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Bristlecone Loop, Rainbow Point & Hike the Hoodoos Challenge

When I was a kid, family trips were such a drag. We were too cool to get out and look at all the beauty around, too cool to have family photos taken, just too cool for words, right? What I wouldn't give to change that. Now that I'm a parent, I'm constantly trying to find things that will amaze my kids heads off. Problem is, they are 2 1/2 and 1. They are just as happy with a wrapper as they are seeing Bryce Canyon. Aiko (2 1/2) is actually starting to appreciate "preetttttyyy" things, so even though she's too little now to really understand or care, one day, I know it'll hit her.

So when I was reading the newspaper from Bryce Canyon and saw Hike the Hoodoos Challenge, you better believe my eyeballs popped out of my head in excitement.

In order to earn the "I Hiked the Hoodoos" reward, a person needs to hike 3 miles and find the benchmarks. You either need a photo or yourself next to the benchmark or a rubbing. There are nine "Hike the Hoodoos!" benchmarks located along eight different hiking trails in the park. We chose Bristlecone Loop and Navajo Trail and Queens Garden as our hikes for the Hoodoos Challenge and we actually did all the hikes in one day. We'll post about Navajo Trail and Queens Garden later this week, it was a life changing hike for sure.

Bristlecone Loop is a very EASY hike. We even pushed the kids in strollers and then later saw a woman in her motorized wheelchair on the trail.

It's also gorgeous. It's one of the last trails on the map at next to Rainbow Point. Totally worth the drive and even the crowds.

Bristlecone trees are so unique too. (Tree on left.)These aren't your typical pine trees. Bristlecone needles grow in groups of five and the oldest Bristlecone tree is 5,000 years old. This trail is appropriately named.

Another pine tree is the ponderosa tree. Which, I've mentioned before here, totally smells like butterscotch/vanilla. No joke.

Truly the trees on this trail are majestic beings.

Here is the benchmark for Bristlecone Loop. I didn't really have anything to make a rubbing, so we opted for the whole photo thing.

This whole scavenger hunt made the hike even cooler I think.

There is also a nice little shady spot to hang out.

The trail was so nice, even Aiko got out and walked for a while.

Can you see the squirrel?

Aiko was just tickled to find it.

See, smelling the ponderosas.

It's a real thing.

Ponderosas have reddish to yellowish bark and truly smell so sweet in the hot sun. You can't miss them.

Be sure to stop and gave over at Rainbow Point too.

When we finished the 1 mile loop, we decided to have some snacks and rest. We somehow managed to attract a raven, who, wasn't afraid of much and really wanted our hummus.

He literally sat there and waited for us to take his photo. All I could think about was the Simpsons Edgar Allen Poe episode (that I saw in English) with a raven that said "Never more!"

So if you are headed to Bryce Canyon, be sure to do the Hike the Hoodoos Challenge and visit the Raven on Bristlecone Loop! We'll be posting about Queens Garden and Navajo Trail Hike later this week.

Check out Harmony's previous post about Bryce Canyon here.

Helpful Tips
  • 1 Mile Hike
  • Well kept trail
  • Easy
  • Stroller Friendly
  • May not be accessible in Winter Months
  • Bathrooms
  • Good place to picnic
  • Part of the Hike the Hoodoos Challenge


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