August 9-15, 2009
Our first introduction to Bryce Canyon came in the form of a massive ampitheatre of orange and white spires and fins. Something like this (remember, you're seeing a paler version of the photo):
Paiute Indian legend says "Before there were any Indians, the Legend People, To-when-an-ung-wa, lived in that place. There were many of them. They were of many kinds--birds, animals, lizards and such things--but they looked like people ... . For some reason, the Legend People in that place were bad. Because they were bad, Coyote turned them all into rocks. You can see them in that place now; all turned into rocks; some standing in rows, some sitting down, some holding on to others. You can see their faces, with paint on them just as they were before they became rocks ..."
The 3.2 mile combo of the Queen's Garden and Navajo Loop trails is advertised as the "Best Hike in the World".
Lloyd posted a gallery that you shouldn't miss out on. By the way, the garden is so named for a rock formation in the uncanny form of the queen on her throne.
A switchback climb:
Back on top:
More Bryce Canyon National Park vistas:
A forest fire or two made for hazy horizons.
A little sunlight illuminates an ampitheatre:
There are plenty of hikes and hikers in Bryce. Some trails call for getting your feet wet. Check these out these Five Fingers Foot Shoe:
We stayed at Ruby's campground, just a 1/2 mile outside of the park. Free shuttles made getting around easy; they run every 6-10 minutes and late into the evening. Anyway, the best part about the campground was the wildlife. On the first day we tallied 3 chipmunks, 4 deer, many scolding Steller's jays and 9 pronghorn - all from our campsite!