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Queens - Navajo Combo Loop, UT
mini location map2021-08-23
47 by photographer avatartibber
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Queens - Navajo Combo Loop, UT 
Queens - Navajo Combo Loop, UT
Hiking avatar Aug 23 2021
Hiking3.73 Miles 795 AEG
Hiking3.73 Miles   2 Hrs   19 Mns   1.82 mph
795 ft AEG      16 Mns Break
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Writing trip report on 10-15-2021

Still working my way home I put Bryce on my list of things to see as I've never been there before.  I've always wanted to go when there is snow but, what the heck, it was on my way.  I ended up taking two nites to make it back from Montana and Hatch would be my second and final layover.  I had stayed in Pocatello the nite before so I was able to get to the Park in the early afternoon.  I stopped at the Red Canyon/Dixie Forest VC and did a quick tour before finishing my drive to Bryce.  I stopped at the Lodge to go and find a map and route to choose for a little hike.  The rangers were set up outside so I made an inquiry and the ranger suggested this loop.  Good choice on his part altho he was a little bit arrogant based on our short conversation.

I drove the wrong way so ended up at the Fairyland Loop overview and took a few pictures before heading to the Sunrise Point TH.  Here I also went to the overview first to take a look-see.  I helped some people get a picture they wanted of themselves with just the right background before I headed on my way.  Don't take the Horse Trail as that appears to be an option.  The trail is wide and of course, the scenery is unbelievable in person.  Luckily it was never too crowded which is good so that I could do a lot of filming.  By the way, did you know: Hoodoos (irregular columns of rock) exist on every continent, but here is the largest concentration found anywhere on Earth.

There was one little area that wasn't clear as to which way to go and I backtracked a bit.  I was surprised to go through some people tunnels.  After one of them there is the option to take the dead end trail to the Queen's Garden.  I didn't realize the Queen was in residence in this vicinity.  I went back to the tunnel and continued on the trail into the more shaded and treed area.  You could see where the flash floods had cut through some of the landscape.  The hoodoos are less prevalent down here.
You wander in the lower realm for a bit before beginning your ascent slowly between the canyon walls of the Navajo Loop.  Altho, technically Bryce is not a canyon as it was caused by headward erosion that excavated large amphitheater-shaped features in the Cenozoic-aged rocks of the Paunsaugunt Plateau that exposed delicate and colorful pinnacles called hoodoos that are up to 200 feet high.

It is quite shaded here.  You have the opportunity to check out the twin bridges before you begin the very tight switchback ascent.  Once I was on top and filming, I asked the people below to say hello to youtube; I am always surprised how many people oblige.  It really is an impressive area and even once you're done with the switchbacks you get blown away by huge windows in the rock and Thor's Hammer.  The colors and hoodoos are truly astonishing. I was having a wonderful afternoon and ended up talking with a fellow from Texas that was having a fabulous time as well.  It's nice to see so many smiles. 

It's just too bad so many of these people were hiking this loop the wrong way as it is definitely best to go clockwise from Sunrise Point.  My phone quit filming as it had no more room from all of the previous media of my Montana trip so I had to switch to my camera which doesn't have a great stabilizer; plus I didn't realize the lens had a very slight spot on it, fortunately not too bad though.  (FYI Wall Street was closed per previous storms that had come through)

Sunset Point, of course, had some great views.  I really should have stuck around for sunset but alas, I needed to get to my motel in Hatch in order to get dinner as I wasn't sure how late places would be open around here.  I think I got to Hatch Station within about 1/2 hour.  It's a great little place with a store, restaurant and motel.  The price was $60; the least I paid to stay anywhere.  The owners have had it for a few years and they snowbird in the Valley so are closed for winter.  The room is small but very clean and remote heat/ac control which was a surprise; especially when I tried to change the channel as I would get it mixed up with the tv remote.

Four videos including the stop and drive through Red Canyon:
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]

WATCH: 3.06 from actual start of loop at Sunrise Point 125 avg bpm, max 160. 8409 high, 7774 low burning 758 calories. Starting temp 78.8 and 16% humidity finishing at 5:49PM.
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.

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