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         Hoodoos and Cowboys
         Bryce Canyon National Park, UT (July 2009)
Overall Rating: A
Bryce Canyon
    Bryce is definitely the most beautiful and striking of all the canyons in America.  The strange coral pink rock formations are one-of-a-kind.  Several of the formations are said to resemble various objects, such as Queen Victoria, and monkeys but the similarities are so vague that the names could be interchangeable (no offense to Queen Victoria).  I picture them being named by a frustrated National Park bureaucrat who resorted to randomly selecting items from the dictionary when it reached quitting time.

My highlight of the trip was an early morning hike with my father into the canyon and through the hoodoos.  We had the path to ourselves, joined only by a quiet stillness and the morning sun reflecting off the orange rocks.

The whole family had a great time at the rodeo just outside the entrance to the park.  It was a small family affair with local cowboys competing for bragging rights.  After a dinner of hot dogs and popcorn, the boys and I left all the European tourists in the stands and took up seats on the fence so I could get some closeup pictures.  We met nine year old Keegan from Tropic, Utah who was working the chute.  He was a polite young cowboy who had the job of guiding the steers into their pens after each event.  He had a very effective technique of throwing globs of dirt in their face, waving his arms and yelling like a banshee.  As would I, the steers would quickly turn and run in the opposite direction.

Sean found an old rusty horseshoe in the dirt as we left the rodeo, which he hauled all the way back to North Carolina.  On the way to the parking lot, the whole family stopped  to watch prairie dogs play under a glorious sunset.
-  Brian


Gotta Go!
1) Navajo Loop Trail
2) Ruby's Inn Rodeo

Bryce Pillar

Rubys Inn Rodeo

Family Grades
Toni (Mom) - B+ -  "The hoodoos remind me of drip castles at the beach.  The rodeo was exciting."

Sean (10 yrs) - A - "It was cool."

Kyle (9 yrs) - B - "It was really, really fun because we met a cowboy that was my age and Bryce Canyon had really cool ditches, holes and cracks in the wall."

Emi (5 yrs) - A- - "It was very fun.  It was cool how those people were riding the horses."

Navajo Loop Trail, Ruby's Inn Rodeo
Navajo Loop Trail
Why Go
1)  Moderate trail to explore the floor of the canyon and see the hoodoos up close.
Getting There
The Navajo Loop Trail starts at Sunset Point and comes out at Sunrise Point.  Here's the location on Google maps.  Here's the national park website.  

1)  Bryce can be cool even in the summer due to the high altitude.
2)  The best views are in the ampitheatre towards the front of the park.  It makes sense to drive all the way to the end of the park since you've come all this way, but if you're pressed for time you won't be missing much.

Rubys Inn Rodeo
Why Go
1)  Fun for the entire family..
2)  Meet a real cowboy.
Getting There
Ruby's Inn Rodeo is right outside the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park.
1)  The rodeo is in the evening Wednesday through Saturday during the summer season:  Ruby's Inn Rodeo.
2)  Be prepared for a meal of hot dogs, soda and popcorn or make other arrangements.
3)  The event was real casual, and we enjoyed wandering around behind the scenes and meeting some of the cowboys.

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