April 11, continued: We took Highway 12 from Torrey to Bryce, a spectacular ride. Many years ago, we had driven the southern part of this road, in the Escalante area, but we had never seen the northern portion. The road climbed to more than 9000 feet and overlooked a huge expanse of red rock country, from Capitol Reef to the Henry Mountains to Navajo Mountain to Boulder. We stopped at several of the scenic overlooks.
The infamous "hogback" portion of the road, which is twisty and narrow with sheer cliffs dropping down from either side of the highway, was a piece of cake. Great views, but not scary at all. However, in snow, ice, fog, or rain, this would be a cake best left uneaten.
We had hoped to find boondocking near Bryce, but suspected (correctly) that the wet forest roads would still be closed due to melting ice and snow. We found an opening at a small RV park not far from Bryce, where we had stayed in 2006.
We took a quick ride into Bryce to watch the sunset, but it was too cloudy. But when we got back to the trailer, the view from the RV park was better:
April 12: We hiked the Queen's Garden trail at Bryce -- lots of folks, just as at Capitol Reef. There was still some snow in the deeper crevices of the hoodoos along the rim:
Close up, the surfaces of many of the hoodoos looked like a child's "drip castle:"