I'm actually documenting two hikes for this one, as they were within 18 hours of each other. Hike 33a: Bryce Canyon National Park - Bristlecone Loop - 1 mile (8/20/2017)
Hike 33b: Cedar Breaks National Monument - the hike to Spectra Point - 2 miles (8/21/2017)
I had planned a solo scenic trip to Utah, and then my BFF decided she could join me! I was pumped, as I knew she'd appreciate it all as much as I did. We both flew in to Salt Lake Friday, managed to get dinner and a hotel and rested up for morning. Saturday, we woke up early, as it is our nature, and headed south. Our first stop was Capital Reef National Park. We did a partial hike at Chimney Rock, stopped at the visitor center, and absorbed the views from a few viewpoints. We took the scenic Hwy 12 byway onward to US Forest Service RD 153 to Hells Backbone. The drive was on a narrow road through the hills and forest to a spot that took our breath away. Once there, the narrow bridge spanning a deep groove through the rock was intense. *Pictures are just placeholders - there to trigger the memory* From Hells Backbone, we moved on towards Bryce Canyon. I had been to BC once, in the winter of 2010, so I was anxious to see it in the summer - and go all the way in to the park. Upon arrival, we headed directly to mile marker 18 at Rainbow Point. Our hike here would be the Bristlecone Loop. We walked on the edge, ish, and read about the pines. We were in awe. Amazing to stare out, and think about all of this coming to be. We moved down to other points, via car, and got out at most of them. The sun was setting and we made it back to Bryce & Inspiration points just as the light was running out The clouds were puffy and there was rain in the distance. All in all, we didn't hike much, but the bits we did at each point were enough to make your blood rush, your brain stop, and your eyes widen.
The second part of this hike was a morning hike, just after sunrise, at Cedar Breaks National Monument. THIS PLACE... I've wanted to go here for a while now, and I want to get back already. Our first stop was the ranger station, and Point Supreme. There was a rainbow in the distance, and it was one of the most magical scenes of my life. From the height, hoodoos, and sunlight, I was in total awe. We started off on the Sunset trail, but turned around. Went back and did the Spectra Point trail. It was a two mile trek in all, and looked promising. We stepped out on the first part, just over the initial hump in the trail, and I gasped with excitement...we would be walking around the edge of the canyon. This trail gave me a rush, I felt alive. Once at Spectra Point, my heart was racing from the thin air and the excitement. The views were stunning and the big old Bristlecone was inspiring.
All in all, it was a quick trip to Utah and so much was taken in. I am still, a week later, processing everything. I can't wait to get back! Happy hiking.