Bryce Canyon in the Spring

In the Spring of 2019, my entire family took a road trip from Washington, through Oregon and Utah, eventually to southern Arizona.  We then headed out to San Diego and drove up the Pacific Coast back home.  We had with us 2 toddlers, a baby, and, for part of the trip, 2 teenagers for the 17-day, 4100-mile journey.  This is part of that trip.

We approached Bryce Canyon through Dixie National Forest.  As much as we wanted to reach our destination for the day, we had to stop for a while and check out this gem.

We were a completely full car at this point, and our two teenagers hiked to the top of hill beside the highway.  That’s them waving at us in the picture below.

As beautiful as this place is, it was only an unplanned stop on our way to our planned destination of Bryce Canyon.

We probably could have spent hours just exploring this one area, but we’d only allotted ourselves a few hours total for Bryce, so we had to move on.  My advice for anyone else undertaking a trip like this would be to give yourself much more time than you think you need at each stop.  Throughout the 2-week trip, we should have reduced our stops by half.

As we approached Bryce, we passed through the famous arch in the rocks, and I was allowed to wait by the side of the road until there were no cars passing by.  Also, it didn’t escape our attention that there was still plenty of snow laying around the landscape.  We’d seen the amazing red rocks of Northern Arizona before, but never imagined their majesty juxtaposed with white snow.  Bryce Canyon was breathtaking.

We also didn’t know how similar the landscape of Southern Utah is to our beloved Northern Arizona.  I’m probably not the first person toe liken Bryce Canyon to a miniature Grand Canyon.

The time spent here could have been more challenging with the kids because it was sunny but fairly cold.  This was supposed to be a trip out of the Pacific Northwest gloom into the Southwest sunshine.  Unprepared as we were, we didn’t know that it would still be snowy in this part of Utah.  Fortunately we happened to have warm (enough) clothes for the kids that we kept having to put on a take off throughout the day.

At four, two and not-quite-one, the kids aren’t much into sightseeing.  I’m not sure they understand why we adults like looking at trees and rocks and stuff for as long as we do.  Still, they were pretty patient, as far as young kids go, and even posed for pictures with us.

Leaving Bryce, someone in our group had the idea that there was something special waiting down the highway away from our next stop.  I suppose it depends on what your definition of ‘special is, but there was definitely not any particular attraction waiting for us.  At this point we were tired and hungry and still a few hours away from where we needed to be for the night, so it was kind of tense for awhile.  When we finally decided to stop and head back toward town, we were still in the middle of incredible natural beauty.

Our destination for the night was a Bed-n-breakfast near Zion National Park, and it was about 80 miles away from where we were.  Although night was already fast-approaching, we had to stop and eat first.

We ended up at a place in the city of Bryce called Ruby’s Inn, where baby Ben picked up a book and read some useful tips for the rest of trip.

Eventually, after dark, we reached our day’s resting spot.  The next day we got up early to head out for that day’s activity.

But that story will have to wait for another time.

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