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Monday, February 5, 2024

Bryce Canyon And Zion National Parks Stop 19 Of Our Cross-Country Road Trip

Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks are two of the most gorgeous parks in the national park system. Read all about them here before your next visit.

But before you head out to visit these beautiful parks, click here for a checklist to make sure your car is ready for the road trip.

2022 Cross-Country Road Trip Stop 19

As we got closer to the 19th stop of our cross-country road trip in Utah, we wondered if we somehow took a wrong turn and ended up on another planet. We were surrounded by rock as far as we could see in front of us and in back of us. It was like no other road we have ever been on.

When we finally got past the rock, we started seeing sights like this and we knew we were in for a unique experience here. We started to get very excited about our visits to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks.

But first we had to make a stop at Walmart to replenish our supplies before we got to our campground. I took this picture for the grandkids, Shea 4 and Marty 2. Shea wanted to know why I was so afraid of the skeleton when he was "not even a real skeleton". Guess I didn't fool them.

Stopping at Walmart, setting up, cooking and eating dinner was all we had time for on our first day in Utah. But that was fine with us because we had 3 full days to explore the parks.

And then it rained on our day 2 here, the day we had planned to spend in Bryce Canyon NP. The park was only 20 minutes away so we decided to at least go to the visitor's center to shop, pick up park information guides and see what else the center had to offer.

Besides for the usual small museum most parks have, this visitor center had a small theater where we saw a movie that explained what the unusual rock formations (hoodoos) we were seeing everywhere and how they were formed.

We enjoyed our short visit to Bryce and then headed back to the campground to take care of the laundry we thought we would do on our last day in this area. We would come back to Bryce on our last day instead. We prayed that rain was not in the forecast for the following day to spoil our plans for visiting Zion National Park and our prayers were answered. The next day was a beautiful day and we made our way to Zion.

The guys were happy that they would have a day off from driving on our visit to Zion today. After researching, we found out there was a shuttle that would bring us to the entrance of the park and then there would be a shuttle in the park to bring us to the trails we had mapped out to hike. After finding a parking spot in Springdale, we went to find one several shuttle stops in the town.

Once in the park, we hopped on the park shuttle...

and enjoyed the views as the bus took us to the first trail on our list, Riverside Walk.

As soon as we started the 2.2 mile hike on Riverside Walk, we knew we were going to have one of the best hikes of our entire cross-country trip. The sights we saw were awesome.

And wildlife sightings are always a special bonus 

After hiking Riverside Walk, we jumped on the shuttle for a ride to our next hike, a combination of a few trails that intersected. We started at the Lower Emerald Pool Trail which took us to the Middle Pool Trail then the Kayenta Trail and finally the Grotto Trail.

Some trails took us through the rock.

Some took us on the rock.

And some took us up the rock.

And all of them took us to sights that took our breath away.

We took time to relax and take in the view near the Emerald Pool.

This cute bird had the same idea.

After getting back to Springdale and finding our car, we were able to drive to one more trail, Canyon Overlook, before heading back to the campground, stopping for pizza and then calling it a day.

On our last day in Utah, we finally were getting a chance to go to Bryce Canyon NP.

We made sure we had a plan before we headed into the park.

We looked for the the point of interest we wanted to make sure not to miss, Wall Street. We found out that the Rim Trail combined with the Queens Garden Trail would take us to there and also would loop us back to the parking lot. The Rim Trail gave us a spectacular view of the Amphitheater.

This was the view that convinced us that we had journeyed to another planet. 

The Rim Trail ended here at Sunset Point. We followed the signs to the Queens Garden Trail.

This 1.8 mile trail is the least difficult trail for descending into Bryce Amphitheater.

We stopped for a photo shoot at this giant hoodoo that we thought was Thor's Hammer. It wasn't but it was still an impressive hoodoo and worth stopping to see.

From the Queen's Garden Trail we were able to get to the Navajo Loop Trail. 

This trail would lead us to Wall Street.

When we got here we realized why it is recommended to do the trails in a clockwise direction. There was a natural (besides for the man-made steps) entryway on this side.

We could not believe what we were seeing was real as we entered Wall Street.

Whether we were looking up towards the top of this slot canyon...

or looking down towards the floor we were treated to amazing and spectacular views.

After taking hundreds of pictures here at Wall Street we headed back to the parking lot where we left our car a few hours ago. We passed several otherworldly sights along the way and stopped to take lots of pictures.

 I got photobombed in this one!

These two parks were breathtaking to say the least and they are now two of our most favorite!

Read about our stop in coastal California!

This post was featured:

Have you hiked in Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks? We would love to hear all about the the trails you enjoyed!


  1. I love these photos! I grew up not too far from there, so these are "home" to me. I haven't been to Bryce in quite a long time, but they are both just extraordinary places that really do feel like you're on another planet. I have hiked many of the same places you did here. Thanks for sharing this post at the Will Blog for Comments #24 linkup!

    1. You are so lucky to have been able to go to these parks multiple times! The are two of the most gorgeous parks for sure.

    2. For sure! :) It's an amazing part of the world. I'm stopping by again with congratulations! :) This post was one of the most-visited at the Will Blog for Comments #24 linkup. It will be in the spotlight all next week, starting today. You're welcome to save the "This Post Was a Featured Favorite" image there to share with your readers here, if you like. Thanks for sharing this post at the linkup! Looking forward to seeing what you'll share next week.

    3. Thank you so much! I definitely will be very happy to save the image and add a link back to the feature!

  2. Those are the two that are highest on my list because they always look incredible in everyone else's photos! The 2nd grade teacher I worked with for my student teaching had a slideshow she shared with her class about a trip to Bryce Canyon and Zion and I fell in love with all the colors and the formations.

    1. I hope you get a chance to go one day. You will be so surprised by how much more breathtaking they are when you are actually there.

  3. These parks are breathtaking. I've never been to either one but would love to go someday. Thank you for sharing!!!

    1. They are two of the nicest national parks. I hope you get a chance to go one day!

  4. Thank you for showing me, so amazing places

  5. Ah, this post brought back memories. Zion is my favorite national park so far. We did the riverwalk trail, but lots of other ones too you didn't mention. My favorite trail in Zion and all time best hike ever is The Narrows. That was an experience for a lifetime! We loved Bryce Canyon too, and you're right, it's just like being on another planet.

    1. We debated about doing The Narrows and now we wish we would have done it. You are so lucky to have the memory of it forever now!

  6. Amazing trip! I love the photos you took. Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us at The Crazy Little Lovebirds link party #24. Congratulations, I'll be featuring your post tomorrow at the party. :)

    1. Thank you so much for the feature!! And thank you so much for hosting your nice party every week! PS So glad to hear you enjoyed our post!

  7. Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks sounds fantastic! Thank you for taking me virtually traveling with you guys.
    I appreciate you guys sharing this with Sweet Tea & Friends this month dear friends.

    1. We always love your company. Thank you for joining us!

  8. This sure looks like a fun trip! I bet there was a sing along to The Eagles too! That is my favorite part of traveling!

    1. Yes!! Couldn't get the guys to sing along with us though!