We left Springdale with teddies in tow – yes, Melman and Gigi have come along for our US adventure.
Our destination: Bryce Canyon National Park, about two hours from Springdale, known for its ‘hoodoo’ rock formations, with huge numbers bulbous spires in the canyon formed by a unique weather pattern in the area. From the Visitor’s Centre at the entrance to the national park, it’s 18 miles of scenic drive to the final stop, the most southern tip of the park, Rainbow Point. We decided to drive all the way in and begin here.
The rainbow of rock colours, rich green of the pines and deep blue sky was beautiful; it looked like all the colours were brighter than usual in the clear crispness of the 2700m (9000ft) altitude.
And here’s our trusty ride. We’re from Nevada.
At Agua Canyon we got a closer glimpse of some hoodoos.
The hoodoo spires are formed through weathering and erosion, particularly a process called frost-wedging, which occurs when water seeps into the rock, then freezes and expands, cracking the rock around it. As temperatures vary between freezing nights and warm afternoons for much of the year, this process recurs frequently, creating holes in the rock, which grow into windows, and eventually the arches collapse, leaving the towering hoodoos.
This natural bridge is also visible from a roadside lookout.
This valley full of hoodoos is called the silent city, visible from Bryce Point or Inspiration Point. The photos really don’t do justice to the view.
At Sunset Point, leaving the family behind, I took a hike down into the canyon on the Navajo Loop and Queens Garden trails. It was hot, and the kids were all desert-hiked out. Getting up close to the landscape provided a much richer perspective.
The southern trail of the Navajo Loop snakes sharply down into the canyon.
I felt sorry for the people walking back up. I walked a little way down this one, then back up, as I wanted to take the northern part of the loop, then carry on down in the valley into the Queen’s Garden.
The views were worth the effort!
This hoodoo is known as Thor’s Hammer.
Walking down through these switchbacks makes you feel so small; I was in awe of the power of the forces of nature – what an amazing place!
Anyone for a walk back up?
Hello little guy!
This is the Queen’s Garden.
A site aptly named, as Queen Victoria sits in a rather spectacularly effective representation atop this hoodoo.
Bryce is definitely a photogenic location!
And since nobody came with me, I had to take a selfie as evidence I was here.
Next stop: Torrey and Capitol Reef National Park