Bryce Canyon National Park

Before arriving in Bryce, we drove on an “All-American Road”, a National Scenic Byway 12 that stretches over a hundred miles from Capitol Reef to Bryce. Highway 12 first goes through Dixie National Forest which resembles Virginia with rolling green fields and evergreen trees. Then it abruptly changes into acres of sandstone canyons, plateaus, cliffs, and unique rock formations which turn out to be the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Boulder Mountain. This scenic byway is one of the most unique roads in America, according to the Federal Highway Association. We were fortunate to be able to haul our 38-foot-long vehicle down and up the steep curves and right on the cliffs!

When we stood on the canyon overlook in the middle between the Sunset and Sunrise Points yesterday morning, Steve noticed a trail far below in the folds and declared that he wanted to try hiking there. That sand-compacted trail looked smooth, snaking around here and there, and people were already hiking. I remembered reading in one of the brochures about the “World’s Best Three-Mile Hike” and wondered if that was the one. It indeed was, according to Google on my iPhone. We had to try it so we returned to the RV resort for a light lunch, walked Della, and put on our hiking shoes for an inciting hike… Steve has hiked hundreds and hundreds of trails across America since he became an Eagle Scout at age 17 – and said this agreeably World’s Best Three-Mile Hike is like nothing he has ever seen before. Yes, it is very unusual. The scenery is beautiful, sans water, but the layout of the trail from either the Sunset or Sunset Point to the other. The ranger suggested that we start descending by 500 feet from the Sunrise Point and I am glad we did because the ascend toward the Sunset Point was the most interesting part. Once we emerged from the narrow trail between the canyon walls, we looked up the steep ascend toward the end of the hike and felt like we were about to step up toward a castle. The sequential pictures will tell you… During the hike through the “doors”, forest bottom, and hoodoos, we noticed horse and mule trails as well. I mused at the thought of speaking with a lady from Alaska at the Ruby Inn RV Resort here in Bryce. She once went on a mule ride and stated that mules, stubborn as ever, insist on walking on the EDGE of the cliff trail, not in the middle. Undoubtedly, that sent my new friend into panic mode as she kept kicking her mule away from the edge without luck. You should read the critically acclaimed book “The Oregon Trail” which tells about mules as the bosses! We will be sad to leave Utah today for Nevada, Northern California, Oregon, and more Western states. At least we had an opportunity to visit ALL of Utah’s national parks!