It was a quick 84 mile trip from Zion Canyon to Bryce Canyon, including the twisty, turny ride up to and past the 1.1 mile tunnel, which required us to wait for traffic to be stopped on the other end so that we could go through one-way and drive the centerline since the sides are too low for us to go through. We are staying at Ruby's Inn RV Park and Campground where we have full hookups and a very unlevel site. We did manage to get mostly level after a few boards and maneuvering a bit. As you can see by the pictures, the sites are pretty close to each other but very long. They are currently building a new section to the campground which was supposed to be complete by June but they have had a very wet Spring and they will be a little tardy. The first two days we were here they average about 100 truckloads of dirt a day coming into that area. Hopefully they will find some more dirt to level the current campsites!
We arrived here early so we went on into to the Canyon and saw most of the sights then. Bryce Canyon is one of the most unique places we have visited with its 'hoodoos'
. Bryce Canyon is not really a canyon as it doesn't have but one side, though there are several mini canyons within the formations themselves.
Monday we stayed in since it was supposed to rain all day and we still needed to do a little planning on our itinerary. We pretty well have it worked out until the end of August except for a two week period the end of July.
Tuesday we went out hiking. First, we decided to go back to the Desoto National Forest and to Red Canyon in particular. We passed through it on the way to Bryce and thought it was deserving of a further look. We wanted to take the Arches Trail which is supposed to be a .8 mile loop up the mountain to see some arches. The Forest Service had rated it easy-moderate so we figured we could do it. It did involve a 283 foot elevation change in the short distance but we knew we could rest if necessary. The problem was it was a non-maintained trail and we wound up having to climb over rocks, etc and it wound up being a very rigorous hike. We couldn't do the loop since part of it had washed out for the most part and would take someone braver than us to try to cross that area. So, anyway, we wound up backtracking from the washout and then going back up using the other side of the loop and back which made it a lot longer than .8 miles.:) We did feel like we had accomplished something when we finished though since it was the toughest hike we have done in a long time. We are at about 7,500 feet elevation and there doesn't seem to be much oxygen that high as we do have trouble breathing.
We then came back to Bryce and hiked the Mossy Cave Trail which follows the Tropic Ditch. Water was a major problem in Bryce Valley. The pioneers spent two years hand digging the East Fork Canal, also known as the Tropic Ditch. It diverted water from the East Fork of the Sevier River to the Paria River. The structure, almost 10 miles long, was completed in 1890 and is a monument to the early pioneers. The water stabilized life in Bryce Valley, and allowed people to successfully farm, grow orchards, and raise cattle. Our trail took us up to a falls that is on the Tropic Ditch and also has a side trail which goes to the Mossy Cave. The Mossy Cave is really not a cave but a grotto where water seeps through constantly creating a very wet environment and the resulting moss.
Wednesday, we spent recovering :) and making sure we had everything done that needed done before going incognito for two days. Tomorrow we head for Kodachrome Basin State Park where we don't believe we will have cell or internet service. We will be dry camping for two days without hookups.