The World’s Best Three-Mile Hike

Or so said “The Hoodoo,” Bryce Canyon National Park’s visitor’s guide when it described the Queen’s Garden Hike. Combined with the Navajo Loop to form a three-mile loop, this hike had an elevation change of about 580 feet.

Just our kind of warm-up hike, and with temps in the mid-60s it was a stunning day for exploring the hoodoos close up!

You can see how eager I was to get started down the trail into the Canyon — it was beautiful from the rim, but I knew it would be amazing from the inside out.

Everywhere we looked, amazing formations loomed. The trail wound around and through the limestone rock — and yes, these are very close to the true colors!

Gifted on this day with these gorgeous blue skies, the contrast brought out the smallest details in the spires of the hoodoos.

And it’s always fun to see familiar shapes in the formations… here ET watches us from a distance:

 This Steller’s Jay ruffled his crown at us from above:

Maybe because of the description as being The World’s Best Three-Mile Hike, we shared it with many others:


Thor’s Hammer basked in the sunshine, free of snow…

…but in other sections of the Canyon, snow lingered:

All of it making for great photo ops…

…like this one of the Natural Bridge, which (just as the Canyon isn’t really a canyon) isn’t really a natural bridge but an arch — the difference is in how they’re formed, not in how they look.

Whatever you call it, it’s another stunning example of the curious and fantasmagoric rock and mountain formations at Bryce Canyon NP!

Oh… and is the Queen’s Garden the “World’s Best Three-Mile Hike”? Like so many other “special” places in the national parks, this one is far from the solitary experience we would rather have when we’re out in nature, so it wouldn’t rank this high for us, because what we want in a hike is more than hoodoos… We love the places where we can escape bumping into people — after all, we can bump into people in the grocery store any day of the week.

No… we’d rather experience nature up close and personally, away from the bustling crowds.

Could we find that at Bryce Canyon? The answer to that… next time!

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About Ellen

Fiction writer and photographer, I travel the country with my sweetheart of a husband as a "full-time RVer."
This entry was posted in Birds, Hiking, National Parks and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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