Bryce Canyon & Zion Canyon

Our second night camping was another success! The Wonderland RV Park was so great, that we hated to pack up and leave the following morning. Once we loaded up the car, we drove towards Bryce Canyon National Park.

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We were very excited to visit this next park because it’s one of the top National Parks in Utah’s Mighty 5, along with Zion. Bryce Canyon’s entrance fee is $30 per vehicle. At this point, we had paid off our annual pass!

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We took a photo apart, but the people taking our photo insisted we stand together since we were an engaged couple…

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Like every other park we visited, we stopped at the visitor center to find a map. (Taylor and his maps) While we were inside, Taylor wanted to crawl under the fake rock display and stick his head up through the bubble. While he was under there, the other children let him know that he was too big…ha!

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We parked our car and started hiking the Navajo Loop! This is a moderate hike that requires 1-2 hours to hike 1.3 miles. Trust me, you will want to take your time because it is a beautiful hike! You will see some geological sights known as Wall Street, Two Bridges, and Thor’s Hammer on this short but steep trail.

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Thor’s Hammer

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This was one of our favorite trails! We had SO MUCH FUN together as we walked up and down the switchbacks, and took in all the red and orange colors that hovered over us. We had never seen anything like this before.

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As suggested by the trail name, you hike a complete circle. You start at the top of the canyon and hike down, then you hike back up to the top. It starts and ends at the same place, so you can choose to go either way, but they recommend going clockwise.

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Once we hiked to the canyon floor, we sat under a tree to have lunch! We ate our sandwiches and enjoyed the afternoon, UNTIL A SNAKE CRAWLED OUT IN FRONT OF US.

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Bryce Canyon was so much fun! At this point in our trip, it was Thursday and we would be flying home early Saturday morning. Since our flights were in and out of Vegas, we wanted to spend some time in Vegas before heading out! We also wanted to spend more time in Zion National Park because our time was limited on our first day. For this reason, we didn’t camp in Bryce. Instead, we drove an hour back to Zion.

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The campground within the park was full, so we had to travel outside a few miles to stay at the High-Road Campground.

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This was our least favorite campground out of the three we stayed at. It was basically just dirt and a few trees, with an outhouse. It cost us $30 for one night.

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On the other end of the campground, there was a full bathhouse. It was really unclean, and only 1 toilette (out of 5 or 6) was working. Also, the women’s shower was out of order and you had to go around the back, in the dark, to the backside of the men’s bathroom where a curtain was hung to shower. No thank you. If you plan on camping in Zion, make sure you book one of the other campgrounds months in advance, as they fill up quickly.

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After setting up our tent, we found a great Italian place in town! Zion Pizza & Noodle was such a great place to eat after hiking all week.

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They have huge pasta dishes and even better pizza! We ordered cheesy garlic bread with marinara, and a BBQ chicken pizza!

Both were fantastic! When we come back to Zion in the future, we will be eating here again. Maybe next time we’ll order a pasta dish.

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Once we were finished eating, we wanted to go on a short walk, so we headed for the Lower Emerald Pool trail. This is 1.2 miles, and they recommend leaving an hour to complete it. The trail is paved with minor drop-offs and connects to the Upper Emerald Pool trail.

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It was a nice short and sweet walk after dinner, but it was slightly disappointing. The name of the trail leads you to believe that it’s going to be this beautiful waterfall with emerald water, but the picture above is what it really looks like. Maybe the upper trail is prettier?

This really pretty river below is located across the street from the Zion Lodge. During the day, you will find a ton of people walking through it.

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As the sun sets, several deer come and munch on the grass in front of the lodge. They are completely unphased by all the people. The lodge fills up quickly too, so we’d like to try and stay there next time. It was so beautiful and is a great place to come and relax.

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Finding a seat on the bench and watching the deer and the sunset was the best way to end the day.

 

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