Bryce Canyon (and surrounding area)

Bryce Canyon was my favorite National Park visited on this trip! The hoodoos and landscape was so different then anything we had seen before.

Cannonville/Bryce Valley KOA Holiday

We stayed at the nearby Cannonville/Bryce Valley KOA about 20 minutes outside the main entrance of the park. We were in the back of the campground, up a hill and although there were laundry/showers back there we usually had to walk up front because they were full. The kids enjoyed the pool (probably their favorite part of any campground!) Our pull thru site was small, but fine for our needs.

Our campsite

Our first morning in Bryce Canyon we decided to head to Sunset Point, then hike down Wall street and do the Queens Garden/Navajo Loop and hike back up to Sunrise Point, where we walked the rim trail back to our car at Sunset Point. This loop was about 3 miles round trip. I would reccomend starting at Sunset Point as the hike back up is less steep then if you started from Sunrise Point. There were still some switchbacks, but the elevation gain was more gradual. We got to the park around 8am and were glad we went early, as the parking lot was full when we exited. We had beautiful weather with highs in the upper 70s.

View from Sunset Point
Walking down through Wall Street
Canyon at the bottom of Wall Street
Trail split
Beautiful views throughout
Queens Garden area
Lots of cool passages
Near the end of the trail
Almost to the top!
Sunrise Point

There are multiple viewpoints to visit in Bryce, my family loved Inspiration Point but unfortunately I got a migraine so had to miss. Later in the day after some rest we headed to the Mossy Cave Trail.

Mossy Cave Trail

The Mossy Cave trail is located outside the main entrance of Bryce, but it a popular trail. It’s very kid friendly, fairly flat and only .8 miles round trip. The cave is up a bit of a hill and is not that exciting, the real highlight is the waterfall! You can swim in the waterfall and the river area.

The beginning of the hike…to reach the waterfall go under the second bridge
Mossy Cave (go over the second bridge)
Waterfall fun!
It might be small but it’s a lot of fun!

Red Canyon- Golden Wall

We love exploring areas off the beaten path, and when we drove through the Red Canyon on the way to Bryce I knew I wanted to return. Red Canyon is part of the Dixie National Forest. The first trail we did in Red Canyon was the Golden Wall Trail, a 4.2 mile loop. Parking was easy to find at the trailhead, and it ended at a nearby campground where we could take the bike path back to our car. This loop had some steep climbs but the scenery was amazing! The second part of the trail did have some steep drop offs that could be tough with younger kids. One of the best parts of this trail was we passed zero other people!

Trailhead of Golden Wall
Near the start of the trail
Beautiful scenery
After the first major climb
One of the summits
Some cool rocks…this one looks like a bear
The start of the steep section
Cliffside path

Red Canyon- Arches Trail

After we did the Golden Wall Loop, we headed to the Arches Trail. This was a two miles down a dirt road but no 4 wheel drive is needed. The loop is only .6 miles, although there is a steep climb and it can be slippery in places. We only saw one other family here.

Steep Climb
The arch
Amazing views
There is a cool windows climbing section

Kodachrome Basin State Park- Panorama Trail

We had some time to burn after we checked out of our campground, so we hit the nearby Kodachrome Basin State Park. Plenty of parking for campers. We decided to do the Panorama Trail, a 6 mile loop. Honestly we got too late of a start, it for too hot and there was little shade so we had a tough time finishing this one. I would definitely go earlier next time. We passed zero people on our hike but probably for good reason. It was a great hike though, with a great cave to explore. Bring more water then you think you need. Also, in the middle the trail was not well marked and we ended up in a riverbed, forcing us to backtrack.

Start of Trail
Ballerina Spire
Hat shop
Cool rock formations
Secret passage
Getting back to the trail after getting lost
Hanging out in the cool cave
Cool Cave

We really enjoyed our time in Bryce, and found there was a lot more to do then just the National Park. Sometimes the best adventures are the ones you don’t expect! After Bryce, we did a short 2 hour drive to our next campground in Escalante.

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