BRYCE CANYON: Utah’s finest

Normally if the alarm clock goes off at 5.40 am, I take the ugly bastard, throw it against the wall, turn over and go back to sleep. But not so in Utah. Knowing that you’ll be witnessing one of the most impressive sunrises of your life will get you out of bed in two shakes of a lamb’s tale. I’m not going to lie, it still hurts like someone pours acid in your eyes, but hey, it’s so worth it.

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Bryce Canyon National Park is situated at more than 8000 feet above sea level so don’t forget  to dress warm in the morning. Unless you’re a guy who skis in his underpants. It that case, go nuts, but please … don’t send us pictures.

But let’s press rewind. We arrived at Bryce Canyon coming from Torrey after driving  UT12, one of the most astonishing scenic byways in the US. A tip if you’re planning a road trip in the United States: choose your roads wisely. Try to avoid boring freeways and instead go for the more exciting, slower roads. Every minute you’ll see a picture you want to remember for the rest of your life.

We stayed in a B&B this time, located in Tropic, a few miles from the only park entrance (early alarm clock for sunrise, close to park entrance equals smart thinking). Bryce Trails Bed and Breakfast offers nice, clean and spacious rooms, has the most helpful owners and serves a four-course breakfast to die for.

Late afternoon we entered the park. Time enough to see the world famous ‘hoodoos‘ (tall skinny spires of rock), the horseshoe-shaped amphitheatre, a few viewpoints and to undertake a 3.5-mile hike called Queens Garden – Navajo Loop. If you visit Bryce and you decide not to take this hike, BA Baracus meant you when he said: ‘I pity the fool’.

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A few Kokomode tips for the hike: bring water because it can get hot between the hoodoos and start your hike at Sunrise Point and arrive at Sunset Point. This way you’ll save the best for last. Both Sunrise and Sunset Point are incredible view points. You don’t need a Harvard degree to know what’s the best time to check them out.

For the animal loving criminals amongst us, Bryce is the place-to-be. You’ll spot mule deer, prairie dogs and lots & lots of chipmunks.

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