And then the weather caught up...
After an amazing window of perfect hiking weather it is hard to be cooped up in our hotel room while the snow falls outside and the wind howls. We woke up yesterday morning on a ridgeline in Capitol Reef, broke camp and hiked out to drive down to Bryce Canyon for the evening. We got so excited when we saw Bryce Amphitheatre that we strapped on our boots and started hiking. Five miles of weaving through Queens Garden amongst the spires and castle walls of red rock craning our heads to see the top. Wonderful. We finally had to call it a day as the sun set.
Today a storm front is supposed to move into the area so we are hanging out at the hotel. Of course mid-way through the day we look out and see blue skies... awww c'mon! It's snowing right now and we are hoping to get a little break in the weather tomorrow to get a hike in. So far what we have seen of Bryce has been ridiculously impressive. Its hard not to feel a little restless.
We woke up to see snow on the ground. Although the high for the day only reached maybe 27F it was hard to contain our excitement as we piled on every layer of clothing we owned and set out on the trails.
We did an 8-mile figure eight loop linking a number of the more popular hikes in the amphitheatre. The snow capped spires were really really cool, and there were some very funky pines trees that were all twisted and gnarled, perhaps due to the wind. Very few others braved the cold so we spent the day in near isolation, which is amazing for one of the more popular national parks in the US that would normally see thousands upon thousands of visitors a day. It was a real winter wonderland. Every direction we turned was a photo begging to be taken. We came in utterly exhausted but decided to push on to Zion National Park that evening as it was only 75 miles down the road.