Thursday, June 19, 2014

Bryce Canyon - On the Grand Circle Tour

We've continued our trip now following the Grand Circle tour of National Parks.  Its a route starting in Utah where you drive in a big counter clockwise circle seeing several National Parks including Arches, Canyonlands, Mesa Verde, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, and Capital Reef.  Its a very popular route especially for an RV trip.

The good news, for the local economies, is that the parks we've seen have been very very busy and full of people from all over.  So far, we've heard people speaking English, Spanish, French, German, Korean, Japanese, and Navajo.  The bad news - the parks have been very busy and full of people.  Traffic has been heavy in the parks, visitor centers busy, and parking lots are pretty full. The same goes for the campgrounds. It seems like there's a caravan of Cruise America and Road Bear rental RV's along with touring motorcycles following us each day.  But, its summer, with popular destinations, and that's when people want to get out and see this stuff.

We picked it up the Grand Circle tour at Mesa Verde and are now at Bryce Canyon.  It was a short 153 miles from Page that got us here around noon.  With all the traffic, Bryce has added a shuttle to take you around the park and avoid the crowded parking lots.  Zion also did this a few years ago.  You can still drive into this park and to all the scenic view points but, if you go in the summer, be prepared to find full parking lots.

We've had great weather since we left Dodge City. Its been sunny and warm for the past week.  Today, at Bryce was no exception. Just a little cooler since we're at 8,000 feet but still nice.  The views of the canyon have been breath taking.  Here are some pictures.

Dixie National Forest
Bryce Canyon Amphitheater

Cav at Sunset Point

I didn't get to do any hiking down into the canyon on this trip (I had several years ago), but its still spectacular from the rim.  All these parks are different and beautiful in their own way.

We stayed at Ruby's Campground right outside the park.  The heat made me want the hookups.  Its pricey at $48/night but its close to the park and has everything (full hookups, laundry, store, wifi).  Ruby's is quite a complex.
Campsite at Ruby's

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