A Utah tourism commercial featuring their five national parks has caught my attention lately (one of the few commercials I'm ever excited to see more than two times), reminded me of this amazing stop on our road trip, and really deepened my itch to go to another national park (we also visited Grand Teton and Yellowstone). The commercial portrays the other four parks in Utah as having the same kind of look and feel as Bryce Canyon--huge red canyon rocks, deep gorges, sudden cliffs--and the drive wouldn't be unmanageable for a three day trip (is 9 hours unmanageable?) so I'm eyeing Capitol Reef and Zion as potential next stops on our goal to visit every national park (although California's famous Yosemite is also in the mix).
Bryce Canyon is one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen. The surrounding pine forest conceals most of the canyon right up to the rim, making your first glimpse of the orange and red amphitheaters of carved rock incredibly dramatic.
We started at some of the more famous lookouts but decided to hike along the upper rim trail, which was decidedly less crowded. Possibly because the trail hugged the edge of the canyon--it was not for the faint of heart.
We were brave enough to saddle right up to the edge...
The two most famous rock formations in Bryce Canyon are "The Thumb" and "Thor's Hammer" which (surprise!) look like a thumb and a hammer.