Day trip! That would be what we do when what we really want is a vacation… Or it’s what we do when we only have time for one day of complete adventure… Or what we do when we are feeling completely insane and the thought of locking ourselves in a moving vehicle for many hours with 15 people sounds…fun?
We recently realized that we have 9 National Parks or national places of interest within a 3-4 hour driving range from our house. Yes, that is 3-4 hours one way, but we won’t talk about the round trip duration outloud. All the kids want to know is “Are we there yet?” So we decided to venture on a little experiment. Can we successfully visit these locations one day at a time?
Up at 5:30 am and out the door with everyone dressed and ready for the day at 7 am, we were Bryce Canyon bound! After 4 hours and some 20+ minutes of driving in rain, snow, maybe some glimpses of sunshine, and some 2-3 potty breaks later, we made it.
The intricate shapes appear to be hand carved. I guess in thinking about it, they kind of were. Millions of years of elements sculpting these beautiful red rock shapes in the cliffs of a plateau, not an actual canyon. The red and pink rocks are brilliant. The wind and rain creates each spire and hoodoo into it’s own unique form.
We drove the entire loop stopping at most of the 18 lookouts. And then enjoyed a family hike in the Queens Garden. It was
cold FREEZING! I believe the actual temperature was 36 F, but with 20+MPH winds, they stated it felt more like 24 F. We had bouts of snow while in the park, but by the time we started our little hike, the wind had died down and the sun was out. But do not be deceived! It was still cold.
Experiment SUCCESS! Yes we had an incredible day. The panoramic views were breath taking. Being engulfed in the Queens Garden was a treat. No injuries, no one lost, and arriving home by midnight means that we can do it all again. Eight more places to see.
Bryce Canyon is located in Kane County, Utah. Where the Hoodoos and forest meet each other. You can find more information and plan your own visit here http://www.nps.gov/brca/index.htm