stillhowlyn's travels 2007 travel blog

Red Canyon along Scenic Byway 12

Tunnels of the Red Canyon

At the Red Canyon Visitor's Center

Thin air here at Rainbow Point!

This is a Bristlecone Pine, Norm!

Can you find the "poodle" in the white formation?

Ponderosa Canyon with hoodoos framed by pine-covered foothills & Table Cliffs Plateau

At Aqua Canyon this hoodoo with small trees growing atop is known...

Natural Bridge is actually an arch as it was carved by both...

At Bryce Pt., the Under the Rim trail. Did you really do...

Amphitheater at Sunset Point

A good day now let's eat!

From Jacob Lake we traveled north on scenic UT highway 89. Reluctantly, we passed the turn-off for Zion as we were there a few years ago and heard recently from others that it is very crowded and hot and getting around restricted to shuttle buses. Have I mentioned that we are definitely not in our standard operating mode which is to travel slightly off-season to avoid crowds and extreme weather!

Hatch, UT. is our base and the Riverside RV Park well located, only about 30 miles to Bryce Canyon. The park was not only managed by an Escapee's Club couple but populated by many SKP members and offered a 15% discount.

As soon as we turned onto Scenic Byway 12 the fun began and we were stopping every half mile or so for a photo op and awesome views of Red Canyon, aptly named. You will probably get your fill of "red rock" photos in this entry.

We soon enter Bryce Canyon National Park, home of the Hoodoos! A hoodoo is a pillar of rock left by erosion that forms an array of fantastic shapes and surrounded by the beauty of southern Utah, hoodoos definitely cast their spell!

After studying the park map we decide to drive all the way to the southern point, 18 miles one way, and then back-track stopping at each overlook as they are all on the east or right side of the road heading back. This puts us at Rainbow Point the parks highest elevation at 9115 ft. Somewhere we read that at this altitude you are getting only 70% of the oxygen you're used to but the good news is it is a bit cooler!

There is a trail here that leads thru a spruce-fir forest to cliffs with bristlecone pines and expansive views. Since visiting Sequoia, Norm and I had a conversation about the different trees; Sequoia's largest in volume, Redwood's the tallest and Bristlecone Pines being the oldest living organism on the planet. I'm determined to find these guys and take a picture! They're not the most impressive or attractive tree but rather small, twisted and gnarled due to the high elevations and extreme weather condtions.

I think at this point we will let the photos speak for themselves. Otherwise you would be bored to tears with all the verbiage about all the beautiful, scenic views and overlooks. Suffice to say we slowly made our way back toward milepost 1 and Sunset, Inspiration, and Bryce points!

Important to note, however, that on our way back to Hatch in the late afternoon we were hungry and the obvious choice was Ruby's Inn. Ruby's is actually a small town with all the tourist services imaginable and the buffet just what we needed after a long day of sight-seeing!


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