Bryce doesn’t look like much when you first arrive.
The outskirts of the park – the entrance to the park itself – is lined with strip commercial crap. Ruby’s empire (now owned by Best Western) dominates, but they aren’t the only offenders. It is ugly.We leave all that behind as we move further into the park and the flat land becomes obscured by trees. There is no sign of the formations for which the park is famous.
At the lodge, the charming, but overly-helpful young women working the registration desk make for a long wait. But they are charming ladies, so it’s ok. The one who finally registers us is a business major from Romania — Xanterra (the concessionaire for most of the parks we will be in) evidently brings in young people from all over the world to work in the parks. Here they all seem sweet and over-eager to please.
We have a fine little cabin with a gas fireplace. No view, since all of the structures are set far back from the rim. However, we are surrounded by tall Ponderosa pine and it is an easy walk to either the lodge or the rim. What could be better?
We head off for our first look over the rim.
The main portion of Bryce is set around a large “amphitheater” where you mostly look down on the fantastic stone formations. The Indians who lived in the place believed that the people who had lived here before them were bad and that, for that reason, they were turned to stone. Their legends explain that you can still see these people there now, in exactly the position they were before being turned to stone – some standing, others sitting or holding each other. It is an amazing, incredible, beautiful, and slightly eerie place.
In awe, we walk along the rim to Sunset Point.
At Sunset Point we walk part way down into the amphitheater itself along the Navajo Trail (closed halfway, because of a recent rock fall in the Wall Street area). The formations are just as incredible close at hand.
After dark we walk to the rim again, to view the hoodoos in the moonlight. The moon is more than half full and the light is interesting, but we are very tired.
It has been an amazing day.