Day 3-4 Grand Canyon to Bryce Canyon

Our first stop outside the Grand Canyon park was in Cameron at the Cameron Trading Post. Throughout our trip and many trading posts it was hands down the highest quality one. Highly recommend stopping there. I got some lovely handcrafted Navajo and Zuni jewelry. They had ceramics, jewelry, hand spun and dyed yarn, handwoven baskets, blankets and tapestries- so many things. Also random knick-knacks, postcards and tourist stuff, but really, the craft quality (speaking as a professional artist and craftsperson) was very high.

The drive between the Grand Canyon and Bryce was lovely and we also stopped at the Glen Canyon dam for a quick view (accessible).

a dam (Glen Canyon dam) in the Colorado river with greenery in the foreground and orange landscape on the other side of the Blue skies and fluffy clouds.

We had intended to stop halfway between The Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon for Horseshoe Bend, which recently created a wheelchair accessible trail, but we discovered my wheelchair did not have enough batteries (I was still running this new one down from my very first charge). We were also running late after the Trading Post stop.

Another non accessible stop we had heard was amazing at the same highway exit is Antelope Canyon, which is on Native land and therefore requires a native guide. Reservation lands were closed to tourists for covid precautions. After these stops is a split in the highways (89 and 89a) which eventually merge again at Kanab. We went with 89, and the road was gorgeous but we understand both are equally lovely, if different.

After a gorgeous drive we stopped at the Outlaw Saloon in Hatch for dinner (we did pick-up to eat in the RV due to covid). The atmosphere in the bar was not as great as you’d hope (and no kids allowed inside), but the cocktails were good with quality ingredients (drank one while waiting and inspected the bottles at the bar), and the food was good.

We camped at Ruby’s RV, which also had tent sites, cabins, motel, lodge, etc. and a shuttle stop for the Bryce Canyon shuttles. It was a nice campsite (trees, fire pit), but was not accessible because the ground was too uneven. It was the only time in the trip we needed blocks to level the RV (though the other sites looked way more level). Thankfully I didn’t have to leave the RV and my husband handled the hookups. If you can get around a little without a chair, the “premium” site was the best place for a campfire with a few trees around you, but also more likely to not be level.

Bryce Canyon

We were able to enter the park free thanks to the Access Pass we got at the Grand Canyon by showing our handicapped placard and accompanying paperwork.

If you are traveling by RV know that there is no parking right next to the visitor’s center or at Sunrise Point (the nearest to the entrance). They have overflow rv parking for both. There are shuttles for RV users from Ruby’s RV park and within the park if you park in the overflow parking. With a wheelchair in an RV it was tricky. There were simply stops we couldn’t make in the RV (they give you a list when you enter). I do really recommend going to the Sunrise Point though. The person at the entrance will give you directions to nearby RV parking if you need it, and if you are in a car there is a parking lot with accessible parking. That (accessible) viewpoint is where you get closest to the Hoodoos. Hiking through them is not wheelchair accessible, but others in your party can enjoy a look around down the trail and share their awesome pictures with you (second two pictures below were taken by my husband from the trail).

Between all the parks we saw this trip (Grand Canyon, Bryce, Arches, Petrified Forest, and Joshua Tree) I think Bryce was the prettiest. The different viewpoints showed very different scales: close, medium, far, and it even had an arch (Natural Bridge) at least as impressive as the ones at Arches, but right in view of the parking lot and wheelchair accessible.

Natural Bridge was my other favorite.

a natural arch of golden orange rock with trees underneath and a blue sky above.
“Natural Bridge”

There are official viewpoints with parking lots (with accessible parking and wheelchair accessible sidewalks), and some pull-over spaces that can be equally gorgeous if you can walk a short distance with a cane or walker. I suggest looking along the full run of each one if you can because the view can change dramatically in a few feet. One of the pull overs has an amazing canyon to the right that is just not visible from any other part of it.

All in all an absolutely gorgeous and mostly accessible park and my favorite of the trip. Highly recommend it!

Published by Mary Corey March

I am a contemporary artist living and working in San Francisco. The root of my work is exploring both the individual person and humanity through identity, relationships, diversity, and commonality. How do we define ourselves and each other? Where do we draw the lines and what happens _on_ those lines? How to we frame our experiences? How much of our humanity can come through in a data format? Through our symbolic images? Our words? Our definitions? Our bodies? These are the questions I delve into again and again. In May of 2017 I became disabled with ME/CFS. I have since continued my artwork with the help of assistants. I am in a wheelchair outside of the home.

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