We left our site bright and early on Wednesday morning knowing we had a lot of driving ahead of us. Again, the Jackson Hole sleepover was not planned so our days are a little off, but that’s just fine! We left around 6:45 AM, I drove while Matthew relaxed in the back, with our plan to stop in Salt Lake City and then switch spots for the remainder of the drive.
We stopped in Blackfoot, ID at the Idaho Potato Museum solely to take a picture with this giant potato because…when in Idaho! It was right on the route, just a few miles off the exit, and gave us a chance to stretch our legs. We also stopped at a gas station for coffee and a bathroom break, then got back on the road.
We made a quick stop in Salt Lake City, UT. Originally, we had planned to spend a day here and stay the night but decided to pass through and keep going to Bryce Canyon. We knew about the cute sign from Matthew’s sister who lives in SLC and it is by the Gateway Mall near the parking garage escalators if you’re ever looking for it 😊
Matthew also used to live in SLC and knew he wanted to stop by a soda shop for a drink and a treat. We stopped at Thirst Drinks for sodas and cookies. It was delightful, the staff are friendly, and they give out complimentary popcorn. What could be better? Matthew got the Smooth Classic and a scotcharoo cookie and I got the Kick Back Rickey and a sugar cookie. Delicious!
Bryce Canyon was stunning. We took so many pictures, it’s hard to choose which ones to include. We arrived to Bryce around 5 PM and went to the North Campground on Loop A. There were plenty of sites open but we went ahead and registered, put on our hiking boots, and headed to the Navajo Loop Trail.
We headed down the Navajo Loop as we had read this was an “easy” trail and only 1.3 miles. When we got to the bottom, you could go right to continue on the Navajo Loop or left to go towards the Queens Garden trail…however the rest of the Navajo Loop was closed! Instead of turning around and heading back up, we opted to keep going on the Queens Garden trail which was another 1.6 miles.
The trail was amazing and it brings you into the amphitheater which offers incredible views. Also, I don’t think the switchbacks are as intense heading back up as they would have been if we would have turned around on the Navajo Loop trail. I read the same on another site that the switch backs are more gradual going from Sunset to Sunrise point, which is what we did. It was definitely manageable for us, and this is not something we are used to in any way.
The trail took us about 2 and a half hours, including the half mile from Sunrise to Sunset point where our car was. The sense of accomplishment at the end was awesome.
We headed back to camp and we were finally able to make a fire! We cooked hot dogs and made s’mores, got cleaned up and headed to bed. The North campground was close to the trail, had flush toilets, but no showers. I read there are showers at the general store but they closed at 8…we just missed them!
- Days at Bryce: April 18-19
- Bryce entry fee: $30 (covered by national parks pass)
- Campground cost: $20
- Temperature Low 26 High 45
Thanks for reading! Check back soon for updates! 😊