While it was lovely to see the two National Parks in Moab again (Arches and Canyonlands), the true excitement about planning this year’s visit to Utah would be finally getting to see 2 new National Parks that had long been on my bucket list—Bryce Canyon and Zion.
I originally thought I’d fit in visits to Capital Reef, Escalante, and drive the entire scenic Highway 12 byway all within the one week I had to get from Moab to Zion. But, I quickly realized I’d made the classic “new full-timer” mistake of trying to cram simply way too much into too short a timeline. So, most of those plans got tossed onto the “next time” list, and I focused solely on Bryce for the next few days (with a stop beforehand to “Camp Wally” in Richfield to take care of boring life stuff like grocery shopping and a hair cut!).
The last week of October at Bryce Canyon had a few sunny days forecasted in the low 60’s (with night temps dipping down below freezing). But it was “now-or-never” as the following week’s temps would go even colder with some first snows predicted. So, I topped off the propane tank, bundled up, and headed up to 8,000-feet!
As I turned onto Scenic Highway 12 towards Bryce, the sun was beginning to set onto Red Canyon. The views were getting better and better!