Wednesday, July 8, 2015

BEST OF THE SOUTHWEST - Cottonwood Wash and Bryce


Weather – High - 70, Low - 45; Chance of Rain - 30%

Breakfast - Lake Powell Resort - Rainbow Room

Lunch - Snacks

Dinner - Bryce Canyon Lodge
Drive toward Kanab on SH 89 and just past Milepost 17, turn right onto the Cottonwood Canyon Road. (there is a road sign on the right)  The muddy Cottonwood Wash parallels the narrow dirt road that is only accessible during the normal dry conditions.  The wash crosses the road in several places and makes the road inaccessible to anything other than 4-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicles.  If it has recently rained heavily, you will need to continue on SH 89A to Kanab, and then continue SH 89 north toward Salt Lake City, following the signs to Bryce National Park. This is a spectacular drive through the verdant Long Valley where small Mormon towns line the road that winds through eye-popping scenery. (135 miles)

Go 14 miles and there is a dirt parking area on the right which is the trailhead for the Miner’s Trail.

Hikes – The Miner’s Trail climbs steeply up to the top of the plateau, with amazing views of the Cockscomb, Lower Hackberry Canyon, Mollie’s Nipple, the Yellow Whale, Lower Box Death Hollow, Castle Rock, and Kodachrome Basin State Park. (3.5 miles RT)

Grosvenor Arch – A rare double arch.  (0.5 miles RT)

Sunset Point @ Bryce National Park. (0.5 miles RT from the Lodge)

                                           Bryce Lodge
                                      Motel w/2 Queens


Weather – High - 60, Low - 25; Chance of Rain - 30%

Breakfast  - Bryce Canyon Lodge

Lunch - Bryce Canyon Lodge
Dinner - Bryce Canyon Lodge
There are motel, food and shopping services located right outside the Park (Ruby’s is the best) in the small town of Bryce, but it takes forever to get back into the park because of all the traffic at the entrance station. *

HighlightsScenic Drive to Rainbow Point (36 miles RT with numerous viewpoints)

Hikes – Wall Street/Peek-a-Boo Loop/Queen’s Garden – Strenuous with lots of steep sections, but this three trail combo encompasses the best parts of the inner canyon. (8 miles – 6 hours)

The free Bryce Canyon Shuttle will operate April 24 –September 30, 2015 at the following times:
April 24 –May 17: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
May 18 –September 8: 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
September 9 –30: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Shuttle buses run every 10-15 minutes and serve the most popular viewpoints and facilities in the park.
* Remember that you are at about 8,500 feet and the oxygen is thinner so it’s harder to breathe. *
                                             Bryce Lodge
                                        Motel w/2 Queens

 Camping – Bryce Canyon National Park has two campgrounds, North and Sunset, located in close proximity to the visitor center, Bryce Canyon Lodge and the geologic wonder that is the Bryce Amphitheater. Both have restrooms with flush toilets, and drinking water. During the summer months, coin-operated laundry and shower facilities are available at the general store nearby. There are no hook-ups in the campgrounds, but a fee-for-use dump station is available for RV users at the south end of North Campground.

NOTE: Dump-station is closed during months with freezing temperatures.
Both campgrounds are located in Ponderosa Pine forest habitat with equal amounts of shade and sun, giving them a similar appearance. All sites are limited to 10 people [with no more than 6 adults (adult=16 and up)], 3 tents and 2 vehicles and cost $30 per RV site per night, and $20 per tent site per night. Holders of the Interagency Senior Pass and Access Pass (part of the America The Beautiful - National Park Service & Federal Lands Pass System) or the Golden Age and Golden Access Passes, receive a 50% discount. Sites fill by early afternoon during the summer months. Click here for a map of both campgrounds. A Group Site is available in Sunset Campground.
North Campground has 13 RV sites available by reservation and 86 RV and Tent Sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. Sunset Campground has 20 Tent Sites and a Group site available by reservation and 80 RV and Tent Sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. Check individual pages for more information.

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