Coming up on a weekend with no plans in the calendar makes for a dull weekend. Am sure someone said that at some point in time, just not sure who. It also gives The Man ample opportunity to plan for a quick gaunt somewhere in the RV. For me, things have to be “just so,” — not too far away, full hook ups, restaurants near by. For him, it’s wherever we can fit, we can park it, and he usually wins, only because he’s the one driving.
Having lived in the same state as Bryce Canyon National Park for the past four years, and having only visited once during that time, made it a perfect weekend destination. Ticked off a lot of boxes – so off we went – with no proper planning, of course.
It’s about a three and a half hour drive in the RV from where we’re located. Two routes can be taken – either through Zion, around hairpin turns and through the tunnel (that they have to close to two way traffic so you can drive your beast down the middle of the road). Or there’s the “long” way – up through the Arizona Strip, into Fredonia, through Kanab and onward to Bryce. We chose the long way around.
First and foremost – trying to get into a national park campground close to a holiday is usually a tall order, but we got lucky. By far, Ruby’s Inn and RV Park is probably is most popular, and most advertised, campground in the area. If you have kids, Ruby’s is probably where you want to try to be. We opted to stay four miles outside of the park at Bryce Canyon Pines RV Park. Neatly kept, wide spaces, full hookups, nice owners/staff and, while there were quite a few families in the park, it was very quiet. We’re old and like quiet. They also have a nice bike path that leads all the way to Main Street and further to Bryce, so I was bummed we didn’t pack our bikes on this trip.
Having said that, you can’t miss Ruby’s even if you wanted to – not that you should. They have a nice General Store with an entire section of food and camping gear, and they are well stocked with all the touristy items one would imagine to find. There’s even a post office to mail off your postcards. There’s an an “old time town” across the street that wasn’t quite open yet due to it being so early in the season. And there were signs that pointed to “Ebenezer’s Barn & Grill” across from Ruby’s, but we didn’t check that out due to the added consonant in “bar.”
Along with the postcards, there are tons of flyers, brochures and billboards pointing out activities to do in the form of horseback and helicopter rides outside of the park, but since we only had 48 hours, we decided to make the park our main focus.
We drove from one side of Bryce to the other, which most people seem to do. Took in the sights from the easy to get to parking lots. This really is a park that anyone can enjoy no matter their physical condition. So many sights are right off the ample parking spaces. Highlight of all the pull-offs was definitely the Natural Arch:
From there we drove down to Sunrise point and took a hike that led us to a high vantage point that gave us excellent views. Hikers walked out across the narrow trail to peek through those holes in the rock (below) – and it was straight down on both sides, so I passed. The only time we ever drink beer is after a hike, because for some reason hiking and a nice microbrew at the end just seem to go together. Considering I wanted to live long enough to have that cold brew, it seemed like the right thing to skip on the possible downward trip. #hikinggoals
We wanted to do the Navajo Loop Trail and check out a few interesting sounding attractions along the way (like Thor’s Hammer). Being the most popular trail in the park, we found it to be super crowded with people more interested in taking selfies than taking in the sights, so we went with Plan B and hiked up to Inspiration Point instead. Who doesn’t need a little inspiration at times?
Again, no shortage of people staring at their phones, but it was lot more manageable and the views were worth the effort.
We hiked back down and, ready for a well deserved post-hike beer, went straight to the Bryce Canyon Lodge. When we got inside – we found that they had no bar. None. Because, Utah. Can you imagine? So we had to stop back by Ruby’s, pick up a six pack of Utah’s finest brew and have that beer back at our campsite. Not a bad alternative, actually. There’s a photo of Ebenezer Bryce and his wife, Mary, in the lobby of the lodge – and they look less than happy. Guess they also realized there was no place to have a beer after a grueling hike. That’s my theory anyway.
Here’s a few more photos from our short time in Bryce National Park:
There’s still a lot of ground to cover at Bryce and I wish we had more than 48 hours on that last trip. That just means we’ll be back for a third, fourth and fifth trip at different times of the year. Something else to look forward to. Plus, we still have four beers left out of that six pack we bought.
Until the next adventure……