Another day, another National Park! For this leg of the trip, we traveled south, deeper into Utah headed towards the famous hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park.
To get from Park City to Bryce Canyon, we went a bit out of our way to visit Hell’s Backbone Grill (a recommendation from our Fletcher’s waitress in Park City!) for dinner. The restaurant is located in Boulder, Utah (who knew that was a place?) and as far as we could tell, it’s a very popular restaurant in the middle of nowhere. We dined outside on biscuits, deviled eggs, boulder beef braise and the dinner jenchilada . Even though this stop added a couple of hours to our drive, I’m so glad we went. Road trips are all about the random stops along the way, finding those gems in the Boulder, Utah. We were told Hell’s Backbone Grill has an amazing brunch, just so you know, in case you happen to be in Boulder, Utah anytime soon.
Following dinner, we drove near Escalante and made our way to Bryce. We spent the night at Bryce View Lodge (one of the more bare bones hotels along our trip). Not something I’d go out of my way to recommend, but it was fine. Next door was a nice looking Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand, probably the nicest option in the area.
We called it an early night because one of the best times to be at Bryce Canyon is sunrise. We set our alarms for way too early, and headed to the park around 5:30am for the 6:30am sunrise. Since sunrise is the best time to view the park, we thought there would be a line of cars to get in. LOL, no. While there were lots of people, we did not need to get there so early. Also, it was SO COLD! I think the temps were in the low 40s and for middle of the summer, this was unexpected. I grabbed extra layers from the trunk and we waited at sunrise point.
As the sun rose, the most gorgeous light spread across the park. We took in the views and walked to a couple of overlooks to view the hoodoos. In the pictures below you can see the colors brighten as the sun rose.
Huddling up to stay warm as we waited for the sun to rise!
He’s smart and wore a fur coat.
Look at that light!
Even though we only viewed Bryce from a couple of overlooks, it was beautiful. Compared to some of the other National Parks on our trip, it wasn’t my favorite, but that may be because we didn’t explore beyond the well beaten paths. We didn’t hike or camp or dig dipper than main viewing areas, so I can only imagine there is so much more to explore. With a cross-country trip, you can’t do it all, but I’m glad we got a glimpse at the beauty of Bryce!