Queens Garden/Navajo Loop Hike-Bryce Canyon National Park

Najavo Loop Trailhead

The Queens Garden and Navajo Loop combination is a great hike when you visit Bryce Canyon National Park. The combination is about 3 miles round trip. Most people start at Sunrise Point and the Queen’s Garden Trailhead. The views from the rim overlooks at Bryce are amazing, but you really want to get down into the Hoodoos and walk on the canyon floor. It is truly like walking around in a fairytale!

Navajo Loop Trail

Bryce Canyon Floor

The colors change during the day with the sun, so you will want to bring your camera to capture your hike. It can be hot (even in the fall) so we always carry plenty of water and hats on our hikes. Remember, you are at a high elevation. You can walk right up to the edge at some points- be careful. I loved the narrow Wall Street section and the switchbacks at the end. Enjoy, and let us know how you like the hike.

Loop

Bryce Canyon  Bryce

 

The Grand Circle Road Trip

Craig and I have been talking about visiting Utah’s National Parks for a while. After seeing the map above in a Fodor’s travel book on the West, I decided to start planning a road trip. The “Mighty 5” (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches) have had a lot of press lately. Utah’s latest advertising campaign by Struck was great. I know we loved the video.

I decided to use the road trip above from the Fodor’s Complete Guide to The National Parks of The West. We also added a night in Page after Monument Valley so we can see Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and Lake Powell. October looked like a great time to visit so that is when we head out. Our anniversary is in October as well, so it will be a nice celebration! We added a few nights more than what the book suggested. I think 2 weeks would be even better.   

We will be flying into Las Vegas late and staying the first night there. The next morning we will drive to Zion National Park. We are spending 2 nights at the Zion Lodge, 1 night at the Bryce Canyon Lodge, 1 night at Austin’s Chuckwagon Motel in Torrey, 2 Nights at the Red Cliff’s Lodge right outside Moab, 1 night at the Fair View Lodge in Mesa Verde, 1 night at The View Hotel in Monument Valley, 1 night at The Lake Powell Resort and Marina near Page and 2 nights at Bright Angel Lodge on the South Rim of The Grand Canyon. I included the official hotel links if you would like to recreate our road trip! There are nice restaurants in each location that I read about on Trip Advisor and travel guide books. Some are The Spotted Dog Cafe in Springdale outside of Zion National Park, Hell’s Backbone Grill on Highway 12, Cafe Diablo in Torrey and Desert Bistro in Moab. The menu’s look amazing and we can’t wait to try them all.  

Sunrise Sunset is a great web site to determine sunrise and sunset times during your trips. In Southern Utah, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon, you really want to catch the amazing sunrises and sunsets. There is also an app called Magic Hour for photography that you may want to download. 

This is a large area to cover, so plan as much time as you can or concentrate on certain areas (a smaller loop.) Look at lodging and tours way ahead. See my Pinterest pins for more ideas.

 

 

National Parks Passport

In September 2013 my husband Craig and I went to an event at the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site in Saugus, MA.  At the visitor center and gift shop, I noticed a whole section for National Park Passports. I had never seen them before. For years Craig and I had wanted to visit Yellowstone, Yosemite and our other National Parks. We decided that day to buy one of the passports and make it our goal to visit as many National Parks, Historic Sites and Monuments as we could!

There are kids passports, regular passports and even a whole binder system that you can store stickers and extra pages in. The passports come with a nice fold out map of all of our National Park, NHS, NRA, etc. locations. Here are the different designations.

Since buying our passport we have visited Fort Matanzas and Castillo de San Marcos in Saint Augustine, FL, the Salem, MA National Historic Site, Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. This year we are headed to the Golden Gate NRA, Yosemite National Park, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Joshua Tree, The Mighty 5 in Utah, Mesa Verde, the Grand Canyon and Acadia-WHEW! Next year we are heading back to Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton and Glacier National Park for our 20th anniversary. We hope to go to Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii soon.

I hope you will join us in our quest to get as many National Park Passport stamps as we can fit in our book! I will post links to our YouTube channel, Instagram and Pinterest sites so you can view some of these amazing places along with us.

Next year-2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Parks and I hope this will inspire you to visit a park near or far.

Pages waiting to be stamped!