Bryce Canyon National Park has numerous easily accessible vistas all looking down at the large amphitheater filled with vivid orange hoodoos. The shapes and scenery here are unlike anything you have been to before… (unless of course you have been to Cedar Breaks National Monument)
Bryce Canyon Hikes
Hikers can easy walk along the rim between the numerous named vista points of the Bryce amphitheater, or choose the more difficult walks down long and steep trails. These will take you to the bottom of the canyon and up the other side. While you will see unbelievable sights, my experience is these hikes are seldom pleasant. Too hot and dry in the summer, too cold and slippery in the winter and muddy in between. I’ve done these hikes numerous times, sometimes more than once in a day trying to get better photographic light. In the photo above notice the extra glow of light coming through a carved out section of rock along the Peek-a-Boo Trail.
Sometimes many days are required to really experience a particular national park. Not so with Bryce Canyon. A few sunset views the day of arrival followed by a few sunrise views the next morning along the rim and you have a good feel for the park. Whether or not you are able to go all the way down to the bottom, go as far as you can on one of the trails, like Peek-A-Boo or Navajo. Also a stay at the nearby original Ruby’s Inn is a must. You will feel like you have missed out on something if staying at one of the cheaper spots that are nothing special. Your choice of restaurants is very limited as well, but that’s fine, just eat at Ruby’s too.
I have been to Bryce six or seven times, yet my website has very few photos of it. With literally tens of thousands of camera toting tourists standing on the same viewpoint over the years, composing a unique photograph is difficult. At any moment one or more large buses can unload, turning the peaceful surroundings into loud foreign chatter. Cold winter days are best for me.
The above photo was taken the day after a light snow. The ground is extra colorful since it is wet from the melting snow on the south side of the hills. This abstract is one of my favorite photos. The next morning this scene was gone.
View from Sunrise Point
It surprises me how plants survive in nature. My mom used to fertilize her gardens and trees, followed by much watering, tilling of the soil and weeding. Here a tree is surviving in basically pumice rock with its roots exposed. A rare bit of canyon fog helped isolate this tree helping it stand out from the background.
I named this tree Spider Tree. A great example of erosion over the years. How much longer can this tree survive? It is visible from Sunrise point. Don’t leave until you spot it.
Hike Down the Navajo Trail
This tree is found in a
section of the canyon
called Wall Street, down
the Navajo trail. This is
not an easy hike, but well
worth it if you have the time
and stamina. Several tall
pines are growing in the
narrowest of places between
large hoodoo formations.
This is one of the spots I
have hiked to multiple
times in a single day to get
the right reflected light.
Taking photos after a snowfall helps isolate the hoodoos and makes the overall scene more simple and contrasting. Notice how the snow in the lower right has an orange tint. The sunlight reflecting off of the orange rocks gives trees, plants and snow an orange glow.
Taking photos of the Milky Way and star trails has become the rage in the photography world. This is part of the Navajo Trail leading down to the Wall Street pine tree, following many switchbacks winding your way to the bottom…. and of course back up again…
Good night from Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah.