Brice Canyon N.P. and Zion N.P.


(c) July 2000,
Urs Künzler


Brice Canyon rock formations

As you may have recognized from the itinerary, Brice Canyon was not a planed destination. But it was worth a little change in plans. It's almost on the way from Lake Powel to Zion. If road conditions are good (dry), you may drive staright to Cannonville. Otherwise you drive throuh Kanab and Mount Carmel Junction, where you take "89" north. We first stopped in Red Canyon, a place along the road with extremely red rocks around.

Red Canyon Red Canyon

Brice Canyon N.P. was the main attraction of the day. We first stopped at the Lodge for some shopping and then went to Sunset Point. Sunset Point is the trailhead for Navajo Loop Trail. This hike takes you about 1 to 2 two hours. You can also easily extend it towards Queens Garden (which we didn't). It's mostly hiking on sand. Be prepared. First you go steep (very steep) down into the canyon, before, after a loop in the plain, you have to climb back up as steep again. Don't underestimate the climb. Once down, you have to get back up again. But it does not compare to Grand Canyon. It's moderate at maximum.

Along Navajo Loop Trail Along Navajo Loop Trail Along Navajo Loop Trail
Along Navajo Loop Trail Along Navajo Loop Trail Along Navajo Loop Trail
Along Navajo Loop Trail Along Navajo Loop Trail Along Navajo Loop Trail

Lunch was next. We found a nice fireplace (we didn't use it) in the park on the way back towards the exit. It was raining a little though. But hunger was stroger.

The Great White Throne

Because of this additional stop, we had a little less thime than planed in Zion N.P.. After a short introduction to the campground (it was so hot), we went straight to the visitor center. Be prepared for dark tunnels on the way. At the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, we were told that it was not possible to hike up through the Narrows. So we just hiked the official path to the beginning of the Narrows. We already caught some good views of the Greate White Throne and Angels Landing, the hike of the next day.

Angels Landing The Greate White Throne

We spent a bautiful evening on the campground with campfire and singing. Actually I must admit that I'm not sure if we really were on Zion Canyon campground. I think Speel decided to go elsewhere. But that was not on our trip planner. Anyway we had cool night under the stars again.

Next morning was hiking day. We wanted to go to Angels Landing before finally drivng to Las Vegas. Angels Landing Route starts from Grotto in Zion Canyon on the West Rim Trail. The whole hike takes somewaht around 3 hours for good hikers. It's quite steep most of the way, except for a short bit in Refrigerator Canyon, where I also saw a snake on the way back. The last bit before the top is on very narrow paths and sometimes it's going down extremely steep to both sides. That's nothing for people being afraid of hights. But you can easily make it almost to the top and wait for your friends to return.

View from Angels Landing View from Angels Landing
Last stop before the top In Refrigerator Canyon In Refrigerator Canyon
On the way back On the way back The snake

After a short dip in the river and lunch at Grotto, we started towards Las Vegas. Read more on the next page.