Monday, July 25, 2011

Bryce Canyon National Park July 25


The organization decided to cancel the day due to forecasted overdevelopment with rain and t-storms, but offered several activities for those of us wanting to do something with our day.  A bunch of us decided to take up the offer of a ride to Bryce Canyon National Park with Jochen as our tour guide.

The skies were indeed ODing as we drove south and when we arrived at the hike-in trail it was already thundering from a cell in the distance.  Personally, I was looking forward to the cell blocking the sun, since in the canyon it was mid 30's C and we had 4-5 hours of hiking ahead of us.  The plan was to hike up from the bottom to the rim of the main amphitheatre, traverse the rim, and descend back down for the hike back to the retrieve van.  (You can also drive to the rim on a paved road if you are not into hiking up; however at that point you have to pay the $25 entry fee.)

Bryce Canyon is indeed gorgeous...check out the photos I took.  Amazing red rock hoodoos inside the amphitheatre, surrounded by a perfect horseshoe of yet more red rock.  Caves and arches too, as well as many different hues of red, pink, and beige.  And dry as a bone...there were indications of washouts from flash floods inside the amphitheatre but nothing at the moment.

As we ascended the trails to the rim it got shadier and cooler which was much appreciated.  Up on top it was much cooler, maybe 15C, mainly because the wind was blowing from the thunderstorm in the distance and it was starting to spit very cold rain (almost hail).


As we traversed the rim to the other side we did indeed get wet...and the dry red dirt became red clay-y muck which was quite slippery.  But we all made it safely to the bottom with only a bunch of very dirty shoes and mud-spattered bodies...and it turned sunny again just in time to dry us out.

So it took us about 5 hours to do the entire hike from bottom to rim, along the rim, and back down...it was certainly a worthwhile trip and I would encourage anybody in the area to check it out.  Maybe go when it's not the height of summer and a bit cooler though!

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