Sunday, May 16, 2010

Peekaboo and Queens Garden Trails (May 11)

PEEKABOO TRAIL and THE QUEENS GARDEN

On the Tuesday morning I drove northwest to Bryce Canyon National Park.  It was a two and a half hour drive.   My intentions were to hike Peekaboo Trail this day and Queens Garden the next.  Once I got hiking I couldn't stop and ended up completing both.  If you check the google earth map below, you will see I did a figure eight.  That meant I only had to climb back up out of the amphitheatre once.  

I started at the Sunset Trail parking lot and hiked down the switchbacks to the bottom to start the Peekaboo Trail.  I read reviews that it is easier to go down this then to come up it.  
The colors were amazing and like nothing I had ever seen before.  This is the only place on earth where the scenery looks like this.
The trail meandered all over and around and through these pinnacles and pillars.  There were a few arches to peek through and others you hiked right through.
Even though the summit is at the top before you even start hiking, I still wanted a victory shot.  I was actually summiting mentally.  I criss-crossed paths with the same folks a few times and at one point a fellow patted me on the shoulder and said you are always smiling and that is great.  I guess my mental summit was obvious!
At the four way junction I stopped for lunch.  I met some nice people and chatted for awhile.  We were all really enjoying the day.  One loop down, one to go!  The Queens Garden was next and folks were telling me to make sure I don't miss it!  It was worthy of royalty!  You can see the trail wind around the base of the pinnacles.
The trail above was leading to an arch.  The window gave me a gorgeous view of the gardens beyond.  After taking the photo, this was an arch I could walk through.
The Queens Garden offered views far beyond the amphitheatre.  
Of course, I have to have a summit shot from this trail too!  
After just over 4 hours and 11.5km later, I completed both trails.  I sat on the rim for awhile taking in the beauty.  It was spectacular!  I then headed to Ruby's Inn, checked in and hung out.  The plan for the next morning was to drive the Bryce Canyon Scenic Route before heading back to Zion.

2 comments:

  1. I hikes that trail with the switchbacks going down, but never knew what it was called. Is that peekaboo? With the little hole in the wall that you go through as you enar the bottom of the switchbacks?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I absolutely love the scenery at Bryce Canyon - the way the light interacts with all the pinnacles and pillars can be amazing, especially at sunrise and sunset. Looks like you had some great views!

    ReplyDelete

I'm always curious to know what your comment might be!