At Bryce Canyon, we stayed at Ruby’s Inn Campground, which as dusty as it was, was a really great location for exploring the park.
There is not much in Bryce Canyon City, and most of it seems to be connected to Ruby’s somehow (there is also a lodge and general store and gift store). I asked where I could get a coffee and they directed me to the general store, which… well, I’m not a coffee connoisseur, or a coffee snob particularly, but I do love a fresh-brewed Americano.
There is a rock shop across the street, which had some pretty amazing fossilized wood. They also had some horses, which… again… we’ll have to come back when the little kids are old enough to ride horses (age 7 was the minimum, I believe).
The next morning Charlie had a few more calls so I took the kids to the general store to grab a few supplies, and then decided to hunt for coffee. I am so glad I did – we found Bryce Canyon Coffee Co, which was phenomenal. It was one of those places that you walk in, and it smells of coffee beans. They also have a bunch of fun stickers and baked goods and beans for sale!
Bryce Canyon also has a shuttle, but our neighbors at Ruby’s advised that it’s best to drive to the eastern end of the park from the entrance, and then turn around and come back, since all the sites, parking, and viewpoints are on the north side of the road.
We got another Jr. Ranger book of course, and heeded our neighbor’s advice. It was also quite warm in Bryce Canyon, but I was so surprised to see a food truck there. They had hot dog and corn dogs and soft serve, which was pretty awesome! That drive was a really great way to spend the afternoon. The kiddos got their second Jr. Ranger badge – the ranger was much tougher on them this time, but we passed! We picked up a couple of lanyards to pin their badges too.
The next day was supposed to be cooler so we decided to do the Queen’s Garden Trail, apparently the easiest, quickest route down the canyon. The guides said that it is 0.8mi or ~2mi round trip… but it felt like it kept going and going and there was little shade. It felt like we went much further than 0.8 miles and we still weren’t at the bottom of the canyon. It apparently connects with another trail (Sunrise/Sunset) so we were a little confused. We ended up not making it all the way because it was just hot and everyone was getting a little cranky. It was beautiful nonetheless, and something else to save for next time.
We had a bit of down time at Bryce, which was much needed for the kids to just play, get dirty, and for us adults to get some solid work time, and do some laundry.
One of my favorite memories of our visit was when we decided to explore some of the off-road trails across from our campsite. It was mostly just dirt track, which seemed unexciting after Moab, but what we did find was wide open field. Which we are very excited about. The kids and dogs had a field day (pun!) running around. Then we still had a little time before dinner, so we headed back to the RV, dropped off the dogs, loaded up the bike trailer and biked up to the entry sign to take some selfies. It was such a great bike ride, a short 4 miles, and perfect to burn off a few extra calories before dinner. We really enjoyed this ride – along a smooth paved trail that was a gentle downhill, the kids had so much fun speeding. I think it was the thrill-induced and infectious giggles from them that really made this memory and highlight for me.
That night we decided to leave after dinner and get a head start on our long next day.