Despite our many stops along the way, we arrived in Bryce Canyon City ahead of schedule. Our home base for two nights was the Best Western. The hotel allowed us early check in, which gave us the opportunity to settle in and gave us plenty of time to explore the town and the park.
When I was researching lodging for Bryce Canyon it seemed Ruby’s Inn monopolized the lodging options and restaurants. Thanks to my fun facts place mat I was given at Ruby’s Grill, I learned that Bryce Canyon City was formerly known as Ruby’s Inn. In 1916 Reuben C. ‘Ruby’ Syrett settled in Utah and built a lodge near the current site of Ruby’s Inn. The family hosted visitors to Bryce Canyon and had established a successful business once Bryce was made a national park in 1928. So as it turns out, Ruby’s family basically owns the entire town and that’s why Ruby’s name is on almost every establishment.
As far as food was concerned, I was not impressed with what the town had to offer. Memories of Cafe Soleil’s meals were taunting me. There is a grill, fast food restaurant and cowboy buffet plus steak house. My only hope in this town was the the Best Western breakfast buffet which I made sure to fill up on. Oh… and as you would expect, the groceries Ruby’s Inn offers are extremely overpriced. Make sure to stock up on fresh fruits and other items before you head to Bryce.
In addition to the hiking at Bryce Canyon, there are plenty of activities for the entire family to enjoy: guided ATV tours, horseback riding, scenic air flights, a rodeo, mountain bike rentals, barn show at Ebenezer’s and my kids loved the rock shop at Old Bryce Town.
After getting a quick bite to eat we decided to take a drive through Bryce. It’s a 38 mile roundtrip drive and approximately 3 hrs plus all the stops at the overlooks. We wanted to check out all the different vista points to decide which one would be the best for sunset.
There are no words to properly convey what I saw and felt as I first laid my eyes on the canyon. It takes your breath away and leaves you speechless. The landscape was like nothing I had ever seen before and as the light changed, so did the colors reflected off the canyon. I was mesmerized.
We found a downed tree that served as a nice bench overlooking the hoodoo-filled red rock amphitheater. As we ate our snacks the temperature started dropping quickly and the other visitors started encroaching on our log-bench. It was getting crowded. A young German couple sat next to us and shared their story of how they were on a 2-month long vacation exploring all the US National Parks and major cities. I was envious.
The boys were hungry, tired and cranky way before the sun went down. I had exhausted their patience, so we headed out and filled our bellies with dinner at Ruby’s followed by ice cream. I had plans to be back here at sunrise so I wanted everyone well fed and rested.