Welcome to the gorgeous Zion and Bryce Canyons!
Echo, Ben and I left to visit Zion Friday morning. Originally we were going to leave on Thursday but I came down with a cold on Wednesday and had a fever so decided to take Thursday slow. I have been sick for almost two weeks, I lost my voice and was struggling with a pretty bad cough but Wednesday (of course, right before the planned trip) my body decided to have a fever too. I have never been to Zion and Bryce Canyon and they have been on my bucket list for a long time, so I was pretty dedicated to go. No fever was going to stop me. (maybe a little bit, but not really)
Thursday morning I woke up pretty weak, but with no fever so that was a great sign. I poured myself a large glass of tomato juice ‘cuz vitamins! Not a big fan of tomato juice but I have moments when it feels great to sip on a cold glass of it.
I took the day very easy, Ben was kind enough to make me breakfast, lunch and later dinner. I was just laying around, falling in and out of sleep, getting food served to me all day…just like a princess.
That night we realized if we want to leave early enough in the morning, we have to start getting our thoughts together. We packed our suitcase and went to Sprouts to get some healthy snacks for the road. It is very easy to fall off the diet wagon when on a road trip. During long rides there is only so much to do and once you are done with playing games, reading, singing, the only things is left is snacking. Gas station snacks are delicious but not always the healthier choices so we wanted to be prepared for both the way there and back.
We got a bag of popcorn, plantain and apple chips, granola bars, kombucha, gummy squares and banana-coconut bites. I also prepared some veggies and fruits, looking at these now, I don’t know what were we thinking. Taking so much food for two haha, we brought back some of it
Friday morning we left around 7:15am. Driving through Arizona can get a little boring after a while but we ended up going through some high elevation areas where we ran into very nice forestry areas with lots of trees and green…as you can see on the pictures…
Echo is like: Guys?! Halo? Where are all the trees?
But putting the joke to the side, there are areas like that in Arizona, they exist, but I kind of dropped the ball on taking pictures about them…sorry…I guess now it must stay just a myth
I was zoning out a little bit towards the end of the drive but as soon as we arrived to the “Zion National Park” sign my eyes popped open.
At the entrance we got a year pass to all national parks in the United States. It is definitely worth it, visiting Zion and Bryce would have came out to the same price and we are planning to see Yosemite and the Grand Canyon too this year so baaamm….doing math just saved us money. Math is good. (No this statement was not sponsored by Ben. It was my own, which kind of scares me, I might be spending too much time around him)
After going through the main entrance there is a 12 mile gorgeous drive to the visitor center. I couldn’t stop taking pictures but there were also times when I just started out the window and forgot that I even had my camera in my hands. We were driving through tunnels while spiral-ing our way down to the bottom of the mountain.
Finding parking at the visitor center was a failed attempt, apparently everyone wanted to see Zion that same exact day so we parked outside of the park, approximately 5 minutes walk away. It was a perfectly fine parking, and we didn’t have to fight people for a spot.
From the visitor center we headed to the only pet friendly trail. Pa’rus is about a 3 mile long trail along the Virgin river with wonderful scenery and very friendly people coming towards you. You cross the river back and forth many times along your walk which caused Echo some serious stress at the beginning.
Fun Facts about Zion from nileguide.com:
- Zion is Hebrew and it means a place of peace and relaxation
- Zion has over 900 species of plant groupings
- Kolob Arch in Zion’s backcountry is one of the word’s largest freestanding natural arches
- Humans have been around Zion Canyon for at least 8,000 years
- The Olympic Torch passed through Zion on its way to Salt Lake City for the 2002 Games
The trail is not a loop, it kind of just ends after a while and turns into a road so we turned around and walked back. Once Echo realized we are headed back he decided to forget everything he learned about walking on a leash and tried to walk ahead of us while chocking himself. It was very warm and no matter how many times we stopped to give him water he just didn’t care about any of that at all. So I started jugging next to him and this way I could keep up with him without him chocking on the leash…
This little crazy gave me a serious work out. When we got back to the visitor center and Ben caught up with us, we sat down to relax for a little bit. We both got a little sun burnt (we left the sun screen in the car) and our legs were a little tired so before we made our way over to Bryce Canyon we took a little break, had some snacks and waited till Echo had about 17 cups of water.
Are we there yet?
Driving over to Bryce Canyon was pretty quick, only about an hour and a half which makes it even more amazing to think about how close these places are to each other yet they are so completely different.
Looking over the canyon, just staring into the nothing it is very easy to space out. In fact, spacing out over gorgeous natural views has became my new favorite thing to do. Just get there, space out …done. Bryce canyon reminds me of a city made out stone…and this color…I didn’t even have to use filter. Perfection.
Again, with Echo there was only one trail we could go on, from Sunset point to Sunrise point…but we still saw everything we needed to. Hiking it would be amazing, maybe another day, but to be honest the people coming up from the hiking trail looked pretty exhausted so I was actually very happy with what we were doing
There were benches along the trail. We stopped by one of them to rest our feet a little bit and zone out And then I realized I can take panorama photos. YAY!!!! (Echo still has to learn how to zone out, he kept interrupting our zoning out process)
Fun facts about Bryce Canyon from nileguide.com
- Water, ice, and gravity are the natural forces that formed the geological “hoodoos” that make Bryce Canyon unique
- This park is named after Ebenezer Bryce, who started ranching the area in 1875. Upon showing the canyons to visitors, he is said to have remarked, “It’s a hell of a place to lose a cow.”
- On a clear day, visibility from Bryce Canyon can exceed 100 miles
- Lions and foxes and bears, oh my! Foxes, mountain lions, and black bears inhabit Bryce Canyon, although they are rarely seen
- Bryce Canyon isn’t actually a canyon. It’s actually a natural amphitheater
Around sunset it started to become very cold and windy so we said our goodbyes to the canyon and headed to the hotel. We got a hotel room a little bit further away because the next day we wanted to check out Dixie National Forest so we kind of drove through it to drive back the next day…kind of miscalculated the situation there. Oh well, the scenery was fantastic and made up for the extra miles. After settling into our hotel room, we went to eat dinner. Ben found a cute little place close to the university campus. It is called the Pastry Pub.
It was a little bit empty when we arrived but at ordering the guy said they were out of a bunch of things because it was so busy all day…also finding a hotel was not easy either, almost every place in the are was full for the weekend because of some kind of convention. Everyone was so nice at the place we ordered and then just got quiet for a couple minutes. We were tired from walking all over the place.
Since they had pastries we decided to order a dessert, which was of course a carrot cake. We agreed that from now on anywhere new we go to, we will try that city’s or country’s carrot cake! This blog is going to turn out to be a carrot cake judging site.
After dinner we went back to the hotel and passed out. I wanted to go to the pool and hot tub so so badly but I was too lazy to walk down there…haha
Well, hope you enjoyed my little report on these two amazing places and our Friday. Now I got to cross out two more things from my bucket list. Yay!