Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Queens Garden and Navajo Loop Trail, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Thor's Hammer from Navajo Loop trail, Summer
Hiking Distance: 3 miles loop
Descending: 580 ft, then, Climbing: 580 ft
Best Time To visit:  year round for those who do not mind winter and summer temperatures. For a most pleasant hike, I believe early fall and spring is the best.

For photography, 
Late Fall and Winter: You will have the contrast  of orange rocks and snow.
Summer: Hoodos are fully exposed if you want full details of hoodoos ( very first photo above ). Late summer also has lots of thunderstorms, which most photographers love because of dramatic clouds over hoodoos. 
Early Fall: Hoodoos and Fall colors ( haven't been at this time, I believe it is very beautiful to have fall colors and hoodoos, sadly, my vacation time does not coincide. )
Spring: A combination of having the full details of hoodoos at exposed areas and some snow accumulation in some parts. Most photos below are from early spring 2009. 
Sunset Point, Navajo Loop Trail, Late Fall or Thanksgiving 

Utah rocks rock! They do! They will amaze you! For me, they even haunt me in my dreams, inviting me to go back there, again and again.

Queens Garden and Navajo Loop hike is the best way to see the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. Most visitors usually are awed already looking down from the rim, and do not spend time going down the canyon. Even though the views from the rim are stunning, but the experience is entirely different going down Bryce Canyon floor. Nothing can compare being up close to the hoodoos, as close as you could hug them. Well, if only you could hug them since they are giants compared to our size. Hoodoos are pillars of rock erosion, and I have written about them before, in "Hoodoos Keep on Haunting Me".
Enjoying Bryce Canyon Even at -4F ( -20C), Late Fall

Would I ever have enough of the Bryce Canyon hoodoos? Ahhhh, I don't think I would! At one point, hubby told me, "Dear, if you love so much these hoodoos, maybe, you should think about retiring in this part of Utah!" Hahaha! VERY HARD, since I LOVE THE OCEAN SO MUCH TOO, I love the ocean for everyday life. Somehow, even though I love nature so much, but I love city life too, and I want to experience both of them everyday, haha! Perhaps, I am a hybrid, who loves the best of both worlds, of both nature and city. So, the answer to hubby was "no", San Diego is perfect for me. Thankfully, Bryce Canyon National Park is only an 8 hour drive from San Diego, so it is not hard for us to take so many grand hoodoos vacation. :)

Okay, so much of my blabbering. :) Let's go back to the hike. From Sunset Point, we went down Wall Street on a narrow canyon with high rock walls on either side.
going down wall street, spring ( some parts of the trail were still icy )

After descending 580 ft, we reached the canyon floor. At the canyon floor, we had the option to finish the Navajo Loop (shorter hike) or continue on along the Queens Garden Trail (longer hike) to see more of the canyon. We always choose to continue on to Queens Garden because that is where we see most of the more spectacular formations in the park. From Navajo to Queens Garden trail, we passed through several arches during the hike. 
Arches That Were Carved on the Trail for Passageway, spring 

Though I have taken hundreds of hoodoos pictures, but I do not want to bore you of so many of them. Let me share instead a few of the hoodoos from those hundreds. Some of them here are un-named, some are named or more known hoodos. They could only be seen from the trail down the canyon floor.
Queen Victoria Hoodoo, spring 
( got its name from its resemblance from the many statues of Queen Victoria in Europe )
E.T. Hoodo, spring 
Un-named Hoodoo, spring 
 ( I call it "chess horse and a happy camper" )
E. T. meets other hoodoos,spring 
Un-named hoodoos, spring 
( I call them, "The Apes" )
Un-named Hoodoos, spring 
( I call them, "The Giant Piglets" )
Un-named Hoodoo, spring 
( I call it "Life Finds the Way To Bring a Smile to a Hoodoo Face" - simply because I saw a tiny tree growing on top of the hoodoo and directly above the little tree seem like a smiling face hoodoo )
Thor's Hammer, fall or thanksgiving

These are just some of the hoodoos that can be found at Queens Garden and Navajo Loop Garden Trail. There is no way to be up close to these hoodoos from above the rim, so, if you want to take a closer look at the various rock formations, the best trail for this at Bryce Canyon is this trail. For those who have shorter time and may not be able to finish the loop, the most concentration of hoodoos is in Queens Garden trail. However, Navajo trail is also one of a kind, that combining these two trails is highly recommended. As I write about this trail, I feel like having the itch again, to be with the hoodoos! I just simply can't get enough of spectacular rock formations carved by nature. In nature, I see God's greatest artistry that no man can equal. In nature, I find the greatest museum that is constantly changed and shaped by the changes of time. Though I love visiting museums in city ( I am a hybrid after-all), but I definitely could say, there is NOTHING that could compare always to the joy and sense of gratefulness I find being with God's magnificent artworks.
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  1. I would like to have a close encounter with the hoodoos too, they look so beautiful no wonder they haunt you hihi

  2. Those are just amazing sights. I can barely imagine the thousands of years it took for nature to make them.

  3. You could not know, but this is my favorite place in the west, surpassing anywhere else i have been including the Grand Canyon. Mostly because of Brice Canyons bright color and fascinating rock formations. How many times have i been? 5 or 6 or more and i never was tired of it! Thank you again for sharing

  4. What an expectacular view! I would really love to go there but I may not be able to do winter! LOL! You are right though with the contrasting snow and rocks. I hope someday I could take wonderful shots of the place just as you did!

  5. what a breathtaking experience you have, those rocks are just wonderful... it's so nice to see where you've been as always.

  6. Give me the summer look. Oh how I'm longing for summer just now. It's 6 degrees right here in my neck of the wood.

    The views are spectacular. Sa susunod isama mo ako :-)

  7. I really would love to visit this place one of these days! Now that I am near the US, just a couple of hours away and visiting the land of milk and honey will soon be quite easy, hopefully, my family and I can see these breathtaking and beautiful wonders! By that's really cold there eh?

  8. i bet it feels good climbing those rocks!! i would to experience it! also very nice and helpful photography tips!

  9. the rock formations are mind-boggling Beth! completely amazed here, although it's not the first time i see it at TJOSL.

    i love how you named the un-named hoodoos. very creative! :)

  10. Those rocks formation are so impressive. I like the the snow and rocks contrast to each other. All the photos are all inviting and I need to see the place.hahhaha...I'm dreaming for spring break already so I can get out this freezing days.

  11. God's magnificent works indeed. I feel grateful every time I am here betchai for you bring all of it so close to us. The experience of getting up close and personal with the hoodoos must surely be something to cherish and I can imagine why you are having itchy feet right now! This is simply spectacular! I hope you get to go there again sometime soon.

  12. It's the wonder of the world, and how can you have enough of this beauty? I bet every time you go, you have a different feeling and seeing something different. Gorgeous, gorgeous photos Betchai!

  13. These are magnificent creation of God, just stunning!

  14. Amazing view! The beauty of God's wonderful creation. Love it!

  15. I love everything, Ms. Betchai! You are a true nature-lover! I wish to visit Bryce Canyon soon! :)

  16. The view is very stunning! The rocks looks like GODS they are very gigantic.

  17. Wow, these views are so breathtaking, such a great opportunity for you to be able to see this.

  18. Breathtaking! I am lost for the appropriate adjectives! It reminded me of God's creations in marvelous ways! When can I ever have a personal glimpse of all these beauties? Thanks for taking us there with you, Te Betchai! So love it!

  19. You never stop me to be amazed with your photo adventure! Keep it up!