One evening at Bryce Canyon National Park we hiked to Mossy Cave. This part of the park is not accessed the same way as the rest, and you could go there without paying, I think. (But come on, the whole place is incredible, and you need to pay to see the rest of it.)

The trail to Mossy Cave. (Click photo to enlarge.)

The trail to Mossy Cave. (Click photo to enlarge.)

The relatively short hike (seemed like 1/2 – 3/4 mile each direction?) took us to Mossy Cave and also a waterfall. I am a save-the-best-for-last-type-of-girl, so we went to the cave first.

I said in a previous post that I would not post a picture of the cave; I did not think I took one because it was not terribly photogenic. (OK, I took a couple, but they were close-ups of something specific that I’ll show you later.) But when finding pictures for this post, I found one.

Mossy Cave--granted, a bit boring. (click photo to enlarge)

Mossy Cave--granted, a bit boring. (click photo to enlarge)

It was a shelf-type cave with an overhang. (I am sure there are more proper technical terms for this that I am entirely too lazy to research.) It was a bit disappointing that we just walked to where it started and had to stop; no one was allowed inside (or under, as it really was).  But truthfully, that is NOT the reason to take this hike. The waterfall is.  (And the hoodoo arches with the incredible sky as seen here.)

The waterfall near Mossy Cave (click photo to enlarge--notice people below it.)

The waterfall near Mossy Cave (click photo to enlarge--notice people below it.)

The waterfall is just a short distance from the cave. A very shallow creek runs through this area and creates the waterfall.

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

My girls were in heaven. (But someone please remind me to take water socks on trips whether or not we think there will be water. There is always water SOMEWHERE!)

I loved the light on the creek. (My girls just liked the creek.)

I loved the light on the creek. (My girls just liked the creek.)

We knew there would be a waterfall on the hike, but we did not know how absolutely wonderful it would be. When we got there, people were playing in the shallow water below it. Not having proper footwear and having young girls, we did not let them play in the falls, but this picture gives you an idea of the size of it.

2009-08-02_19-21-54

On the way out we saw a couple of mule deer. It was our best deer encounter (other than chipmunks and ground squirrels) the entire time, BUT… I had been playing with shutter speeds with the water and forgot to change the settings, so none of the deer pictures turned out particularly well.

mule deer

mule deer

My World is a weekly meme in which participants are virtual tour guides. Go check it out and see the worlds of others. Or better yet, take a look at the guidelines, and do your own My World Post!

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August 2 was our first full day at Bryce Canyon National Park. We awoke to a temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit. That was reason enough to be there in August!

That morning we did “The World’s Greatest 3-Mile Hike” which is the combination of two shorter trails. One trail is the “Queen’s Garden Trail” and the other is “Navajo Loop.” We could not do longer hikes on this trip because of my ankle problems and because 4 miles is about the limit of our 5-year-old.

Here are the pictures. Most will enlarge if clicked.

This is near the beginning of our hike that started at Sunrise Point.

This is near the beginning of our hike that started at Sunrise Point.

A view of the Bryce Amphitheater between two hoodoos.

A view of the Bryce Amphitheater between two hoodoos.

The redness comes from iron.

The redness comes from iron.

The family on the trail.

The family on the trail.

This is why it is the "Queen's Garden Trail." The hoodoo formation on the left is said to look like a profile of Queen Victoria on her throne. (I'm not sure why it could not be any queen.) My daughters thought the formation just to the right of it, a little lower, looked like the head of a dragon. (This impressed them more than the queen.)

This is why it is the "Queen's Garden Trail." The hoodoo formation on the left is said to look like a profile of Queen Victoria on her throne. (I'm not sure why it could not be any queen.) My daughters thought the formation just to the right of it, a little lower, looked like the head of a dragon. (This impressed them more than the queen.)

This was the first experience my daughters had with cairns. They loved it, and the oldest one got into putting a stone on any one she could find--usually doing something difficult to balance. These cairns were in the bottom of the canyon.

This was the first experience my daughters had with cairns. They loved it, and the oldest one got into putting a stone on any one she could find--usually doing something difficult to balance. These cairns were in the bottom of the canyon.

The trail in the bottom was all-but-deserted, and quite different scenery than the top.

The trail in the bottom was all-but-deserted, and quite different scenery than the top.

The trees in the bottom had some terrific shapes for framing the stone parts of the canyon.

The trees in the bottom had some terrific shapes for framing the stone parts of the canyon.

This little area enchanted me. I loved the way the hoodoos and trees, similarly-shaped, were all together in a garden of sorts.

This little area enchanted me. I loved the way the hoodoos and trees, similarly-shaped, were all together in a garden of sorts.

I think this is "Wall Street." So named because not much sky could be seen through this part of the hike.

I think this is "Wall Street." So named because not much sky could be seen through this part of the hike.

This is near the top of the path out. This is QUITE a climb. Thankfully the scenery is spectacular, so it's fine to stop frequently to take pictures (rest). I think the hike would be easier to enter this way (Navajo Loop) and leave the way we came in (Queen's Garden). People were going down in this place in flip flops. I would not recommend that.

This is near the top of the path out. This is QUITE a climb. Thankfully the scenery is spectacular, so it's fine to stop frequently to take pictures (rest). I think the hike would be easier to enter this way (Navajo Loop) and leave the way we came in (Queen's Garden). People were going down in this place in flip flops. I would not recommend that.

We made it out! One 5-year-old was very, very tired! She walked most of the way herself, even the last, uphill part.

We made it out! One 5-year-old was very, very tired! She walked most of the way herself, even the last, uphill part.

This is actually part of the rim trail between Sunset and Sunrise point. This hiker, with bad ankles, was limping a bit by this point.

This is actually part of the rim trail between Sunset and Sunrise point. This hiker, with bad ankles, was limping a bit by this point.

If you are interested in last week’s Bryce Canyon (which is not technically a Canyon, but I will address that later if I have space) episode, go here.

My World is a weekly meme in which participants are virtual tour guides. Go check it out and see the worlds of others. Or better yet, take a look at the guidelines, and do your own My World Post!

This arch is really two hoodoos that are next to one another.

Hoodoos are formed when arches break in places where the rock is fragile like in Bryce Canyon National Park. Thus they were probably both arches at one time. (And they will both likely eventually be standing straighter with nothing going horizontally.)

This shot was captured during “the World’s Best 3-Mile Hike” of which you can see more next Monday for My World Tuesday.

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures or to find out how to participate in this meme, head to the SkyWatch blog.