Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Hoodoos or Bust

The second leg of my journey in the Red Rock Country of Utah to Bryce Canyon was thwarted.  Highway 9 (the Mt. Carmel Tunnel road), touted as one of the most scenic byways in America which is the direct route from Zion to Bryce was closed due to damage from the heavy rains.
This forced me to do some backtracking to Highway14, a snaking road that winds upward to a breathtaking summit blanketed in snow. I could hear the ice crackling in the creek tracing the Scenic Byway as I climbed ever upward. This detour proved exciting and a less-traveled alternative to get to Bryce Canyon, but it is not for everyone.
Hoodoo Magic
Bryce is famous for its hoodoos, colorful and exotic-shaped rock spires carved by wind and ice. It’s most famous formation “Thor’s Hammer” is located on the floor of the amphitheater which is the heart of the park. White drifts of snow in the clefts’ burnt-orange formations looked like frosting on a carrot cake. The walk along the rim with inspiring views is an easy stroll between Sunrise and Sunset Points. It can be a hike if you chose to go the entire length of the trail.
Castles in the Sky Mossy Cave Walk
Due to heavy snow, the Queens Garden and Fairytale Loop were the only trails open to those who are hardy enough to descend to the valley floor. Going down is easy but returning to the rim can be stressful.
Sensitive to the altitude (8,000 ft.), I chose to take the easier option to Mossy Cave. The trailhead is located outside of the main park off Hwy 12. Tears of gratitude welled as I strolled at the base of the castles in the sky along an energetic river to a waterfall.
I was not denied the thrill of knowing the shady glens and walls laced in maidenhair ferns on the valley floor because of physical limitations. Even though millions flock to Zion and Bryce each year, I was able to find my quiet moments here with Mother Nature. I will return to explore more of some of the best of the Creator’s handiwork that has been preserved for all to enjoy.
Queen’s Garden Trail
Lodging: Ruby’s is the landmark establishment in Bryce offering food, lodging, horseback riding, and more. They are kind enough to allow people staying elsewhere to use their Olympic-sized pool and soothing spa for $5.00.
NOTE: The National Park staff is working feverishly to have the “tunnel road” from Zion to Bryce back up and running by April 30th, but if you are planning a trip to the region I suggest you wait until mid-May. Be sure to check road conditions of the alternate routes before going. There were closures due to late spring storms.
Linda Ballou, has a host of articles and information about her travel books on her site

 You will find information about her novels at

Subscribe to Linda’s blog to receive updates on books, and travel destinations and events.

No comments:

Post a Comment