Zion National Park Accommodations, Hotels, Vacation Rentals & Lodging
August 8 – 9, 2016 – Stop 43 on Bucketlist RV Trip.
I was sorry to say goodbye to Zion National Park. It certainly was one of the my most favorite places I visited. I’d put it right up there with Yosemite and Yellowstone. It was somewhat crowded, but it was well managed. The shuttle service was excellent, the stops were well marked, it was easy to find your way around and the trails were well posted and in good shape – all you could ask for.
It was only about a 75 mile drive to Bryce Canyon National Park, again through the beautiful south Utah mountain, farm and ranch country.
Just outside the only entrance gate to the park is an area with a number of hotels, restaurants, etc. Basically, it all belongs to Ruby’s Inn which was established in 1909. They have everything from the Inn and a Best Western Hotel to a grocery store, ice cream store, restaurants, rodeo, RV campground – you name it. I got there about 4 pm and stayed at the RV campground – about a mile from the park’s visitor center.
The next day I took a shuttle bus to the Navajo Trail trailhead and went on a five plus mile hike that took me down along one section of the Navajo Trail, through a series of switchbacks and caves called ‘Wall Street”, into what is known as the Bryce Canyon Amphitheater.
From there a connecting trail took me to the Peekaboo Loop Trail that looped up and down the canyon for some three miles – with an ascent of about 1,600 feet – and reconnected with the Navajo Trail.
As you can see from the video, Bryce is a unique, colorful and awe inspiring place. The other thing you’ll see is how clear the air is. Unlike Zion, which was hazy, Bryce was remarkably clear. And, it was relatively cool. The temperatures during my hike were in the mid 80s and there was always a cool breeze – perfect weather for a hike.
That night I attended a lecture on the solar system give by a park ranger in one of the park’s amphitheaters. Bryce happens to be one of the darkest spots in the continental US, so at night the sky is just lit up brighter than I had ever seen. After the lecture, in an open field behind the visitor center the park service had set up a number of telescopes, each aimed at a different planet or the moon. On one of the telescopes I could clearly see the rings of Saturn and one of its moons. With the naked eye it was also easy to see orbiting space satellites passing slowly overhead.
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