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Bryce Canyon National Park
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrHaving recently celebrated its first half-century since becoming a US National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park is one of five national parks in the state of Utah. A practical way of seeing these magnificent natural wonders is to drive from Las Vegas using a gigantic, scenic loop. Taking the scenic highways, the journey covers around 1,243 miles (around 1,250 miles) but keep in mind that a fair amount of driving is involved and overnight stops need careful planning.
Purchasing the America The Beautiful pass enables the holder and passengers in the same vehicle to gain free access to all US National Parks for a one-year period and costs a mere $ 80 USD . You can purchase it online or pick the tickets up at the first national park you happen upon. Another option to consider is viewing the Bryce Canyon Park by boat and a river cruise at a cost of $ 79 USD per person. Allow half a day for this option.
When You Get ThereAn awesome landscape awaits the visitor at Bryce Canyon National Park. Hundreds of layers of vivid red rock stretch heavenward as they soar through the blue sky above, but beware because the only way in is by hiking your way up the muddy river bank and finding hiking paths through some pretty determined vegetation. Each year, classical musicians gather and hold concerts in these majestic surroundings, and the natural acoustics help carry the melodic notes seemingly forever across the dusty land.
The scene is just inside Bryce Canyon National Park, which covers a huge section of desert wilderness in Utah’s Southern-Eastern area. The canyon’s Navajo sandstone pillars rise sheer from the floor after aeons of sculpting by the snaking Colorado and Green Rivers over time. What lies beyond is an incredible hike through the wilderness, with much excitement offered, including some spectacular white-water rafting along the way – hang on tight and buckle up that life vest! Be sure to have the right hiking clothing, footwear and general apparel.
Bryce Canyon ZionZion National Park is an area of 229 square miles of unbelievable landscapes. Experience mountains, canyons, mesas, rivers, natural rock arches, and naturally sculpted rock formations offering incredible shapes. Zion National Park is home to four life zones, which makes it quite unique as a geographical area with a variety of plants and animals. Its colorful past and modern-day feel combine to make Zion National Park the most popular of Utah’s national parks.
It is about a 3-hour driver from Las Vegas and it is for good reason that it’s described as “Utah for beginners”. You can use a shuttle bus to get down the canyon as you pass the many trails and lookout posts as you travel past. Many exposed rock formations stand out like sore thumbs in a barren landscape. Highway 9 runs through Zion and may not suit vertigo sufferers because of the steep ascent to the high desert plateau. As you reach Rainbow Point in Bryce Canyon National Park, you will find the air much more rarefied, not surprising since you have climbed above 9,843 feet. From Rainbow Point, a vast untouched valley spreads out before you.
Beyond Bryce CanyonThe road seems to shift noticeably as you link to Highway 12, or the ‘Million Dollar Highway’. This route was the last of the 48 contiguous states for mapping, and when you see the uncompromising “moonscape” appearance, you will begin to understand why. The area is as remote and geographically hostile as it gets anywhere in North America. In time, Highway 12 takes you down again and you enter the Capitol Reef National Park. You could be forgiven for thinking that you were now in Australia with the scorched, red rubble-strewn scene in front of you.
The dusty journey eventually leads to Moab, Utah , a wickedly out-of-the-ordinary town dominated by microbrewed beer, adventure sports, retail outlets, and vegan-focused restaurants. Moab serves as the gateway to both Canyonlands and Arches National Park.
Climatic ConditionsAverage temperatures can vary drastically throughout the year, mainly due to Bryce Canyon Park’s position in South Central Utah, an exposed area vulnerable to weather extremes. The summer months (June – September) bring moderately hot conditions with low humidity, making it feel warmer than it may actually be. Bryce National Park’s high elevation can result in extreme levels of UV radiation so remember to have a high factor sun-blocker. The winter months, November – February can get very cold with temperatures dropping well below freezing. December is the coldest month.
Places to StayBryce Canyon City is the closest community to the Canyon National Park. The city is surrounded by a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters adorned with natural pinnacles, fins, arches and spires. Its high elevation means you can escape the hot summer temperatures experienced in the valleys, and the panoramic views provide arresting landscapes for many, a mile away in most directions. Various grades of accommodation options are available here.
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Author: robric. Last updated: Oct 07, 2014