Posted on September 28, 2015
Bryce Canyon National Park and Best Friends Animal Society
Utah is home to five national parks, each spectacular for their own reasons, and Bryce Canyon National Park is no exception.
After leaving Page, we drove straight through and arrived in the mid-afternoon. A day of Utah heat and endless highway proved to be too much for us, so instead of heading into Bryce Canyon National Park, we checked into our hotel to relax.
After an evening of down time and a solid night’s sleep, we woke early the next day to enjoy the park before it got too busy – or too hot! Our time was limited so we picked one rave-worthy route and set out. We combined the Queens Garden trail with the Navajo Trail to see some of the best that Bryce Canyon has to offer. Craggy spires and unearthly hoodoos dotted the landscape that was awash in crimson tones. Everything was so beautifully lit with the morning sunlight.
We entered Bryce Canyon without knowing what to expect and left it wishing we’d planned more time for this park. The views, the hidden nooks, and the incredible scenery were all awe-inspiring, and Bryce Canyon holds some of the most unique topography I’ve ever seen.
On our drive to the area the day before, I’d spotted signs for Best Friends Animal Society near the town of Kanab. Made famous by the National Geographic show Dog Town, Best Friends is a sprawling animal sanctuary nestled inside Angel Canyon.
I’ve always been passionate about animal rescue and, as much as I wanted to stop, we didn’t have time. However, as we made our way back towards the junction to Zion National Park, the signs started popping up on the highway once again and I couldn’t ignore them any longer.
Gracious as he was, my husband agreed to accompany me on a tour of the sanctuary, giving us the opportunity to meet some of the hundreds of animals that call it home. Best Friends started in the 1980s, a vision amongst a group of compassionate friends that had a goal of saving every abandoned or neglected animal. The sanctuary houses horses, cows, pigs, dogs, cats, birds, bunnies, and even animals with special needs.
Our tour took us around the property before giving us some one-on-one time with the dogs of Dog Town as well as a group of quarantined felines with a form of cat cancer. These creatures are all wonderfully taken care of and deeply loved. The work that this team continues to do today is inspiring and I felt privileged that we were able to spend some time with the animals. A stop at Best Friends was just the kind of “break” we needed and well worth the time spent.
Accommodation: Ruby’s Inn Best Western Plus Hotel located at 26 South Main Street in Bryce Canyon City, Utah.
Facilities: Large rooms, pool, hot tub, dining facilities, laundromat, store
Privacy: Busy hotel with people coming and going at all hours; noisy room with little sound filtering
Nearest amenities: Bryce Canyon City features gas, food, lodging, dining, camping and more
Cost: USD$145 per night
Would I Stay Again?: Never again! We booked this hotel because it had decent reviews and we wanted a real bed to sleep in for one night. However, the rooms were dated and noisy and we could hear neighbours on all sides. The food in the adjacent dining facility was lacklustre at best and the pool/hot tub area was heavily chlorinated and full of unsupervised children.
The National Park Service is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the park service in 2016. To commemorate the occasion, the NPS has started the Find Your Park movement, encouraging people to explore amazing places and share incredible stories. I was not paid or asked to write this post. My thoughts, views and opinions are entirely my own.