Bryce Canyon National Park in southwestern Utah (USA) is famous for its worldly unique geology. That wonder attracts more than a million nature lovers visitors every year.
This is actually not a canyon but a collection of natural amphitheaters.
The amazing colors, permanently changing with the light and the weather makes Bryce canyon one of the most beautiful USA National Park (A very high benchmark 😎😊) and a superb place for a landscape photography lover or any photographer.
Water and Ice formed the colorful limestone rocks wonders and the surreal spires called “Hoodoos”.
With “only “65 Million years old, those are among the youngest rocks on the Colorado Plateau, so you still time to go and have a look!
The Bryce Canyon area was settled by Mormon pioneers in the1850’s (but with proofs of human life dated back up to10 000 years). The park’s name came from Ebenezer Bryce that started ranching there in 1875.
He considered that it was “a hell of a place to lose a cow.” That’s a fairly accurate statement 😊!
The park area is 56 square miles (145 square kilometers). The altitude varies from around 2000 m (6600 feet) at Yellow creek up to Rainbow Point at 2,775 meters (9,105 feet), offering endless opportunities for hikes and photography, on the rim and within the amphitheaters!
Indigenous Paiute Indian tribe history says the colorful hoodoos were “Legend People” who were turned into stone by the god Coyote. Some truly feel like legend people indeed 🤩.
Bryce Canyon is, as well, famous for world-class stargazing due to its long distance from sources of light pollution and exceptional air quality. Star trek sceneries look quite ordinary compared to this 😎.
It is said that one can see 3 times more stars from Bryce Canyon than from any other rural US area.
I could not count exactly but it really feels true!
Have you considered night hikes ?.
I would highly recommend this here during a summer clear night. The Navajo Loop trail then down to the Queen’s garden trail can be a good choice and they are easier than others to follow with low light. You’ll go down in the middle of amazing hoodoos for a once in a lifetime hike and landscape photography experience.
Of course, safety first: Inform somebody on what trail you intend to go, wear hiking shoes, have a proper lamp, water, etc. I heard a bear very close when I was down there and was happy to have a light 😱.
For knowledgeable photographers, long exposure light painting on the rocks offers infinite possibilities there but don’t overdo it (few seconds of lights for a 20 seconds exposure of the stars shot should be enough)
Hoodoos can be up to 60 meters high (200 feet) and contribute to making Bryce one of the most beautiful astrophotography spots on earth (in my view). Check times and location of the Galactic center with Apps like photo pills to prepare and plan your shooting.
On the way back up, if you organize your timing correctly, you’ll likely enjoy a colorful twilight photography opportunity on some of the most iconic rock like Thor’s Hammer (near sunset point on the trail). Even if the moon is obviously a limiting factor for astrophotography, the sky is so clear here that it still looks great despite the moon!
Back to traditional days hikes, Bryce Canyon forests and meadows are the habitat for diverse wildlife, including foxes, coyotes, a few mountain lions, and black bears, as well as easier to spot cuties like marmots, squirrels, and chipmunks.
Most park visitors sightsee using the scenic drive, which provides access to 13 viewpoints over the amphitheaters. All are great but to recommend a few easily accessible on the rim
Inspiration point and sunset point are amazing at sunset
Bryce point is one of the most popular, especially during the early morning. Arrive early enough to be lucky to be alone and feel like on a different planet!
Sunrise will then be a great reward for the early wake-up, as well as for the cold hands and ears (yes, even in summer 😂). The rocks will be on fire!.
Anywhere you go will be amazing. Bryce Canyon has eight hiking trails that can all be hiked in less than a day. In total there are 50 miles (80 kilometers ) of trails in the park, with the light changing permanently during the day.
So I hope this engages you to go and explore that wonderful place!