Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Red Canyon Hike - near Bryce

Roger here... We moved to Ruby's Inn Campground a few days ago.  It is located just outside of Bryce National Park.  This is another amazing area.  Hiking, hiking, hiking.  Hiking in areas that are so beautiful that they do not seem real.  We will probably be posting every day for a while.  

On our first full day in the area, we decided to scope out possible trails that were dog-friendly.  We knew that our pups would not be allowed on the trails in the national park.  We drove ten miles to the Red Canyon Visitor Center (operated by the National Forest Service) and hit the jackpot.  The ranger told us about all kinds of possibilities, including a trailhead for a five-mile hike just across the street.  The hike combined the Red Canyon Bicycle Trail, the Golden Wall Trail, the Castle Bridge Trail, and the Buckhorn Trail.

We walked along the Red Canyon Bicycle Trail for about a quarter mile before crossing the Butch Cassidy Wash.  (You cannot travel in this part of the country without finding endless features and businesses named after Butch Cassidy.) 

The Golden Wall section of the trail followed the bottom of a canyon for a couple of miles.  It is aptly named.  The color of the walls in this particular canyon has a golden hue (as opposed to the other colors in the area --- pink, red, vermillion, white, cream, gray, coral, purple, etc., etc., etc.)

The trek through the canyon was flat, scenic, and pleasant.  Dianne and Tequila are hardly breaking a sweat.

That soon ended as the trail climbed upward --- hard at the time, but good for our muscles, lungs, well-being and sense of accomplishment.  After reaching the summit, we went back down.  

A choice awaited us where the Golden Wall Trail intersected with the Castle Bridge Trail, if we opted to divert onto the Castle Bridge Trail, we would go up again and be treated to some magnificent views.  We opted for the more strenuous route.

The individual formations and the panoramic views were breath-taking.

We went up.

We went down.

We went up, again.  We went down.  We went up. We went down.  Each time we did this, the switchbacks led us all the way to the top, and then all the way to the bottom.  Every time we went down, we hoped that it was for the last time.  We were disappointed in that regard, five times.  Our total true uphill trek (considering the trips to the bottom) was more than our Angels Landing hike at Zion.

Speaking of up and down... here is a thought-  provoking question....  Is Dianne (in her crab-walk with butt down pose), going up or down in this picture? 

Bandido, who was watching this event carefully, knows the answer.

Bandido says, "She was going UP!"  He could not believe that it took her so long to do what he had just done in one leap.

Looks like another trip to the laundromat is in the cards.

Everything in Utah seems to be a surprise.  There were new and wonderful things every time we rounded a bend.

Hydration and rest stops are always issues during these more strenuous hikes.  We always take more water than we think we will need.  Tequila demonstrates the proper technique for gulping down water. 

Toward the end of the hike, on the Buckhorn Trail leg, Bandido made a special point to let us know about the best shady spots for a quick rest.

Well, the hike is almost over.  As a concrete-sequential/anal-retentive kind of guy, there is just one last thing I need to do.  The formation below is just a little too crooked for my taste.

Dianne here:  Some of our best ideas come to us as we're hiking.  A new project for me will be to get another memory card and upload all the edited scenic photos from our computer of the amazing hikes we've taken this summer, then insert it into our digital photo frame for an awesome slide show to remember these good hikes. 

 It is very hard to choose photos for the blog, because everywhere you look here in Southern Utah the scenery is amazing and photo-worthy.  To that end, I put together a slide show on Photobucket if you'd like to see additional photos from this hike.  Here's the link if you have the time and interest (about 46 photos):

Additional Scenery Photos Red Canyon Hike

Tequila is the focus of the Pet Pictures of the Day.  
Here she is, striking and alert, as she contemplates the meaning of life (or maybe she's looking for those pesky lizards).

Here she is in the car on the way back to the motor home after fatigue finally set in.  


Linda said...

Your photos are awesome!! You know, Dianne, I never thought of getting up a steep slope using your method. I just may have to try it!!

klbexplores said...

All of these pictures were spectacular!! I definitely will add Bryce to my bucket list!

Nancy and Bill said...

Roger... I thought there were rules about butt pictures !?!?! Butt, it was a wonderful climbing technique;o))

Wonderful hike and spectacular photos. Keep having fun!!!!

Diana said...

There are no rules about butt shots! Nice one, Roger.

sierrasue said...

Yes, I hiked in Red Canyon as well. LOVED it. And so nice that you can take dogs there.