Hoodoos & Folds

After such an amazing adventure at Zion, it seems as though nothing could amount to such grandeur. Especially the following day.

What’s to come of Day 6, is prefaced by one-the prior day and two- inclement weather. If I had the chance to do it all again, here is what I might have done differently:

First and foremost; seeing 2 National Parks in one day is challenging, but totally possible!

Maybe just stick to one per day.

I would have gone to Capitol Reef and then to Bryce Canyon vs. Bryce then Capitol Reef. Mind you, the original plan was so (see: Utah), but those “unforeseen” weather conditions were at it again (see also: New Mexico/Arizona).

Knowing what I know now, I would not recommend Capitol Reef. Why?

visitor center overview

What I read about this park did not match up at all. I suppose I expected too much from it. With descriptions of horseback riding trails and the Water Pocket Fold being the longest expanse of land to “fold” over on itself, it was a must see instead of visiting Canyonlands.  Do not let this verbiage fool you. The land does not fold over on itself like you may imagine cloth to. What I thought I was going to see can only be described as this:

imagine (if you will) a sheet laying on a table.

then imagine taking your hand, placing it on top of the sheet (with pressure) and sliding your hand forward (pushing the sheet with it).

This is the kind of fold I thought of when reading about this park.

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What I saw was the earth pushing itself up and out from below. It looks more like a multi-colored mound. Not that it’s not interesting, but I am not a geologist and I have found more interesting pieces of land mass elsewhere. However, when we made it to the Visitor Center (before leaving) they had a giant topographical map inside which made seeing the Water Pocket Fold a bit more interesting and easier to see how someone could say that it’s in fact a fold in the earth. On the ground… not so much.

Watch the drive through Capitol Reef:

Moving along…(before this turns into a rant like (Meteor Crater)

I would have kept Bryce Canyon as a full day visit.

hoodoos & trails

I felt as though this park was more my speed. Not to mention it was much bigger and had plenty of options for hiking, camping and horseback riding trails. We were not able to do any of these due to time constraints and inclement weather. {If I had the chance, I would have done all of the above}

One tip we learned along the way:

  • Start at the back of the park and work your way forward

Why? because everyone will be stopping along the way to the end. If you start at the back and work your way forward then you will hit less traffic and be able to stop more with less people to ruin your fun & photos.

Bryce Canyon’s main attraction are the Hoodoos.

These are strange looking spires sprouting from the canyon floors into the air.

Rainbow Point panorama

Your first stop here should be (at the back) Rainbow Point. Here you will see a vast expanse of canyon with hundreds of Hoodoo! Apparently, on a clear day {which it was not} you can see across 3 different state lines (Arizona, Colorado and Utah). At this specific spot we witnessed snow still on the ground and piled on top of and below the hoodoos. And because we are still children, we had a small snowball fight! (sorry for blair witch style video below)

Across the parking lot is Yovimpa Point. Keenon and I were the only ones to walk the 3 minutes down to the point and view more hoodoo. There are trailheads at both points and several campgrounds. If you are down for a hike, here would be one of my hiking suggestions.

If there is only one thing you have to see here, its Inspiration Point.

Inspiration close up

Located closer to the Visitor Center, you’ll see a panoramic view of Hoodoos and windows in the canyon. There are 3 view point spots here. Go to the highest point! It will be a bit of an incline, but worth it. Here, there are also some great trailheads that will take you to the Rim Trail, with various trails leading off it and many great points to see such as Thor’s Hammer, Two Bridges, etc. Keenon and I got dumped off at this point and we had to make it a quick stop. Rain was on the way and more importantly we couldn’t park the RV at this point. Brad and Leah drove a few circles so we could see the view(s).

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Tip:  Vehicles over 20 FT will not be permitted to park at the following areas

  • Visitor Center
  • Sunrise Point/General store
  • Sunset Point
  • Inspiration Point
  • Bryce Point
  • Bryce Canyon Lodge

If you fall into this category, park across the street from the Visitor Center and take the shuttle to your desired destination(s).

Horseback riding is located near the Bryce Canyon Lodge and Sunset Point. Horse trails are pretty lengthy here. I would recommend doing a horseback trail, they’ll take you further into the canyon.

On another note, we stayed in Capitol Reef at the Capitol Reef Resort. I wanted to stay here because they offer Teepees and Chuck wagon accommodations (July-September). We did not get a chance to stay in either because it was May, but it was a nice hotel!Fire pit at Capitol Reef Resort

Like I stated above, Bryce has several campgrounds. I wouldn’t have minded in the least to have camped here. You can obtain an overnight permit at the Visitor Center (in person only reservations). Just remember to wear good hiking boots/shoes and bring plenty of water! If you decide to hike into the canyon.. you’ll be hiking back up to get out.

To sum it all up, maybe skip Capitol Reef and head for Bryce Canyon for a full day excursion!

A few extra things to look for at Bryce:




8 thoughts on “Hoodoos & Folds

  1. The landscape out there is incredible. I’ve been all over the world, and the rock formations and hoodoos out there are unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. It’s been fifteen years since I visited there, and lately I’ve been feeling pulled back more and more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Currently attempting to plan an Arizona/Utah/Nevada road trip with some friends and are planning to hit a few of the spots you’ve mentioned. Thanks for pointing out the highlights. I have yet to ever get out to the West Coast, but the national parks are definitely my main reason for wanting to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for coming by! I think you’ll really enjoy what the West Coast has to offer, specifically in the parks section. Most of the National parks I’ve been too are on the West. Read Joshua Tree and Las Vegas (Death Valley). Two of my favorite parks. I haven’t even covered the Red Woods, which blew my mind! Can’t wait to see how your trip goes. Safe Travels


  3. Awesome post! I was recently at both Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon. My favorite was by far Bryce Canyon but I would also recommend that you explore the Temple of the Sun & Moon region of Capitol next time you visit – it is by far the most beautiful section of the park! I loved Inspiration & Sunset Points at Bryce too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Ill have to look into the Temple of the Sun & Moon… I never read anything about it when I was researching, but then again some of the Travel books don’t always cover everything 😉


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