BRYCE CANYON NP
I'll be arriving at Bryce Canyon at around 1 or 2 PM via car from Las Vegas during the third week of April.
We have booked a room at the Bryce View Lodge for one night. We have to move on by noon the next day at the latest (following stop is Zion).
We'll probably do the combined Queen's Garden / Navajo trails, and drive around to see the various viewpoints. First question: how much traffic is there in April? Will we be able to find parking at each viewpoint, or is the shuttle a better idea?
We plan on returning at night, after checking in to our room, in order to stargaze. My understanding is that the park is open 24/7. Is parking still available at night (say 10 PM)? How common/safe is driving into the park at such an hour? I know it is possible but will we be the only crazy people doing so or are there a decent number of night time visitors? Can anyone recommend a good place to get out at night, walk around, maybe stretch out on a sleeping bag and stargaze for an hour or two? How safe is driving at night? I see the road looks fairly modern and I know that we would have to drive very slow out of caution.
We'll be spending a few days in Zion. Angel's Landing, Observation Point, and Emerald Pools trails are on our list, as are brief stops at Weeping Rock and the Human History Museum.
We are also contemplating doing the Narrows (from the bottom, day-hike version) and dedicating a day to it. Currently water flow for the North Fork of the Virgin River is 110 cubic feet per second. They close the day-hike trail if it hits 130, as far as I know. Has anyone hiked in April when the water is 100-130 cfs? How deep are the deepest points of the river? Will a 5'6'' person be completely submerged at any point?
Many people mention swimming portions of the hike. How deep and how long are these sections? I'm especially apprehensive about having to dip or make my way into a pool of unknown depth while carrying a backpack and quite possibly fatigued.
By the way, I know there is a good chance the hike will be closed when I'm there. I'm just preparing myself for the possibility that I do hike it.
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