Hiking Queens Garden | Bryce Canyon National Park | Hike the Hoodoos Challenge

Hiking Queens Garden | Bryce Canyon National Park | Hike the Hoodoos Challenge

Thursday night I asked the husband if we should just get away for a while. So we did. We ended up in Bryce Canyon National Park. We haven’t been to Bryce Canyon with the whole family before. The last time that I’d been to Bryce I had Aiko & Orion and it was our first solo car ride without dad. See how we hiked with two tiny toddlers here. (Look how tiny they were...2015.)

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This time, it was going to be different, for many reasons. First, I’ve only been to Bryce Canyon when it’s blazing hot, this time we were visiting in January. Second, we now have three kids instead of two tiny toddlers. Third, we were making said two kids walk the trails themselves this time. Fourth, the husband was with us!

Man, it was cold and snowy. We needed to boogy, since the sun was going down and we didn’t want to hike in more ice than we needed too. We packed baby V in our Osprey Carrier. Inside the carrier I packed an Ergo Baby Carrier (just in case) and our sandwiches and some water.

The lighting was amazing. The husband actually stopped quite often to take photos (something he does not normally do.)

I had forgotten how steep of a descent it is. I remember reading that Queens Garden is one of the most hiked places at Bryce, so I knew we could do it…it was just the coming back out. Also, the cliff drop offs were insane...it made this mama slightly nervous as my kids were NOT afraid of stepping right up to the edge. After this, we decided to hold hands.

The kids were champs on the way down. We met lots of mud and some snow. We saw plenty of people coming back up the hike, but no one really seemed to be following us in. I’ll admit, I was a little nervous, but it’s not a long hike.

The kids loved all the hoodoos, big drop offs and short tunnels. We also go them excited about seeing the Queen. We kept telling them that Queen Victoria was down in her garden waiting for us to find her.

When we finally made it to the Queen, Orion had only slipped once in the mud onto his tiny bum and everyone else was fairly happy.

Have you heard about the Hike the Hoodoos Challenge?

"To encourage visitors to stay healthy while having fun, Bryce Canyon National Park has developed a new activity called "Hike the Hoodoos!" Part hike, part scavenger hunt, visitors must hike at least 3 miles on specially-marked trails and find "Hike the Hoodoos" benchmark survey markers along the way.

Visitors may either obtain rubbings of the benchmarks, or take pictures of themselves with the benchmarks, to prove they hiked the required distance. Upon showing their rubbings or photos to the visitor center ranger, they are then presented with a special reward."

Obviously, we needed more than just this one hike. We'll keep you posted on which hikes we did to obtain the three miles.

See the mud? Really, the mud wasn't that bad. If you so chose, you could walk through way more mud, like Orion did.

We stopped at the Garden and ate our sandwiches.

If you watched our Instastories, you might have seen the melt downs happening. Baby V was tired and cold and Orion was the same. Luckily, the Trail Fairy once again saved the day.

Going out was a bit slower, but we’ve learned to hike with kids and sometimes you kind of have to drag them out. The last half of the way, little Orion had had enough, so I pulled out the other baby carrier and strapped him on. Since we have tiny kids, he wasn’t too heavy, but it did make hiking out a wee bit harder.

When we finally made it to the trailhead we were all pretty cold. We were also the second to last car to leave the parking lot. Since I’ve only been to Bryce Canyon in peak season I felt this was kind of magical, cold and all.

I was super proud of my little family. We’d made it! In the winter nonetheless!

Harmony

Visitor Info

Entrance Fee(s): 
National Park Fees Apply
Helpful Tips: 
  • 1.8 miles round trip
  • Most websites say moderate hike, that being said, my 5 year old made it all by herself. Our 3 year made it 75% of the way on his own.
  • Wear layers when hiking in the cold. Layers that can easily be shed and not too bulky.
  • It’s slippery, muddy, snowy and sometimes icy on the ground. My kids wore normal shoes, nothing fancy and then did just fine.
  • Be sure to dress the tiny ones extra warm. Since Baby V was traveling on the baby carrier, I should have realized she’d get cold easier. While she was in a warm body suit and hat, I think she got too cold while just sitting there. Normally, she’s in the Ergo Baby so we have our body heat, but carrying her high on the Osprey Pack left her colder.

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