The sandstone Colorado plateau in the southwest has a high density of national parks. We visited our third park on the last day of our stay in Saint George, the Bryce Canyon national park. It is a great hike for artists because the erosion of the sandstone has exposed a varied palette of colors. It is a more subtle beauty and lacked the majesty and scale of the Grand Canyon and Zion. We did a couple of figure 8 loops within the amphitheatre section of the park. It is compact and accessible so we ran into lots of tourists in the second portion of the walk. We completed the Peek-a-Boo loop and did portions of the Navajo loop, Queen’s Bridge trail and finished by walking along the rim.
One of my big take-aways from the trip that there are so many beautiful wilderness places outside of the national parks. There are numerous state parks, conservation areas and local trails that although they are not quite the splendor of the national parks, they lack the high numbers of visitors. I also would ban horses and mules from the parks. They urinate and defecate on the trails, causing foul odors for hikers. We didn’t have time to visit the three other parks in the area, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and Arches.