Dan and Hannah Hike Our American Southwest – Bryce Canyon National Park – Archive May 2010

Kanab, Utah is a Western town Hannah and I have come to love for its slow pace and easy access to national parks, a mere 80 miles to Bryce Canyon and just 40 to Zion.  Our morning walk is through quiet streets of single story homes in neighborhoods where it seems like everyone would know your name.  At the Kanab High track, a promising young athlete works with her coach before the heat of the day.  Kanab calls itself “Little Hollywood” with such television shows as Gunsmoke and the Lone Ranger filmed here. 

Driving through the spectacular Red Rock Canyon just prior to Bryce in late May, we learn that though it is called a canyon, Bryce is really a giant amphitheater of brilliantly colored orange, red, purple, and yellow stone formations created by erosion.  

Trail map of our hiking

In the first stage of erosion, these “fins” weave through the park floor like a shark off Nantucket.  At Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon, with salty snacks, water, a sun protecting hat, and sunscreen, we descend on the switchbacks of the Navajo Loop on the way to the Peekaboo Trail.  Once there, the canyon walls bracket us as the trail is sandy smooth and often wide enough for us to walk side by side.

With many foreign and homegrown visitors, Bryce gives us many opportunities to engage others in conversation.  Germans Michael and Anja willingly respond to our opening and tell us, Americans are most welcoming.  This would not be the case if hiking in Germany

Descending to the Navajo Loop

Rated strenuous, the Peekaboo Trail rises and falls easily as brilliant vistas showcase “windows” that are created in the fins (second stage of erosion).  They appear around many turns in the trail as if to say “Peekaboo.”  The Bryce guide cautions that mild exertion can cause light-headedness and even nausea. 

A Bryce Canyon “window”

A narrow spur trail where we step carefully, but not fearfully, ascends to the canyon rim at 8300-foot Bryce Point.  Our breathing is harder but not taxing.  Whereas all our other days of hiking were sun filled, postcard blue skies, today we have the clouds, and what a blessed relief they are.  As we retrace our steps from Bryce Point back down into the amphitheater to Sunset Point, we stand in awe of the towering soft orange/pink hoodoos, pinnacles of stone formed by wind, water, and ice, the final stage of limestone erosion. 

2021 Update – With plans dashed to hike Bryce Canyon in 2020 and 2021 with our daughter Molly’s family because of Covid-19, Hannah and I once again plan to return to Bryce Canyon for the first time in 11 years next April 2022 with her family (Owen (9) and Max (7), and her hubby Tip).

6 thoughts on “Dan and Hannah Hike Our American Southwest – Bryce Canyon National Park – Archive May 2010

  1. You sure know how to live! Love the way you embrace adventure and capture it in text . Awesome !

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  2. Kanab, Utah is also home to one of the most unbelievable animal rescue shelters in the country: Best Friends Animal Sanctuary off Angel Canyon Rd. They stopped many of the “Michael Vick fighting ring dogs” from being put down. With a lot of love & care, they actually found safe, loving homes for a few. While several others were never made safe enough to adopt, they did live out their lives in a loving environment until their natural deaths. There is a beautiful graveyard dedicated to the “Michael Vick dogs” that has dozens of wind chimes and a beautiful spot to sit, meditate, and pray. Linda and I were very moved. They also have fully loaded, ready to go 18-wheelers and volunteer medical and trained staffs all over the country who go to places that suffer natural disasters (floods, hurricanes, fires, etc.) and pick up stray animals separated from their owners. They take them back to Kanab, care for them, post full page ads with pictures for owners to claim, and then reunite them when the owners get back on their feet from the disaster. 100’s of very moving stories. We have named them in our wills. It’s such a beautiful place.

  3. Pingback: Dan and Hannah Hike Our American Southwest – Bryce Canyon National Park – Archive May 2010 — over60hiker – Go Camping Magazine

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