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Exploring Bryce Canyon's high country on horseback.

Exploring Bryce Canyon's high country on horseback

Thousand-year-old bristlecone pines standsilhouetted against umber-washed sandstone spires called hoodoos in Utah's Bryce Canyon National Park. In July, wildflowers soften the surrounding landscape carpeting meadows in Dixie National Forest.

This intriguing area's 8,000-foot air canmake uphill stretches extra tough for hikers, but on horseback the air doesn't seem quite so thin. With a guide, a greenhorn can ride the trails without concern for more than a sore backside, and the scenery and easygoing horses will help you forget even that. On the easy hour- to day-long rides, the guides describe Bryce's geologic history, flora, and fauna --sprinkled with a liberal dose of tall tales. One guide on our trip demonstrated rope tricks while standing backwards in the saddle.

Of the three companies that offer dayoutings, only one takes you into the canyou; the other rides go to the rim or into the adjacent national forest. Summer days are usually dry, with temperatures in the comfortable 80s, but wear long pants for protection from trailside brush.

Bryce Canyou Pines Trail Rides. One- and2-hour rides in the national forest, $8 and $14; also all-day trips into Red Canyou to see Butch Cassidy's hideout, $45 with lunch. Meet at Bryce Canyon Pines Motel, 6 miles northwest of park entrance on State Highway 12. For reservations and information, call (801) 834-5336.

Bryce Zion Trail Rides. Two- and 3-hourrides daily into Bryce Canyon, $12.50 and $20. Buy tickets at Bryce Canyou Lodge's lobby, 1 1/4 miles south of the park entrance on State 12, then show up at the corral--a 5-minute walk from the lodge--15 minutes before your group departs. For reservations and information, call 834-5219.

Scenic Trail Rides. One- and 1 1/2-hour ridesto rim of Bryce Canyon, $8 and $12; also all-day rides into the national forest, $35 with lunch. Meet at Ruby's Inn on State 12, about 1 1/2 miles north of the park entrance. For reservations and information, call 834-5341.

Photo: On Peek-a-Boo trail in Bryce Canyon National Park, riders pass wind-eroded hoodoos
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Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Jul 1, 1987
Words:343
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