Bryce Canyon Tipi Failures

My favorite states during the road trip were New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. The most beautiful landscapes would pass by as we drove. We planned on hiking in Bryce Canyon and staying there for two nights in a Tipi.

Things always sound good in theory right?

We arrived close to dark on the first night. The tipi’s were located on the camp grounds of Ruby’s Inn. Now owned by Best Western but keeps the original name. It is a huge complex and resort. There are several restaurants, a fake mining town, a show and then the national park.

After a disappointing dinner at the cafe. We decided to get a good nights sleep and go to bed early so we could hike all day.

That’s when the problem with the tipi began. In my mind sleeping in a tipi sounded so cute. Although in retrospect it seems a little rude and exploitative but nonetheless it was the cheapest option. ¬†However we were driving around the country with no real supplies for the wilderness. We didn’t bring anything to cook with or any pillows. So it was just the cold, hard ground and a sleeping bag.

Sleeping in a tipi: great in theory, terrible in practice. It drops to freezing at night in the mountains even in the summer. I ended up sleeping in the car. Then hiked for a few hours. My body was not happy with me.

But the views…

These sweeping, spectacular, are these even real? Views!

All worth the painful and cold sleeps.

However for someone like me who has a physical condition it is quite impossible to sleep on the cold hard ground and then try to hike. The cold makes my hip and back ache worse and the ground is too hard.

I recommend an air mattress if you want to save the money and not stay in the hotel. ¬†The tipi’s are about 20$ a night.

There are several trails in Bryce Canyon. It is the other end of the Grand Canyon. There are many different trails and surprisingly they were not too difficult to hike. The steepness gave me a little bit of a problem but there are plenty of flatter areas to walk around.

Just remember there is nothing wrong with taking your time.

That night we drove into the little town and ate at a cafe there. The food and atmosphere was so much nicer then the crappy expensive cafe on Ruby’s grounds and the other option was far too expensive for our blood.

I didn’t even try to sleep in the tipi on the second night. I went straight for the car. We woke up at like 6am and left. We headed into Arizona to hike again in the Sedona Red Rocks.

On the way we hit a deer. Middle of nowhere Utah, thank god the car was still drive able.

Hiked the better part of afternoon and managed to head off the beaten trail and onto NOT a trail and walk for a good half hour before we come to a mini cliff and realize we were never walking on a trail to begin with.

The red rocks were very easy to hike. Very slight inclines, not marked so great but the level of ability was even less then needed to hike Bryce Canyon.

Hot, dusty and tired we showed up at my friends cousins house. Never have I been happier to shower and lay in a bed. Sun burnt and exhausted from two days of hiking, not showering and basically not sleeping.

Lessons learned:

  1. Tipis are not good to sleep in when ill prepared.
  2. Sleeping in your car is not easy
  3. Pay attention to posted trail signs
  4. Beware of Deer.