Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon has always been a place I have been thinking of visiting as there is a large print hanging in my family’s dining room, so naturally I was looking forward to my three entire days there. Despite having spent 4 nights at the park, the experience can be summed up quite quickly.

Since we have virtually not had any rain on our 50-ish days so far, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Our tents were put to the test in Bryce Canyon, getting heavy showers every single afternoon. This did allow us to wind down a little, watch movies, read books, sleep in and work on some photos, which was greatly welcomed. Also, the incoming storms made for some moody skies and I got a few cool images. Unfortunately, I completely missed out on any lighting photos – not for a lack of trying though. However, whenever we saw lightning and immediately set up our cameras, there would not be another flash, period. Still, storm clouds make for awesome images.

A storm cell twisting above Bryce Canyon and lashing the orange rock with some heavy rain.

A storm cell twisting above Bryce Canyon and lashing the orange rock with some heavy rain.

Besides the thunderstorms rolling through on a daily basis, I did manage to sneak three sunrise shoots in. Marvelling at how the spires and windows and hoodoos of Bryce amphitheatre light up bright orange as soon as the sun peaked over the horizon is pure balm for the soul. People should go out more often to witness this daily spectacle!

The rising sun bathes the rocky spires, hoodoos and bridges in a lovely orange glow.

The rising sun bathes the rocky spires, hoodoos and bridges in a lovely orange glow.

Ridges of hoodoos lead into a forested valley in Bryce Canyon.

Ridges of hoodoos lead into a forested valley in Bryce Canyon.

Besides the sunrise each morning and the thunderstorms, there was another – unexpected – photographic opportunity: wildlife! The place is packed with ground squirrels, chipmunks, Steller’s Jays and deer – so I made use of that opportunity! Getting some images of the chipmunks wasn’t hard – they literally climbed our tents and almost ate out of our plates!

A chipmunk munching away at a yellow flower, right next to our campsite.

A chipmunk munching away at a yellow flower, right next to our campsite.

I was not the only one enjoying the sunrise that morning in Bryce Canyon - the local wildlife sure appreciates those moments of silence and beauty as well.

I was not the only one enjoying the sunrise that morning in Bryce Canyon - the local wildlife sure appreciates those moments of silence and beauty as well.

With fewer shoots going on than usual, plus the bad weather, left a lot of downtime for us. I did fill some of it with hiking the various trails through the hoodoos, and I have to say, it’s an experience of a lifetime to hike through those amazing rock formations. Orange walls, yellow mounds, red fields of rock, dotted with the occasional green tree or charred stump, towering hoodoos and walls with windows left and right as you walk through this place. I greatly enjoyed the hikes, especially the Fairyland Loop trail (if you ever go – do it!), as it is a lot less crowded than the other trails.

The sun peaks through one of the many windows found in the rock formations in Bryce Canyon. All you have to do is get off the beaten path and you'd be surprised what you'll find!

The sun peaks through one of the many windows found in the rock formations in Bryce Canyon. All you have to do is get off the beaten path and you'd be surprised what you'll find!

Bryce Canyon was a nice place to visit, wind down and enjoy while hiking and relaxing a bit. I definitely see why the print is in our dining room – I think I’ll put one of mine up there as well. Having completed our visit to Bryce, we headed over to Moab from where we’ll explore Canyonlands and Arches – but not without stopping in Capitol Reef on the way there.

Until then,
David