On our 2 days at Zion we raced to the hiking location, hiked for hours, then exhausted we left in the early afternoon. We didn’t give much time to really take in the park. So early this morning before our 2 hour drive to Bryce, we went back into Zion for one last hit.
We hit up 2 short hikes, weeping rock and emerald pool. Took it nice a slow and savored the beauty of the park one last time before we set off. Route 9 leaving the park is amazing. It starts with a winding drive up a mountain and outside of the canyon. This leads you to a one lane, long dark tunnel carved through the Zion red rocks. Once outside of the tunnel the Zion Mountains change. They become grainer and flakier. Its a great drive.
Not the big tunnel, a smaller one just outside of the big oneCheckerboard Mesa
2 hours North East of Zion is a warp zone that leads you into outer space. The scenery here in southern Utah is already very other worldy. You feel like you’re on another planet. But Bryce takes this way too far. I gotta say that as far as shear jaw dropping “where the fuck am I right now” Bryce is in stiff competition with Carlsbad Caverns. Its just so out of this world. We went directly to the visitor center and said, “give us the most strenuous hike you got.” Thats not really what we said but thats what the ranger heard. He recommended a 6 mile hike around the rim, down into the hoodoos, around the amphitheater, and back up the steep side, making a giant figure 8. It was 2pm, the hiking guide said it should take between 4-5 hours. Thats means we would just make it back before the sun set. Go hard or go home. We’ve been pushing ourselves to do bigger and badder hikes. We’ll be banging out 20 mile hikes in no time. The bottom of the grand canyon better be ready for us. The hike was spectacular. We did it in a little over 3 hours. We loved it. Bryce is in our top 5. Everyone needs to see Bryce Canyon.
Next Stop: Grand Staircase Escalante