Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Blue Skies and Bristlecone Loop

Cannonville, Utah

Can you see it? Blue skies!

 We actually had blue skies yesterday too, but still feeling a little light headed from the altitude we decided to take a ride, but that will be another post.

 I am just way too excited about our hike and fresh air today! We both woke up this morning feeling great and ready to hit the trails in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Wanting to be safe and not over do on our first day out, we chose Bristlecone Loop at Rainbow Point. It's a one mile loop and has mildly hilly trail changes.
Elevation at Rainbow Point, where the loop begins, is 9,115 ft. The loop descent is 100 ft.

The trail offers spectacular views...

...and a nice walk through a deep-mixed conifer forest.

The search was on...I had read a description of what to look for, but we kept looking and looking...this is not a Bristlecone Pine. 

The ground cover is beautiful...Greenleaf manzanita bushes are flourishing.

According to information I read, the Bristlecone Pine is one of the oldest living species on the planet. One sculptured tree can live to be almost 5,000 years old.

The needles are produced from the branches of the tree in groups of five.

As a defense against the harsh climate in which they live, needles may not shed for up to 40 years!

Bristlecone Pines are called "Wind Timber" due to their fantastically tortured forms.

Is this a yellow-bellied marmot? NO! Thank goodness! We were told to watch for them along with blue grouse. This is the only bird we saw and it has yellow on it. Thanks Judy...its a yellow-rumped warbler.

These little spots of yellow were everywhere too...don't know what it is either. It grows close to the ground, red stems and sometimes red leaves, and the leaves had prickleys.

The busy sounds of the everyday world were conspicuously absent.  An occasional bird, but just pure calm and quiet, and then an occasional breeze in the trees. 


We shared our lunch spot with a couple from Western MA, then met a family from Poland...we gave them our maps, and then met a  young family from France with the sweetest baby.

We had a wonderful day...hope you did too!

Y'all come back!


  1. Glad you had blue skies and warmer temps. The Bristlecone Trail was our first trail on the day we arrived since it was freezing and very windy. We thought we could do a mile before freezing. I imagine it was much nicer for your walk. You'll see many bristlecones down in the canyon.

    Enjoy the weather!

  2. Isn't Bryce awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

  3. That's a yellow-rumped warbler, male. A yellow bellied marmot is a large rodent. :)

  4. Beautiful! Glad you two are adjusting to the altitude.

  5. Excellent hike today and love the pictures.