Distance: 0.4 miles round trip cross country
Summit Elevation: 9115' (Rainbow Point), 9009' (Rainbow Jr)
Elevation Gain: 150'
Elevation Gain (in Empire State Buildings): 0.12
Round trip time: 20 minutes
Recommended water: 0 oz.
Parking/Fees: Free on Highway 63 Turnout
We drove to southern end of Bryce Canyon National Park and the end of Highway 63 to Rainbow Point. This is a great view spot to take in the entire canyon and get a good look below the rim. It is also the highest point in Bryce. Near Rainbow Point, a gentle ridge slopes up from the highway and ends in what looked like an even better view spot at Peak 9009, or as I called it, Rainbow Jr. This peak was not in peakbagger and not on my radar, but I had a "hold my beer" moment. Leisa was kind enough to allow me to stop at a turnout on the way back and walk to the summit of Peak 9009. The ascent was class 1, but there was a knife edged sliver about 1' wide to cross in order to reach the summit. The payoff was big, giving me much better views below the rim and a 360 view that Rainbow Point didn't have. I forgot to bring my 360 camera, missing a big opportunity. Oh, well. A few more miles up highway 63, we stopped at the Natural Bridge, which is really just an arch.