6 Epic Trailside Views at Bryce and Zion

Trip Leader and seasoned long distance backpacker Devin Karch knows a good trail when he sees one. After completing the legendary “Triple Crown” of long-distance trails in North America (PCT, AT, & Continental Divide) he spends his days on the trails of Bryce and Zion National Parks as our Trip Expert there. He’s selected a few of his favorite trail-side views from his time leading and exploring. Scroll down to see a few of Devin's favorite trail-side views from his time leading and exploring, then check out our full offering of Utah trips here

Bryce Canyon at Sunset  

Bryce Canyon at sunset

It is in the coldest and darkest times of winter that I imagine myself here on the rim of Bryce Canyon watching the sunset. Sometimes I need to pinch myself over the fact that I routinely have dinners with my guests right here, where we share great food, wine, and conversation with this as the backdrop to it all! I worked in many regions with Backroads and this is my favorite dinner.

 

Bryce's Wall of Window

Bryce's wall of windows

If you're keen for a little* extra elevation gain where every climb is rewarded with another stunning view, then it is the Peakaboo Loop you need. The Wall of Windows is just one of several world class sights. In one view you can see the life span of Bryce's famous Hoodoos. One day when those windows collapse, we will have some new Hoodoos!

 

The Subway

The subway in Bryce

After several years of failing to get permits to this incredibly popular hike, I figured out an easy solution; Go in February! Just as we reached the rock feature that gives this area it's namesake, a light snow began to fall. It was an awesome moment in the true meaning of the word. Snow and ice don't visit the desert often, but then they do, the chemistry is electric!

 

Tunnel in Bryce Canyon

tunnel in Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon is one of those places that is so unbelievably beautiful and otherworldly that I don't fault guests when they can't tell if these tunnels in the rock are natural, or manmade. It's hard to tell when everything else already looks like a mix between a Dr. Suess book and the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona.

 

View from Upper Emerald Pools

View from Upper Emerald Pools in Bryce

Every now and then, usually for fleeting moments, but sometimes for miraculous hours, the desert is the perfect temperature for the human body. When the right conditions align, the desert has the uncanny ability to become 'body temperature.' It is in these moments when you can't tell where your skin ends and the air begins, where you can sit completely still and not get cold, or fidget and not heat up. I felt that here on the Emerald Pools Trail in Zion.

 

Zion Canyon and Virgin River

Zion Canyon and Virgin River

Every time I am in Zion canyon, staring up at The 2000+ foot walls of sandstone and listening to the rushing river, I can't help but feel a connection to humanity. For thousands of years, human beings have come to this place, looked at it's unique beauty and all thought the same thing; it should be protected

 

Written by: Devin Karch
All photos by Devin Karch

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