Why the Bryce Canyon was my favorite stop of our US roadtrip

Roadtripping usually means one highlight after another, especially when touring the South-West of the USA. You go from one national park to another, continuously stunned by nature’s wonders. While it may all be the same phenomenon that created it, it’s also all so different.

Of course the most asked question after I had arrived home was the usual one “What was the most beautiful part of your trip?”. And that was seriously such a hard question. Not only because we had had a mix of cities and nature, but also because we had just seen so much.

But if I had to choose one; I’d be the Bryce Canyon National Park. And here are the reasons why.

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1. It left me speechless

After only one glance at this canyon – which isn’t actually a canyon, but a collection of amphitheaters-, I was already sold. The beautiful red/orange color is most prominent in this natural park and I loved it. Especially when the sun hits the hoodoos. It’s also a very diverse and capricious canyon. Everywhere you look, you see different shapes and formations and it’s just gorgeous.

2. The hikes were the best

We went on two hikes while visiting the Bryce Canyon National Park. The Queen’s Garden trail and the Navajo Loop trail. We started with the Queen’s Garden Trail, which is about a 1.6 mile roundtrip. This trail leads you through the canyon to the rock that seen from a certain angle sort of looks like the Queen of England. The end point definitely isn’t the highlight of this hike. The views on the way over are the best as you’re practically surrounded by the hoodoos.

The second hike was the Navajo Loop Trail, which is 1.3 miles roundtrip. Sadly the last part of the loop was closed for the season so we had to turn back anyway instead of finishing the loop. The steps on the trail can be very slippery in winter when it’s icy, so they always close that part until around the end of May. Nonetheless, it’s also a very beautiful hike through the greener part of the canyon that you can’t miss whenever visiting this national park. 

For both hikes you need decent footwear and know that there are quite a few steep climbs. But if I can do it, I’m sure almost everyone with a little condition can do it.

3. Beautiful, diverse viewpoints

One thing that struck me most when seeing viewpoints of the Grand Canyon (more to come on that soon) was that from each viewpoint, you still had somewhat the same views of the canyon. In the Bryce Canyon, it was a lot more diverse each time. The closer you are to the amphitheater, the more the hoodoos are prominent in the landscape, but on the viewpoints futher away, there are a little less hoodoos, but the combination with more green makes it equally beautiful.

4. Wildlife spotted!

Bryce Canyon National Park is the park where we stumbled across the most animals. There are of course the very prominent squirrels, but we also saw a few deers and prairie dogs. The last one might have been from afar, but it’s so awesome to see these animals in the wild.

Of course it’s important to remember not to feed the wildlife. There is a fine of $150 (if I remember correctly) if you do, but mostly these are wild animals and should remain wild.

Bryce Canyon National Park is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year and entrance is included in the American The Beautiful Card ($80 per car for one year). More information can be found on the official website here.

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