Hoodoo Voodoo Works Its Magic

Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
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Trip End Jan 25, 2012


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Flag of United States  , Utah
Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I know I've been impressed by the scenery so far in Utah, but I was about to be floored.  Bryce Canyon has to be the most scenic park ever imagined.  It...was...GLORIOUS here.  The erosion of the rock over time created spires and fins throughout an entire canyon floor, called Hoodoos.  The Ancestral Puebloans describe this place as the Legend People.  Animals that looked like humans were frozen into stone by the Coyote for doing something bad.  No matter what the legend of this place, it was breath-taking.  The park was a Rim Trail that runs along 11 miles of the canyon edge.  At every spot, the view is magnificent.  That evening, we rode the bikes out to Bryce Point, Inspiration Point and Sunset Point.  All were gorgeous and packed with people.  Not the best kept secret in National Parks like Capitol Reef, but how do you keep a place so beautiful a secret for very long.

Mark felt compelled to run down to the canyon floor and back before we rode back to camp for dinner.  He's definitely on the road to recovery at this point.  We had a roaring fire, grilled steaks and enjoyed a bottle of wine together.  It was a wonderful day.

The following morning, we left the dogs at camp to run across the canyon from Bryce Point to Sunrise Point.  There's a shuttle service here, and we hoped on for the 2 mile drive to the start of our run.  It was supposed to be 4.5 miles from one end to the other, but it certainly felt like much more than that.  Running down the canyon side is easy, but we quickly started to climb up again as we moved in and out of the spires and through several arches along the trail.  Mark darted off ahead of me, and I did my best to run up as many inclines for as long as I could stand it.  It's still hard to run up these steep uphills at this altitude. When I got to the final climb out of the canyon, it was a doozie.  Very steep and much longer than I would have guessed from the side we ran down.  I was huffing and puffing despite slowing to a walk at this point.  The crowds had picked up by now, and people on their way down seemed concerned for me.  One offered me water.  A few others gave me encouragement.  If I'd had any breath to spare, I'd have explained that I'd run most of the way from the other side of the canyon.  But, I didn't.  A weak smile and a thanks were all I could get out.

Finally.  Finally.  I made it to the top, where I promptly sat on a bench and soaked up the view.  This place is quite magical.  Hoodoo voodoo.  I still had about a mile to run back to the campground, but my energy was gone.  I made it a 1/4 of a mile before I just started walking back.  Mark sensed how tired I'd be by his own fatigue at the end of the run.  To my delight, he'd driven the van around to the trailhead and was walking the dogs toward me just moments after I started walking.  Hooray!  We headed off to the showers, then on to the King's Creek Campground just a few miles west of the park, as the crow flies.

We'd noticed on the map that this campground was right next to a large reservoir just on the other side of the Bryce Canyon Park boundary.  By following some forest roads/ATV trails, we were able to navigate over to the side without too much trouble.  I felt a bit sorry for the folks on an ATV tour, as it has to be a bit deflating to realize that a 9 by 23 foot Sprinter Van is able to traverse the same roads that you think are just for dune buggies.

When we arrived at the campground, we quickly realized that there were no lake views from this site.  It was only 1/2 mile away, but far enough that we lost the atmosphere we were hoping for -- along with our prior campsite back in the park.  We did venture down to the water to splash around for a bit.  Woo!  It was chilly.  Samson loved splashing around, and it was a bright, sunny afternoon.  We had a quiet evening and were ready to head out early the next morning.  Next stop -- Zion.

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Comments

Kristine on

This was my favorite park as well! There were definitely beautiful views!! I can't believe you ran all that! I never really got used to the altitude while out there. It was enough for me to just hike/walk the trails:)

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