Sitting in the Love Cafe here in Sedona, I’m still catching up on post through Utah and Northern Arizona. Feels like centuries ago that I rode this lovely paved bike trail from the park entrance of Bryce Canyon on my way toward Zion National Park. The bike lane extended for about 10 miles from Bryce to Red Canyon State Park, the lesser known red rock hoodoo canyon that is under appreciated due to it’s proximity to Bryce. However, it was a lovely place to stop at the end of my long day of hikes through Bryce, away from all the tourists.
Passing through this area of Utah in late October has been so interesting, as all the small towns and tourist destinations are closing for the season, seemingly just as I arrive into each location. At Red Canyon State Park, the campground had just closed a few days before I got there, and the Visitor Center was open for its last day until April. Luckily, their water was still on and I had plenty of food to stay and explore for a day or two…
Descending into the canyon via the bike path, the colored rock was brilliant.
This park features a couple of drive-through hoodoos. Reminded me of all the hubbub about the drive-through redwood tree in Humboldt California, but without the $10 expense to do it!
The sun was starting to set just as I arrived. I looked up at the big beautiful cliffs just above the campsite I was poaching (as I said, already closed for the season, but a bike can ride around a locked gate quite easily!), and knew I needed to see the sun set from the top. Luckily there was a trail just next to the campsite I picked that lead all the way up to the ridge.
I sat atop a long flat hoodoo and watched the fireworks show.
Unfortunately I forgot my flashlight and had to jedi my way back down the hillside to my campsite. No worries. It was worth it!
The following day i woke up and stowed my stuff in the woods to ride the two well known trail systems in Red Canyon. The first, Thunder Mountain trail, wiggled right through the hoodoos as it descended from the top of the canyon.
Turns out that Thunder Mountain trail is a big bucket list trail for Utah mountain biking. I can see why!
Second ride of my rest day was on Losee Canyon Trail, connected from Butch Cassidy Trail. Fun riding in a river wash with the beautiful red walls crawling up above me.
Turns out the Red Canyon borders a site of historic volcanic activity. As I rode back to my campsite from the bottom of Losee Canyon within the park, I could see where the red rock met the lave. Beautiful. Next stop: ZION!