A visit to Bryce was one of the main drivers for our four week Southwest adventure. Twenty odd years ago, I came through this way with some friends, and walking through this unremarkable pine forest to the rim of Bryce Canyon Amphitheater dropped my jaw. As I’ve said before, it came as close to making a believer out of this atheist as anything I’ve ever laid eyes on.
So I’d been looking forward to showing Michelle and Zevin that same wonder for a long time, and Bryce did not disappoint.
After a much longer drive from Goblin Valley than expected (seriously, I don’t know how I read the map and thought it was two hours, but the map says it’s closer to four and it took us closer to six), we found ourselves a nice, free campsite in the woods just outside the park boundary, amidst sparsely forested pine and then headed into the park to explore.
Taking advantage of the National Park Service’s generous offer of free entrance to all national park’s to the families of fourth graders, we took a brief look around the first day, then got up early and took a sweet hike down past Queen’s Garden and up through the Navajo Loop.
Even with our early start, the heat was pretty oppressive, and it was pushing Zevin to make it back up to the rim out of the canyon, but we did manage to keep him distracted, as he retold Norse myths I had read to him from a Neil Gaiman book (with surprising detail, considering it had been over a year since he’d heard it.)