Rainbow Point is where the road ends in Bryce Canyon. The journey to roads end is filled with amazing viewpoints (13 to be exact), rich colors, and sculptures that only wind can carve. Our journey included an actual rainbow which I found to be quite apropos.
At 9115 feet, Rainbow Point offers incredible views of the surrounding landscape. We arrived just before sunset and our plan was to hang out on the viewing platform for a few minutes before we got back in the car and headed down the 18 mile road back to the park’s entrance. Then I saw the sign for the Bristlecone Loop.
It had been a long day and we had already hiked portions of the Rim Trail and the Navajo Trail but the I just had to do the Bristlecone Loop. I had read about the bristlecone pines many times before and always marveled at these “oldest living things” but I had never actually seen one for myself. The loop is only a mile long and after some coaxing I convinced my husband to help me hurry our kids down the path so we could see one of these amazing trees for ourselves. Bristlecones live where most trees wouldn’t stand a chance at survival. They prefer exposed dry rocky slopes and grow at incredibly slow rates. The oldest, somewhere in the White Mountains of California, is thought to be 4,765 years old. These trees have lived through so much history. One can only wonder what those gnarled pines have seen as they stood out on cliff’s edge.
That evening we saw the Bristlecone Pines. I stood in silence as I gazed out at these unassuming trees. I watched my children, so young, run and play around something so very old. It was a small moment in the lives of those trees but large moment in mine.
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