Switchback Kids: Bryce Canyon National Park



For some, memories are far more valuable than money. The belief that you’re only truly living when you’re traveling isn’t a cliché for this bold couple from Kansas City. Meet the Switchback Kids: Two young and adventurous newlyweds with aspirations to explore all 59 U.S. National Parks in just one year. Elizabeth and Cole have paused their careers, packed their bags, and hit the road to fulfill their dreams. One of their first stops was to Bryce Canyon National Park and this was their adventure in Cole’s words.

Day 1 – As we drove to Bryce Canyon from Great Basin, in the middle of remote eastern Nevada, our nüvi helped us find a gas station along the way. It was raining when we reached Bryce in the afternoon, so we hit up the visitors center, the museum, and a few ranger programs before setting up camp. The fēnix 3 showed that it got down to 39 degrees at night, much colder than expected. We planned accordingly. 


Day 2 – There was a chance of rain in the morning, so the ranger advised us not to hike below the rim. We were anxious to see the famous Bryce hoodoos (skinny spires of rock) and set out on a day hike that connected 6 miles of the park's most popular loop trails (Queen's Garden, Navajo and Peek-a-boo) within the Bryce Amphitheater area. As we hiked among the hoodoos, I kept an eye on the clouds using my fēnix 3 compass to identify west and also set the storm alert so we'd get a heads up if the fēnix 3’s barometer gauged a fast pressure drop. Luckily we were storm free throughout the day and got in about 9-miles of hiking and 2 ranger programs.


Day 3 – The alarm on my fēnix 3 woke us up early so we could catch the shuttle out to Rainbow Point at the far south end of the park. There we would start our 33-mile, 3-day backpacking trip through the Riggs Spring (9.6 mi) and Under the Rim (22.9 mi) trails. Today we did the Riggs Spring trail and 4 miles of Under the Rim before camping backcountry at Iron Spring with a beautiful view of the red rocks and the rim above. The vívofit 2 Elizabeth was wearing read around 34,000 steps for the day!


Day 4 – In the morning we woke up and knew we had to find water soon because the source we were supposed to be able to filter at Iron Spring turned out to be contaminated by cows and had risk for E. coli. I used the Hiking mode on my fēnix 3 to track our exact mileage and 7 miles into the day (well past a rumored stream supposedly at mile 2) we were able to reach a stream with running water that we could filter. That night after 14 total miles we drank water freely and I set the fēnix 3 to alert us 30 minutes before the sunset so we could watch it come up the next morning. It was so beautiful.

Day 5 – We finished the last supposedly 5.2 mile section of the trail (although our fenix 3, vívofit 2 and our feet said it was more like 6 miles). 10,000 steps before 10 am is a pretty good start to the day. With our bear canister turned in, things wrapped up at Bryce and the only thing left to do was have our nüvi route us to the buffet at famous Ruby's Inn in Bryce Canyon City. I'd say we deserved it!

Bryce Canyon National Park turned out to be a great outing for the Switchback Kids. Our National Park entertain outdoor adventurers are all over the United States and the Switchback Kids will be experiencing a vast majority of them. You can learn even more about their one-year adventure here and stay tuned for another post from Cole and Elizabeth in the following weeks. Don’t forget to share with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and use #HaveNoLimits.

The post Switchback Kids: Bryce Canyon National Park appeared first on Garmin Blog.

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