Our last real day of travel has arrived. We are all feeling it a little – ready to head home, but at the same time totally in love with this trip we’ve taken. Or at least most of us are. My daughter is 14, and she’s…well, she’s weary by this point.
For our finaly day, we were up by 5am for an early morning hike for a few reasons.
1. The husband and I have done this hike before, and it gets hot down in the cathedral. It’s best done early in the morning. The hike out is brutal, and if you are overheated AND exhausted, it super sucks.
2. No crowds. If you go early, no one else is up. We didn’t see a soul until the way out.
3. No RV parking in the areas we need to park in, or we have to hike an extra 1.5 miles that none of us wants to do. We planned to do the hike and be out of dodge before any rangers came around to hassle us.
Should you ever visit Bryce Canyon, there are many hikes to do. But this one, is my all-time favorite hike I’ve ever done in 41 years of living. It’s a lovely and very interesting hike that takes you right down into the hoodoos.
Actually, it’s a combo of two hikes – the Queen’s Garden Trail and the Navajo Trail. Comabined, they make the Queen’s Garden-Navajo Loop. There is an approximately 600ft descent involved…which means, there is also the same on the other end. (This is the rough part).
If you read park literature, they will tell you to start at Sunrise Point and exit at Sunset Point. This is the counterclockwise route. The first time we did it, we did it the opposite way, and while neither is easier, I will say I enjoyed it more this time. It is far more scenic.
It was a total of 3.2 miles to do the whole loop + the extra at the top to get from Sunset Point back to where we parked at Sunrise.
The ascent was rough. I had to stop and catch my breath about a dozen times. That thin air is no bueno for a low-lander like me. 😉
From here, we headed towards Las Vegas via Valley of Fire State Park.
This one is simply lovely. Hotter than you can imagine, has sweet petroglyphs and several cool hikes. Well, not literally cool. Literally, they are so hot you feel like you might not make it. They do warn you though…
Finally back in the Vegas area, we decided to camp next to Lake Mead. The campground was moderately priced, had a nice view of the lake, and put us in close proximity to the “beach”.
Beach is a term I use loosely here – thus the quotes. It was actually rocks, all the way to the water, and in the water. I realize this is because this is a reservoir. The water is lower than it should be. It’s also pretty stagnant and kind of nasty. The kids dipped in quick because it was so hot. I opted out.