Bryce Canyon National Park has the largest concentration of hoodoos (irregular rock columns) found anywhere in the world. It is very close to Zion but is quite a bit less popular and has a drastically different landscape. When I first visited Bryce Canyon I was blown away and if you’re in the area already visiting Zion, I highly recommend you check out Bryce too.
A lot of the most popular trails start at Sunset Point. Despite its name, most people start here at sunrise and it is worth the early wake up to do so. I decided to start with the Navajo Loop and ended up looping around and doing Wall Street too. Zigzagging through the hoodoos gives you a new incredible view around each corner and when the trail ended I was left wishing there was more. These hikes felt unreal and I kept saying I felt like I was in a video game. I suppose I imagine feeling small hiking through the supernatural looking bright orange hoodoos is what being in a video game would feel like. Bryce Canyon is truly like no other and you are bound to smile from ear to ear just being here.
Bryce Canyon has quite a few shorter hikes that can be looped together for longer hikes. Some of these shorter hikes are perfect for families too as I’m sure kids would have a blast in this park! There are a few areas with steep cliffs so be sure to stay on the trail at all times and watch your footing. Bryce also has its fair share of longer hikes that are great half day to full day trails including the gorgeous Fairyland Loop trail. If you are looking for more time on the trail or have an extra day to spend at Bryce, the Fairyland Loop is a must do!
Staying in Cedar City, I found that Cedar Breaks National Monument also boasts its fair share of hoodoos! Cedar Breaks is accessed off State Route 148 and can be passed on your way home from Bryce Canyon if you are heading west back to I-15. Cedar Breaks sits at 10,000 ft. and has some great overlooks to view the hoodoos here on your drive home. The drive from Bryce to Cedar Breaks is breathtaking in and of itself. Cedar Breaks National Monument is also worthy of a day trip if you are nearby. It has quite a few shorter hikes including Spectra Point and Rampart Overlook trails, Twisted Forest and Alpine Pond Trail.
Between Bryce Canyon National Park and Cedar Breaks National Monument there is no shortage of hoodoo viewing in southern Utah. Have fun exploring these two truly one of a kind parks!
Until the next tale… Happy trails.