Friday, June 5, 2009

Bryce Canyon National Park Free Guided Tour To Rainbow Point

Hiking in Utah's National Parks have been the best hikes I've ever gone on. I've hiked in Zion, Arches, Canyonlands and Bryce Canyon National Parks. Of the 4 I'd probably pick Bryce Canyon as my favorite.

Every time I've gone hiking in Bryce Canyon I've thought it'd make it much nicer if I was with a group and we had 2 vehicles, so that the hiking could start at one location, like Sunrise Point and end at another location, like Inspiration Point.

Well, the National Park Service has solved this problem, sort of, and made it easier to go on more adventurous hikes. From now until September, Bryce Canyon National Park is providing, free of charge, a daily guided tour to Rainbow Point.

The tour is operated by Bryce Canyon Shuttle. The 4 hour round-trip begins a 11 am and ends at 3 pm, covering around 40 miles, round-trip, with stops at the park's viewpoints and trailheads.

You have to make reservations. You can do that in person at the shuttle offices at Ruby's Inn, Ruby's Campground, the shuttle parking building or by calling 435-834-5290 between 8:30 am and 5 pm.

You can make reservations up to 24 hours in advance. The shuttle has room for 45 passengers. You can board at Ruby's Inn, Ruby's Campground, the shuttle parking area (across the road from Ruby’s Inn), Bryce Canyon Lodge, North Campground and Sunset Campground.

I don't know if 4 hours would be enough time to hike from one trailhead and make it to another by the time the shuttle returned on its roundtrip. But I would think it'd work great for backpackers. You could get dropped off, hike to your camping location, then the next day hike back out in time to be picked up by the shuttle.

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