Driving to Bryce

Sometimes on short mileage days, it actually takes us longer to get to a place than on a regular day.  That’s because you know you have time and we tend to dawdle in the morning.  Lee decided he wanted to go to the store and do some laundry so we didn’t get moving until close to noon.  Deb and Steve also had to go to the store, plus she wanted to wash her rig and Steve had a conference call, so they had a late start as well.

None of us were worried because Deb had called Bryce and was told the campground was first come first serve, and we should have no problem getting in.  What they didn’t tell her was all but one loop was closed, and by the time we got there around 5pm there were only two spots left!  We were extremely lucky that those two spots were large enough for us and next to each other…but I am jumping ahead.  First, the drive.

It was strange to go from desert to higher elevations with snow.

Deb took this picture of us in the rear view window. Normally we wouldn’t have gone together but since it was first come first serve we wanted to make sure we both got a place.

We knew we were getting close when we hit Red Rock Canyon. This isn’t a part of Bryce but super cool in and of itself and we want to go back and spend more time there.

Glad Deb and Steve went through first! The sign said 13’6″ clearance, but we think it was a bit taller than that.

The red rocks with the snow covered hills nearby was really beautiful.

When we arrived at the campground, as I said only loop A was open, and only two spots left, but they were good ones.  Unfortunately they weren’t totally cleared of snow and no picnic table or campfire.  The dump station was also closed, but we had dumped and filled before leaving Lone Rock, because Deb had found out it wasn’t open.

We were backed right up to the snow in our site.

Steve’s grill lol and as you can see no way we were getting to the picnic area.

Our site

Steve and Deb’s was right behind us.

The park was full and mostly it was tent campers and small RV’s which I thought was crazy. It wasn’t that cold during the day but night was below freezing.

For Jack it was a HUGE adjustment. He had just come from sand and now it was his first time seeing snow. He was a bit tentative at first.

But soon he was climbing the snow banks like a champ.

The only downside was a wet and dirty belly when he came back in from playing in the snow.

That night I’ll be honest I was a little disappointed.  The campground was $30 a night (pretty steep for what we were getting) and it was overcast.  The last part is what really bothered me because you simply can’t take great pictures on overcast days.  We were unsure on whether or not we wanted to stay, but by the time we got settled it was 6pm and too late to move.  The full hookup campground in town was $49 a night and the boondocking spot was a no go because the ground was too wet. All in all it had been a long day and not how I wanted my Bryce experience to start.  Consequently we decided to just get a good nights sleep and see what tomorrow brought us.

Thankfully when we woke up the next day the sun was shining.  It was a beautiful day and despite the snow on the ground, not cold at all.  Lee and I were up and ready to go really early, so we decided to pop up to the visitors center and get some information on the park.

Really nice visitors center.

This solar array was as large as a drive through movie theater screen

Basically only 11 miles of the scenic drive was open and most of the trails to the bottom of the canyon.

We learned that Bryce was part of the same geography that the Grand Canyon was.

Mt first hoodoos were inside but nice replicas.

We learned Bryce was one of the darkest places in the US.

And I got up close and personal with this prairie dog exhibit.

And as a special treat we saw some real prairie dogs on the ride back to the campground.

Things were definitely looking up and the four of us decided to take advantage of the sun and start with the scenic drive.  That turned out to be an amazing experience but I am going to save that for my next post.  Too many good pictures to fit into this one.


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3 thoughts on “Driving to Bryce

  1. OMG, the prairie dog hole with your smiling face made me LOL. 🙂 I’m so glad you are getting some downtime with friends before you start your summer jobs. These are the days that make it all worthwhile.

  2. I know folks hate prairie dogs because they destroy the land..but they look super cute…but not as cute as your smiling face!

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