North Rim to Bryce Canyon National Park

May 29, 2011

We had breakfast at the Kaibab Lodge, left the North Rim and headed toward Bryce Canyon. The total distance to Bryce was about 140 miles.

As we drove northward on Hwy 67, we left the high meadows at about 8000 ft and entered pine forest. We had to be cautious because of free-range cattle along the roadway. We joined Hwy 89A at Jacob Lake, which was a winding mountain highway for a while.

Then after a long downslope the road opened up into high desert country with lots of sagebrush and long vistas.

The views lengthened until we were looking across vast distances in the desert with red cliffs in the distance.

It was still very early with low light, and I was startled to see this long column of lights approaching me on this otherwise nearly deserted road. My first thought was that it was too early for a funeral. Then I thought it might mean some disaster had happened and everyone was fleeing!

It turned out to be a column of motorcyles roaring across the desert. The girls counted 82 motorcycles in the line.

At Fredonia we reached some of the red cliffs we had seen in the distance. We stopped there briefly at a small service station and store (about 9am). The folks were very nice and seemed to enjoy the invasion by our eight-member party.

North of Fredonia we went back into desert region with pink or coral -colored sand.

Then there was an area with colored sand, but white cliffs in the distance. It was certainly a varied landscape.

We drove along a small stream which gave greenery to the valley. I liked the dotting of sagebrush in the green.

As we approached the turnoff to Hwy 12 we saw a lot more green on the mountains. We traveled along the Sevier River, which was at flood stage.

We had not had any rain, so it was surprising to see the Sevier River running high and flooding some surrounding land. A vigorous stream through apparent desert land?

OK, its just sagebrush-covered land with a barbed-wire fence across it. But I found this open country beautiful and exhilirating.

We turned eastward on Hwy 12 and soon entered the Red Canyon area.

The large, brilliant red formations in the Red Canyon area told us we were finally approaching the Bryce Canyon National Park.

Bryce Canyon

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