Not a national park, but worth mentioning since we stopped on the way into Bryce National Park. We did a quick little hike on the Hoodoo Trail that connected to the Pink Ledges Trail. Our boys loved it, though there were a couple of areas where my mom-anxiety shot up; no cliffs, but steep slopes on one side of the trail in a few places with a single person trail…if that makes sense. Totally worth it, pretty easy hike and even the five-year-old walked the whole way (he usually tries to convince us his feet are broken). Very fun geography/science lesson about erosion and PE credit as well (yay, homeschool!) Oh, and it’s right next to a highway, so it’s actually kind of loud, but still worth it.
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Inspiration Point Lookout
We had time to kill before checking into our motel, so we went to Inspiration Point Lookout. If you have fearless children keep them close because even though there are fences in some places, there are not fences in others, and there are definitely steep cliffs just a hop, skip, and a jump away. Also may not be for kiddos who are afraid of heights, like our 7-year-old. But the area is absolutely breathtaking. I literally gasped out loud when we walked up to it. There are a couple of overlooks you can hike up to (very steep, but short) and there is a rim trail you can take, as well as a trail down near the hoodoos (rock formations), but neither of those seemed kid-friendly, so we passed.
The next day we went to Sunset Point and hiked the Navajo Loop past the Queen’s garden and back up to Sunrise Point, across the rim and back to Sunset point. It. Was Beautiful. As with all national parks, get there as early as you can because it starts to get crowded and loud. But it’s definitely worth it and allows you to really see the hoodoos up close.
I took about a million photos, but I also have a quick timelapse video on IGTV here.
There is very minimal parking in Bryce Canyon; there seems to be a lot of space at the visitor center, but even that fills up quickly. It looks like you have two options; get there really early or park in town or at the visitors center to take the bus through the canyon.
I try to be honest when writing these posts…and I really hate it when I read a blog post of a place I want to go and they don’t mention things I feel are important. So this: Bryce city is…small and crowded. It’s like, two blocks wide, has one general store/trading post, and the grocery section is tiny and expensive. And like, I pay more for good food anyway, but I’m over here like, $1.19 for a single pepper? No, thanks, I’ll eat a granola bar for dinner, thanks. The kids are living off of goldfish and cereal anyway this week. So if you can, bring yourself some food—because the dining options are not great either. Sad people food, is what I call it, lol. If you have dietary restrictions you may have a hard time finding what you need. Lodging is expensive as well (we, me, are too afraid to camp with our fearless five-year-old as he’s wandered off in the early morning hours from a cabin in the woods, so we live it up in hotels for now).
In fact, a better idea would be to just make Bryce a day trip if possible! Because seeing this place is definitely worth it…staying here? Not so much, in my opinion…except I would totally stay in a campground outside of town. So there’s that.
Remember that it costs money to get into the parks (usually $25 for a day pass, $35 ish for a 3-day pass), but you can buy a year-long pass for $80! We just did this at the first national park we went to.
More the national parks travel log:
(this list will get longer as time goes on haha. It’s our goal to visit all 58 national parks.)