It was a cold night at Zion, even colder on Monday night at Bryce Canyon where there was a big dump of snow. We head for Bryce after dropping into Zion NP for a few hours to have a look around. Zion is an interesting place because unlike many of the other canyon parks in the south-west you arrive at the bottom not the top! At Zion a road runs up the base of the canyon beside the Virgin River. There are various stop offs to look up at formations and to wander off on walks. This suits Homealone who doesn’t like being up and looking down. We only had time to drive up and down the road with a couple of brief stops. Some wonderful rock formations in this place. A few of them are here.
Getting out of the Zion Canyon to head for Bryce is a different story. It is a long climb up the canyon on a series of switchbacks. The road is good, but it is not guard railed and there are some enormous drop offs. Allthego was even a bit edgy. About half way up you enter a tunnel that runs for nearly 1.5 km through the side of the Canyon and you pop out near the top. It was constructed in the early 1930s, so its not quite as flash as our modern day tunnels. There are windows out the side of the tunnel that give views over the canyon. But unfortunately you can’t stop, so it’s just a quick look-see as you pass by.
From there on the road to Bryce is fairly flat as you pass among the rock formations atop the mesa, caught a close up view of some mountain goats and buffalo.
Arrived at Bryce as the sun was setting and got a quick view of the canyon, quite amazing but that is the story for the next blog. Snow still on the ground and at about 7 pm it was 1 below zero, clear sky and not much wind. So that snow will be there tomorrow!