Our visit to Bryce Canyon National Park began with a 18-mile drive lined with scenic view points.
At 9105 feet, Rainbow Point is the highest elevation of the park, offering a bird’s eye view of the “pink” canyon.
Adjacent to Rainbow Point, Yovimpa Point is one of the few places where even a non-geologist can discern the sequence of rock layers forming the Grand Staircase.
Agua Canyon view point overlooks two distinctive hoodoos – “the Hunter (left) and the Rabbit (right)”
Don’t think they look anything like their given names? This is because hoodoos don’t last very long and their shapes are constantly changing.
Natural Bridge is a natural arch sculpted by frost wedging. Its iron-oxide rich red color provides a sharp contrast to the dark green ponderosa pine forests below.
Notice a small cluster of birch-like trees by the Natural Bridge parking lot?
These are actually Quaking Aspens, used to be more common in the park.
If there is one hike you must do in Bryce, it is the 3-mile Queen’s/Navajo combination loop. First take the shuttle bus to Sunset points, walk half a mile to the left along the canyon rim until you reach Sunrise Point. From there, follow the Queens Garden Trail to descend to the bottom of the canyon. And ascend back up to Sunset Point with the Navajo Loop trail.
We did not have enough time to do the whole loop. We just followed the rim walk from Sunset to Sunrise point, keeping our eyes fixed on the giant amphitheater below, calling out the towers, fortresses and cathedrals of the Silent City.
The color changes from one vantage point to another.
At last, we tucked away our cameras and silently panned the landscape with our eyes – taking it all in and pinning it to our minds. No photo could possibly do justice to this view.
Next destination -> Page, Arizona.