Bryce Canyon City, UT
After an all day rain on Thursday, Friday morning dawned clear with bright sunshine. A chance of rain was in the forecast for the afternoon, so we were up and out early (for us) and at Sunset Point at a bit after 9:00 AM. The first section of our hike was steeply down the cliff on Navajo Trail, a hike we made last Monday.
At the bottom of the canyon we took a short side trail to join the Peekaboo Loop Trail, a three mile hike right through the best part of the canyon.
At one point the trail passes a Ponderosa Pine with a severely twisted trunk. An information plaque there says they have no idea why the trunk is twisted like that.
Hiking in Bryce Canyon is a bit different than other national parks, as you begin by going steeply down into the canyon from above. Of course, this means that you will be hiking steeply up as you exit. The Peekaboo Hike at the bottom of the canyon adds even more up and down to the mix. The loop trail winds its way up and down over many ridges.
The weather prediction was for a 30% chance of showers after noon. But as we looked at the skies to the east, it was apparent that the chance of rain was quickly approaching 100%!
But the skies were clear to the west, so we still enjoyed great views in that direction highlighted by bright sunshine.
The rain began to fall as we made the half mile journey steeply up the side of the canyon to the parking lot. The temperature dropped quickly and the winds increased, making for a very motivated pace, although at 8,000 ft. of altitude, a few brief rest stops were still required.
The shot above was taken just as we reached the top of the rim. It shows the trail below, but you really can’t appreciate the amount of rain that was falling. And if you go back to the first picture in this blog, taken from a similar spot, you’ll see how sunshine helps improve the view (and raise the spirits).
The Peekaboo Loop is definitely one of the best, if not the best, hike we have taken during our tour of the west. At almost every turn you are treated to a beautiful view in every direction. If you ever visit Bryce Canyon, put this on your “must do” list!