Cedar City, Utah

Our next stop was in Cedar City, Utah, staying at Cedar Breaks RV Park from October 19th to 24th. We tried to get into two other Parks closer to Zion National Park but both Parks were sold out. You have to book almost six months in advance to get into those Parks. We were happy to be in Cedar Cedar because we were closer to Bryce Canyon National Park where we were going to do a hike. Here in Bryce Canyon is the largest collection of hoodoos in the world and we wanted to spend more time seeing them up close and personal. We choose to do the Fairyland Loop Trail, 7.4 miles, beginning at Fairyland Point. We saw spectacular hoodoos and beautiful scenery along the rim and into the canyon. We took the side trail to Tower Bridge before heading back up to the rim. It was a steep downhill to Tower Bridge from Sunrise Point but well worth it. We had great views of the China Wall in the distance. Tower Bridge, you can’t get that close to, but you can see it through a break in the trees. We continued on the Fairyland Loop Trail from here and had better views of Tower Bridge as we ascended up the trail. As we hiked along the wide open trail the clouds disappeared and the white sandstone against the sapphire sky was incredible. This was a great hike, where you really get to see the beautiful hoodoos up close and to experience the wonders of Bryce Canyon. Click on thumbnail to view images

Fairyland Loop Trail, Bryce Canyon

Hike to Kolob Arch

The next day we did the La Verkin Creek Trail hike to Kolob Arch in Zion National Park. It is a long day hike, 14 miles round trip, 7-10 hours, depending on how fast you hike. We started the hike early, 8 am, on a beautiful sunny day, stopping at the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center and driving 3.8 miles along Kolob Canyon Road to Lee Pass where the Trailhead for the La Verkin Creek Trail starts. It was a long, slow descent to the beautiful flowing waters in the valley of La Verkin Creek,1000 feet below. The early morning sunlight in the Kolob Finger Canyons, reflected in the still waters of La Verkin Creek was unbelievable. Finally we reached the Kolob Arch Trail, 6.2 miles from Lee Pass, this short .5 mile trail heads up the side drainage known as “Icebox Canyon” or “Waterfalls Canyon”, where we had to do some scrambling up a rock cliff and thick, overgrowth of trees. Soon we reached the end of the trail and a spectacular viewing area of the impressive, massive Kolob Arch. Perched high on an exposed cliff, Kolob Arch is the second longest, freestanding natural arch in the world, measuring 287.4 feet. We stayed here alone for a long time soaking up the amazing Kolob Arch in the distance. Then we had to head back down the long trail back to the car, arriving back around 4 pm.  It was a very long day hike but well worth it. Click on thumbnail to view images

Hike to Double Arch Alcove

Our final hike in the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park was the Taylor Creek hike to the Double Arch Alcove at the trail’s end. The Taylor Creek Trail is a 5.2 mile round trip hike, following the creek and seeing old cabins built in the 30’s, along the way. Finally we reached the Double Arch Alcove, a large concave rock formation with white and black stripe patterns where water has found its way through the wall. This is a wonderful section of the Park that is often missed, and it is close to Cedar City where we are staying, so happy that we found this hike. We celebrated our many days of hiking at the best pizza restaurant in Cedar City, the Centro Woodfired Pizzeria, with the best vegan pizza I have ever eaten, along with local microbrews. Click on thumbnail to view images