Bryce Canyon

Location: Byrce Canyon National Park, Utah

Today was another long busy day. We woke up early in the morning and made our way to Bryce Canyon National Park. Along the four hour drive we got to see some landscapes. The most memorable of which where the tall mountains and cutouts in a canyon along I-15 in Arizona and a the red sandstone mountains near St. George, Utah.

highway

Shortly before we arrived, we were also treated with the sights of the Red Canyon inside Dixie National Forest.

Red Canyon
Red Canyon

We got lunch at the lodge in Bryce Canyon and made our way to the southern edge of the canyon. Our first stop, and highest elevation of the trip was Bryce Point. Before we made it to the edge, Rachel and several other photographers stopped to take a pictures of a very large and friendly raven. After a few pictures, we made our way to the lookout points and were amazed at the view.

A large raven
A large raven

The canyon itself was a sight to behold. At every stop, we were treated with beautiful views of a lush green valley flanked by red, white and gold limestone walls, windows, bridges, and hoodoos.

Panoramic view of Rainbow Point
Panoramic view of Rainbow Point
Natural bridge
Natural bridge
Bryce Point
A panoramic view at Bryce Point
Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon

It began to snow as we made our way north (and down in elevation) around the amphitheater rim. This was the first snow we’d encountered in months, and it is still early in the season (for us) to see snow so this came as a small surprise. The storm itself was short and of no nuisance aside from a windy sleet toward the end. However we could see in the distance some dark clouds were moving in so we decided not to waste any time.

The sun was still out by the time we made it to sunset point. Rachel raced up a hill to get a few pictures before the clouds moved in to get a few pictures. We managed to get a few pictures of the more exciting part of the amphitheater, including “Thor’s Hammer”. 

Thor's Hammer
Thor’s Hammer

We considered taking a trail down into the canyon, but given the incoming rain/snow and long drive back we elected to skip it on this trip and instead make our way back to Nevada.

Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon

Our next stop was meant to be Snow Canyon State Park. We arrived there just before sundown. But with daylight running out, and more rain on the way, we didn’t stay longer than 15 minutes. We were treated to more rain clouds and a “breathtaking sunset” though.

stormy sunset
stormy sunset

Instead of heading straight back to Vegas, we took a detour and headed to the Valley of Fire State Park again. We went up to the white domes to successfully get more star trail photos and attempt to see the Milky Way. We got back to the hotel around midnight again.

Valley of Fire - Star Trails
Valley of Fire – Star Trails
Valley of Fire - Star Trails
Valley of Fire – Star Trails

Tomorrow, we plan to take it easy and spend the day at the hotel pool and walking along the strip.

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