Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah: A Photographic Journey

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Bryce Canyon National Park

There is so much to see in Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah that my day and a half there only scratched the surface. I was there in early November. The weather was cool in the morning but warmed up nicely in the afternoon. I would not want to hike the trails in the middle of summer. It would have been way too hot for me. It is strongly advised to carry water at all times to avoid dehydration and altitude sickness, even in the fall.

Utah Canyon Country

A markerBryce Canyon National Park -
Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce Canyon, Hwy 63, Bryce Canyon, UT 84764, USA
[get directions]

First Stop Visitor Center

My first stop was the Visitor Center. They have many great resources there to plan your stay and rangers to ask questions. There are over fifty miles of trails in Bryce and since I only had one day, it was suggested I take the Queens Garden Trail at Sunrise Point and continue on the Navajo Loop and back up again to the top to the Rim Trail and back to Sunrise Point – a hike of 3 miles. I thought I was in good shape but being from the Midwest, the altitude changes had me huffing and puffing. Carrying all the camera gear and tripod contributed to my distress. The water did help but I had to stop and rest frequently. I stop a lot anyway on my hikes to take photos. I’m sure this particular trail would be very busy in summer but I went long distances without seeing anyone.

 

Sunset Point

Before I began my descent I sat at the top of Sunset Point and took it all in. It was very windy that day. I could hear nothing else but the wind. Then I photographed the fantastic vistas.

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On the Trail - Queens Garden

Next I headed down the Queens Garden Trail for some close encounters with the hoodoos. The beauty and magic of Bryce Canyon are the hoodoo formations. These are pillars of rock in fantastic shapes and colors left by erosion caused by ancient rivers. Some of them seem to glow when the sun hits them.

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Author photo. Going through a small tunnel.
Author photo. Going through a small tunnel.
Author photo. I call this one Mom & Kids.
Author photo. I call this one Mom & Kids.
Author photo. Looks like ET!
Author photo. Looks like ET!
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On the Trail - Navajo Loop

I decided I did have time for the Navajo Loop. It took me down farther into the canyon and there were more trees and more shade in this section. There were also fewer hikers on this trail. I was told to go clockwise on the trails, but if I had known how steep the trail was to get back up, I would have reversed it because the Queens part of the trail was not as steep. The estimated time to hike these two trails is 2-3 hours. I was definitely on them longer than that but then I stopped often to take photos.

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Author photo. This was coming back up the steep trail to the top.
Author photo. This was coming back up the steep trail to the top.

Bryce Point Sunrise

Since I was taking photos, the ranger suggested I get up for the sunrise at Bryce Point. It was an excellent suggestion. This was the most mesmerizing sunrise I have ever seen. The cool, crisp air and the clouds combined to form so many different looks and glorious colors. I will let my photos speak for themselves.

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Author photo. Glorious sky colors reflecting off the cliffs.
Author photo. Glorious sky colors reflecting off the cliffs.

Bryce Canyon - A Must See

I also wanted to see the 1600 year old bristlecone pines at Rainbow Point but as I started off in that direction, it started to snow. I decided I didn’t want to be on an unfamiliar trail alone when it snowing… maybe next time. And I definitely want to go back and take more time to explore the places I didn’t have time to see. However, the day and a half I spent there was well worth the effort. Everyone should visit this fantastic national park at least once, even if you only drive through and stop at the viewpoints.

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Comments 14 comments

barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

Those are some beautiful photos! I remember stopping by their once while driving through. We didn't have a whole lot of time, but we did get to see some.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

Those are amazing photos. Thanks for sharing your journey.


D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 5 years ago from Lancashire north west England

Another master piece of fantastic photography. Love the sky colours, thank you for sharing.


Rose Kolowinski profile image

Rose Kolowinski 5 years ago Author

Thank you barbergirl28! It is a fantastic place, even if you only see a little.


Rose Kolowinski profile image

Rose Kolowinski 5 years ago Author

You are very welcome, cardelean. Thank you for stopping by - glad you liked my photos!


Rose Kolowinski profile image

Rose Kolowinski 5 years ago Author

Thanks D.A.L for the kind comments! Appreciate you dropping by!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Rose~~

What gorgeous and majestic pictures and commentary~~ the next best thing to being there... thank you so much.

Voted UP, USEFUL, AWESOME & BEAUTIFUL~~ thank you!


Rose Kolowinski profile image

Rose Kolowinski 5 years ago Author

Thank you so much for the wonderful comments! Appreciate you stopping by. This is my passion - traveling and nature photography. Writing about it is fun too. : )


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

My hub just shows the viewpoints from the top. I'd love to be able to do the hiking you did and thanks to your wonderful pictures at least I can appreciate what there is to see if one has more time to see it from your perspective.

All of our national parks are worth the time and effort to see. The more time, the better! Thanks for this fabulous hub. Up and beautiful!


Rose Kolowinski profile image

Rose Kolowinski 5 years ago Author

Thanks, Peggy! I've hit quite a few national parks, but there are so many more to see. Keeps me busy!


chef-de-jour profile image

chef-de-jour 3 years ago from Wakefield, West Yorkshire,UK

A wondrous hub, a feast of photography. Such colours in those rocks that Mother Nature has sculpted and is shaping still. These formations look so warm yet a surprise to read that you had snow and couldn't complete your walk! Interesting contrast.

Those pine trees sure cling on good. Green against glowing orange, beautiful. Wonder what they are?

Such natural treasures you've got in the US. I've been 3 times and managed to fit a nature park in 3 times! Yosemite, Okefenokee and a New Mexico Taos park , name escapes me now but it was wild and big!


Rose Kolowinski profile image

Rose Kolowinski 3 years ago Author

Thank you chef-de-jour for your time to read and comment. We do have fantastic national parks in the U.S. My plan is to visit them all and I do have a good start!


lhoxie profile image

lhoxie 2 years ago from Idaho

We went to Bryce Canyon a couple years ago and your hub really brought back memories. Amazing the different perspectives that different photographers get. Your sunrise photos are just so beautiful. Thanks for sharing!


Rose Kolowinski profile image

Rose Kolowinski 2 years ago Author

Thanks for stopping by Ihoxie. It is a fantastic park and I'm glad you enjoyed my photos.

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