Hike #11 | 228m Elevation Gain | 6.9km Hiked
It’s been far too long since I’ve written a blog post. These photos of our visit to Bryce Canyon are from October last year as we travelled to Utah for Red Bull Rampage and were a surprising reminder that Stu hasn’t always had a moustache. Usually, I would travel straight down to work at Rampage and straight home again but I knew the surrounding area was full of incredible places to visit and sights to see so Stu and I decided to leave a little early last year and take advantage of some of the incredible hiking that would be on the way. I booked what looked like a cute and trendy little motel near to Bryce Canyon National Park and we hit the road with visions of the gorgeous, hot, and sunny dessert hiking that awaited us.
We arrived late evening to find out hotel room keys in an enveloped taped to the outside of the office door with our room number scrawled on the outside. Now, having travelled as a child with a very financially vigilant (read: cheap) father, I have stayed in some dives. The kind of the places where it’s okay that there’s blood on the sheets as long as it’s an old stain (not joking) but none of those places cost over $100USD a night like this one. We walked into our dark room to find the light switch inside the door didn’t work - probably good marketing for them - and we stumbled around to find a light. The bathroom hadn’t been cleaned, there was someone else’s hair on the bed sheets, and there were holes in the wall that I like to think were just unfinished renovations.
In the morning we found that the tiny chainlink-encircled-parking-lot pool, that I’m assuming gave the motel owners the idea to refer to themselves online as a resort, was drained. It wasn’t much a problem however, because it was pouring rain as a thunder and lightening storm rolled in. Not the best day to go hiking in the canyon - in fact there were weather advisories posted and when we arrived at the gate we were told there was no visibility and no money back. We had to make a choice: risk getting hit by lightening or spend our day hanging out at (what we were now calling) the ‘murder motel.’ We went hiking.
Maybe it’s true what they say about fortune favouring the bold (or the people with the shittiest motel rooms) because, even though hiking in the clay-based mud was challenging, the views were incredible, the light spectacular, and we managed to escape any major downpours in our time there. I’ve always heard people rave about Bryce Canyon but after taking a helicopter ride to the bottom of the Grand Canyon a few years ago, I kind of figured ‘once you’ve seen one. . .’ But Bryce Canyon was truly breathtaking and somewhere that I feel like I could return to over and over again without getting bored.
We spend as long as we could outside that day and returned to our hotel to find that any cars that had been in the parking lot had left. One car remained and it had apparently been idling there for so long that there was a pile of cigarette butts on the ground below the driver’s window. The highest praise I can give this place is to say that at least we didn’t get killed in our sleep.
My recommendations for visiting Bryce Canyon:
Visit on a weather-deterring day to avoid the crowds
Stay in a terrible hotel that might have bed bugs so that you are certain to spend the day outside rain or shine
Don’t overspend on an umbrella at a gift shop in the park only to realize that you are now what the lightening will aim for
Bring a garbage bag to put your boots which now have half the canyon’s mud attached to them in