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That Hoodoo Voodoo

… Bryce do so well.

According to ancient legend, hoodoos were beloved to be people whom the god Coyote turned to stone for misbehaving.

Bryce Canyon. Top 2 of the National Parks I have visited. It feels like you have entered another universe. It also is not a canyon, because canyons are formed by rivers. Bryce, in fact, is just a series of cliffs that are eroding, creating an otherworldly landscape ripe for exploring.

I didn’t want to leave. We were only there for two days, and we did 5 hikes. And I’m going to highlyyyy recommend these five hikes, I left the park feeling like I had seen so much it a very short period of time!

  1. Queens Garden & Navajo Loop– to be clear, this is the hike you absolutely MUST do. I think it is a top 3 hike of all time for me, and certainly the best short hike I/ve ever done. Less than 3 miles, you get the best views (and the best workout). It takes you to the center of the canyon, puts you in its heart. Make no doubt, you will climb to get back out. But it’s worth every muscle. Seriously, this hike is the one that claims responsibility for my love of National Parks. I became a believer on this trail.

Can you spot me amongst the hoodoos? Seriously loved this trail.

  1. Fairyland Loop- This one is long. 8.2 miles. But it did not feel that strenuous because it is so spread out. And it was by far the least crowded trail we hiked. We did it on day 2, and because it was basically just us on the trail, this is where I felt the real connection. There is a lot of “new” hoodoos, so they aren’t as clearly formed. It’s like a timeline for hoodoos, you can see them at all their different stages.

Great views of the Tower Bridge from the Fairyland loop

  1. Bristlecone Loop- This is where you will see some greenery. It is the only one where you can hug a bunch of trees! An alpine forest to be exact, so bring some extra warmth since it is at a higher elevation than almost anywhere else in the park. It’s also only a one mile loop, so it’s a quick one– all above the rim of the canyon.

My travel partner making big views

  1. Water Canyon & Mossy Cave– This short 1 mile in-and-out leads you to a derby waterfall and a little cave that is usually icy. It’s an easy hike, with different scenery than you will see in the rest of the park.

  2. The Hat Shop– This hike gives you a little something extra– the hoodoos that are found all over Bryce Canyon, but with dolomite limestone top. Hence, the trail name The Hat Shop– it looks like the hoodoos are wearing caps! It is a four mile out and back, and almost completely deserted. I think we hiked the entire thing and saw one other couple. But if you have the time, it is interesting to witness the formation of the hoodoos, and how the sandstone erodes faster than the limestone creating the “hats”.

Writing this post, I long to go back to Bryce. It is such a special place, with unique geological features. It is small in comparison to other parks, but still filled with wonder. When I left, these are the words I posted:

“I have been so humbled this past week… The hikes, the views, all of it. There’s no way to stand to stand in front of this and not think how important and yet insignificant we are. I’m connected to all of this, but it was here before me and will go on after me. That’s a hell of an amen.”
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