Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Location: Southwestern Utah

Getting there: Bryce Canyon is just about 4 1/2 hours from Moab, where Canyonlands and Arches are and just over an hour from Zion National Park. The closest town of Bryce has tons of overnight accommodations and is fairly involved in the magic of Bryce Canyon. Though we did not spend very much time in the town itself, it is extremely close to Bryce Canyon, making it super accessible at all times of day ( or night! ).

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Top Tips:

  • If you very smartly dedicated more than one day towards Bryce Canyon, you must find a hike to do within the park. There are tons of trails, whether just around the rim of the canyon, or more strenuous ones that go deep within.
  • Bryce Canyon is an insane DARK SKY PARK and one of the top destinations in the world for astrophotography. It is possible to see 7500 visible stars from Bryce Canyon National Park on a clear night. In most other places in the United States this number is only 2500. Make sure to check the sky clarity before you go out and shoot or stargaze.
  • Try your best to visit Bryce Canyon during multiple times of day. The sunrises and sunsets are equally as beautiful but very diverse in how they effect the canyon colors, not to mention how it looks at night. 

Popular Features: 

Bryce Canyon is most known for its hoodoos. These are the tall rock formations that form the canyon walls and tower  from the ground and what makes up the actual amphitheater. The most popular hoodoo in the park is Thor’s Hammer, located just a short walk down the canyon from Sunset Point. Both this point and Sunrise point are great views of the amphitheater. The Navajo Loop Trail is a quick trail down in the canyon but ultimate adventurers should definitely go for the Queens Garden Trail.

Photography:

Bryce was probably my favorite place to photograph for the colors and depth you could achieve in a picture. Even though this was perhaps one of the parks we spent the least time at due to a time constraint, it was an absolute blast. Night photography was incredible, and the amount of people in the park during the night is astounding. Make sure that if you have never done astrophotography, and have a DSLR, that you try to capture some shots here. A great article I have found helpful, detailing settings and such, is this one. However, be aware that many people flock to Bryce JUST for astrophotography and if you are coming down a trail and hear somebody ask you to turn off lights, please be respectful to their shot! Some people will be masters and may love to give you a few tips, an some may have never done it before (we encountered both in the few hours we were there).

It is much easier to have already discovered some places you may find interesting to shoot at night during the daytime. Navigating the trails at night might be confusing or difficult for some. I recommend checking out sunrise point for some great angles and perspectives of the walls and Thor’s Hammer.

Sunrise at this park is also such a magnificent view and turns the rocks an incredible fiery orange-red. The Rim Trail is a great place to walk around during this time for some solitude and finding the best angles for sunrise or sunset.

Fun Facts:

  • The hoodoos as Bryce Canyon National Park were formed by the effects of water, ice and gravity on rock.
  • On clear days it is possible to see more than 100 miles from Bryce Canyon.
  • Sightseeing is one of the most popular activities in Bryce Canyon National Park but other activities visitors enjoy include camping, hiking, horseback riding, biking, tours on ATVs, sleigh rides, and cross-country skiing.
  • An average 4.5 million people visited Bryce Canyon in 2017.

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For more information about Bryce Canyon National Park, visit the National Parks website here!

Originally posted March 14th, 2018

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