835 acres. Technically, it is not a canyon but a series of amphitheaters containing the park’s most distinctive features, the hoodoos. These colorful rock pinnacles were formed by frost weathering and stream erosion.

Bryce-21Bryce-40The colors of the hoodoos change depending on the light. They have varying shades of pink, peach, red and orange with specks of white and gray, and I am quite sure other colors appear at times. And Bryce National Park has the largest collection of hoodoos in the world.

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They reminded me of gigantic wedding cakes, castles, majestic people with long, flowing capes, gnomes and other fairytale characters. I found them enchanting.

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Bryce-9Bryce-19Bryce-18Bryce-50Bryce-11Bryce-8We took one of our customary sunset drives on the 18-mile scenic highway. There are thirteen viewpoints along this drive and we stopped at most of them, ending up at, of course, Sunset Point.  It is one of the best views of a huge concentration of hoodoos.

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Bryce-25We always try to find places where you can walk dogs in the National Parks, not an easy feat. At this park, as with all others, dogs are allowed in developed areas such as campgrounds and parking lots, but they are also allowed on the paved trail between Sunset and Sunrise Points. They even supply doggie bags. So I walked along on part of the trail with Angel while Hector took photos.Bryce-23

We were in luck; the windy, rainy, snowy weather was holding off! So the next morning we went on one of our customary sunrise outings (this time without falling down the stairs). Thankfully, it was a short drive to Sunrise Point. We did not take Angel along, she is a sleepy girl and doesn’t wake up until about 8:30 so we had a little time. And it was a lovely sunrise.Bryce-31Bryce-35Bryce-37Bryce-38Bryce-55

Bryce-56Bryce-57We walked along the rim to a couple of different spots and partially down one trail. The “prime” sunrise spot was crowded with a tour bus full of people, so we headed there after sunrise when most were gone.Bryce-54

Bryce-53Bryce-52Hector’s ankle had recovered from our short hike in Zion so we started down the Queen’s Garden Trail. We did not hike all the way down since we needed to get back to Angel for her morning walk, but it was magical.Bryce-42

Bryce-41Bryce-51Bryce-45As the day progressed, it was looking as if the bad weather was coming after all, so we left the next day. Which was fine, because Hector’s ankle needed a rest again.

Bryce-27This fairytale park (my 38th) truly captivated me and we will be back!

~ BrendaBryce-43

 

 

27 thoughts on “The Fairytale National Park

  1. What great timing to put out this post! We arrived at Bryce today and headed immediately out to hike the Fairyland’s Trail ( one we missed last time since it was closed for mud) which is tough a 8 miles. Our weather cleared enough this afternoon for some great photos. We are looking at three days of rain so I didn’t want to miss the hike again this year. We even talked about you two and how awesome Hector’s photos were going to be. I even said to John we need a wide angle lense like Hector would have for ful canyon shots. You got so many of the close up full canyon photos I wanted. Spectacular photos, Hector:) So glad you got to share this special place with Brenda:) I can hear the excitement in your narrative, Brenda:) Thanks for sharing the sunrise photos, we won’t be catching that:)

    • It’s so funny that when I named it the Fairytale Park I didn’t know that there was a Fairyland Trail. Wide angle lenses are great for the West for sure. We only spent one night there but made the best of it. We are not early morning people, but there is nothing quite like morning light.

  2. Hector – why do your pictures look so much better than my memories? Awesome post!! We were there for the 2012 solar eclipse it was magical then, perhaps because of our focus. We did most of what you did, but you do it so much better! Thanks for sharing …

  3. I love this place and Hector’s sunrise photos are spectacular. We lucked out with a few days in a row of good weather and got in some hiking. I’m already looking forward to a return visit when it’s a tad warmer.

    • I loved it too, Ingrid. But we were only there for one night (one sunset and one sunrise) and definitely need to go back. Are you planning to go to Colorado this summer?

  4. Magical! This is just right in time for our visit in a few days and your photos are spectacular. But we may be unlucky as the forecast is rain when we arrive there 🙁
    Im going to be ambitious get up one early morning to catch the magic at sunrise.

  5. I always think of Bryce as a fairyland, too. 🙂 So glad you had decent weather (even though you looked cold!). Your sunrise photos are especially beautiful.

    • I get cold easily – my Caribbean/Miami blood. But it was pretty cold at sunrise – warmed up later. It was really beautiful!

  6. Loved Bryce and I was also hijacked into an early crack of dawn photoshoot.
    Next time I will stay with Angel. Your pictures show how wonderful the sights are! Thanks.

    • lol, I can’t say I was hijacked, I actually volunteer and sometimes am the instigator for sunrise. It’s such pretty light. Angel has done some sunrise stints as well, she is a trooper.

  7. We had a delightful time at Bryce a few years ago but would love to go back. I would love to get out at sunrise and see some of the hoodoos with the lighting that you captured Hector. It truly is a magical park.

  8. Happy New Year, Hector and Brenda! So long since I have read your blog. However, we finally got hi-speed today so there’s no stopping me now, haha. Wow, it looks like you have been to some fabulous places! Are you staying in NM for the winter? If you ever get back to the Maritimes we have the perfect place to park Island Girl! Finished renovating our cottage near River John last March and we are living here full-time. Looking forward to retiring this June 😃. All the best, Beth and Dave.

    • Hi, Beth! So nice to hear from you. We have actually moved to New Mexico and are about to post an update. We so loved the Maritimes and would love to return. We will be selling Island Girl and will likely buy a smaller RV to “part-time” in sometime later. Great news about your cottage and we hope to see you there sometime. How is Betty? You are welcome anytime at our home near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Take care, Brenda and Hector

      • Oh my gosh! I was wondering if the “walk about” had ended…and now I see you two have bought a sweet house. I have never been to an adobe style home so that would be a fun visit. Please, please…if you ever return to the Maritimes please connect with us and come for a stay. Tell Hector that every time I go to Pictou I think of him and his Ship Hector hat. Betty is fine but now we have a cute bunkie so I might sell her. Glad to hear Angel is feeling better on her natural medicine regime. Hugs from the bluffs on the Northumberland Strait, Beth & Dave

        • The best time of year here is spring (after March when we have high winds) and fall if you plan a visit. We would love to go back to the Maritimes, we always tell everyone that it was one of our favorite stops on the walkabout. That is so funny about Pictou, maybe next time we can catch the Hector Festival! Hugs to you as well.
          Brenda

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