I have been to Bryce Canyon twice (that I can remember). The first time was about 3 years ago when I was going down to pace the Bryce Canyon Half Marathon while my daughter was visiting. We were both absolutely floored before we ever got to Bryce Canyon when we drove through Red Canyon with its gorgeous … wait for it … red walls. There was a paved trail I could see off to the right of the road and I wanted to bring my ElliptiGo back some day and ride it.
While I was in El Paso I decided to look up information on that trail and possibly use it as a long run on my way home. It turns out it is 8 miles long with roughly 1000 feet of vertical – so my plan was to do the out portion of the run using the heart rate monitor and keeping my HR under 126 (would be a challenge on uphill) and then on the way back turn off the alerts and alternate miles of .75 running/.25 recovery or .75 power hiking/.25 recovery.
I have to admit – the scenery did not make me regret this and was as beautiful as I remembered it.
These images are all from the first three or so miles – by far the most striking miles.
When I passed a gas station shortly after this, one guy came over and asked me where I had come from. I replied that I had started at the trailhead. He asked me how far that was and I said “7 and a half miles.”. He was shocked I had walked that far and then asked who was driving me back. Um…..no one.
This is a great trail and well worth running, walking or biking it. I probably had more fun keeping my heart rate down on the uphills than all the cyclists I saw struggling up them on my way back. And I really had fun bombing down long downhills as a reward for my hard work.
Training note: I was very pleased at the pace I was able to maintain on the uphills using the HR Monitor and the strength I felt on the return trip. I was able to hop in the car and continue the drive home without any need to rest.