1. After Landscape Arch in Arches National Park and a packed lunch, we left for Escalante to stay the night and see Bryce Canyon National Park the following day. This was 5 June, Day 19. Traveling westwards along Highway 70, we entered the scenic routes of 24 and 12. Routes 24 and 12 were largely one lane either way, passing beautiful rock formations from time to time.
2. We took our time, drove at a comfortable speed and enjoy the beautiful scenery. On the hilly terrain like this and on a particularly hot day, we were surprised to pass cyclists peddling furiously up the hills. It was hard work and we admired their perseverance.
3. At 258 miles away, we arrived at Escalante at about 6 pm. It was largely a one-street town with few accommodation options. Quickly we checked into Prospector Inn at US$ 77 a night. That evening, we had dinner at the Mexican restaurant a few blocks away. It had a cheerful atmosphere, with its wall brightly painted and decorated. It served reasonably good Mexican food.
4. Next morning, we left Escalante for Bryce Canyon National Park at about 9.30 am. After stopping briefly for breakfast in a small town along the way we reached Bryce National Park at about 10.30 am. Striking rock formations greeted us as we neared the entrance to Bryce; as if it was a prelude to what's in store for us inside the park.
5. As usual, we stopped at the Visitor Centre to gather the necessary material and watch the introductory video.
6. Located in SW Utah, Bryce Canyon National Park covers an area of 45 sq miles. The major feature of the park is Bryce Canyon which, despite its name, is not actually a canyon but a giant amphitheatre created by erosion on one side of a plateau. This erosion exposed delicate and colorful pinnacles called hoodoos that could shoot up as high as 200 ft. A series of amphitheaters extends more than 20 miles north to-south within the park. The largest is Bryce Amphitheater, which is 12 miles long by 3 miles wide and 800 feet deep. Each year, more than 1.7 mil people from all over the world come to the park to appreciate the shapes and colours of the hoodoos.
7. We decided to start our visit of Bryce Canyon from the far end at Rainbow Point, and from there hiked the Bristlecone Loop and to Yovimpa Point. It was a Saturday and Rainbow Point was crowded with seniors on an outing there. The hardy Bristlecone Pine next to Li Hoon looked dead but in it was not. A single live branch was keeping the plant alive.
8. At Ponderosa Canyon, we saw these interesting formations. I named the rock formation on the left Abraham Lincoln. If you looked more closely, you will see a statue of Abraham Lincoln
sitting on top of a column.
9. Further on, I stopped to take a picture of this rock formation called Natural Bridge. Naturally, it looked like a bridge.
10. The next 2 stops were the highlights of our trip to Bryce Canyon National Park. At Inspiration Point and Bryce Point, we had an excellent view of the Bryce amphitheatre of hoodoos. I could understand how the hoodoos had cast a spell on all who visit it. Here we were at Inspiration Point.
11. More views of the Bryce amphitheatre. Just spectacular. Also, here we could see the rock formations commonly referred to as the Grottos.
12. At 4 pm, we departed Bryce Canyon National Park for Springdale, just South of Zion National Park. Like many others, we were simply awed by this nature work of art. We were reluctant to leave but we knew we had to move on.