Canyon Cadence #1: Bryce Canyon National Park

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Having made it through the Grand Staircase of the Escalante on the Burr Trail, the next few points along my exploration of Southwest Utah would be canyons, canyons and more canyons! This post marks the first of a short series of narrated photos in order to share of the rapture of this amazing countryside…

 

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The ride out of Escalante along Hwy 12 was a slow smooth ascent towards Bryce Canyon. Rolling hills and grassland for a while…

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 … Until I got to the edge of the last “step” in the Grand Staircase: Powell Point. It’s been quite a range of views, ascending each step of the staircase from East to West.

 

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 Passing through the small town of Tropic, I loved looking over at the cemetery by the roadside. More flowers on graves than I’ve seen before.

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On the turn into the National Park, there was a very very LARGE Subway sign. I followed it, assuming it would be my cheapest meal for a couple of days.

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The park road… I got some info at the Visitor’s Center and found my way out to an area of the canyon known as Fairyland.

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A short walk into the canyon on the evening of my arrival convinced me I should spend the next day hiking through the canyon.

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 I watched the setting sun illuminate some hoodoos from behind at Fairyland before riding just out of the park into National Forest land to camp amongst the ponderosas. The bed of needles was so soft I didn’t even need my sleeping pad. Luxurious.

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 I stowed my bike the following morning in the woods and took the 8 mile Fairyland Loop. So so glad I did. Bryce feels so different when you’re looking up at and standing next to the hoodoos vs. just looking down at them from a parking lot.

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Short pause to appreciate my new cheap sunglass. The red tint (with requisite bling of course) made the red rock of Bryce explode upon my retinas:

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Without sunglasses….

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… With sunglasses.

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Twisty beautiful bark of the cottonwoods, I think… Or ponderosa? Tree was dead, with no leaves, so I couldn’t tell. Any tree identifiers out there?

 

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 The Bryce Amphitheatre from Inspiration Point. Good name for a point, I’d say.

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I just learned the term for this type of arched structure: a grotto. Castles in the sand.

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3 Responses

  1. Diane
    | Reply

    Stunning!! You’ve opened endless possibilities, because of your photography, prose and ponderings, of places I’d love to see :-). The southwest is truly an awesome work of rock/monoliths and kaleidoscopic wonder!!! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Dana VanVoo
    | Reply

    Again, those colors are just stunning! The dead tree appears at first as a Pinyon, but the higher elevation and the length of it tells me its a Ponderosa Pine. Your hike on the Fairyland Loop was so pretty and the trail’s name accurately describes it. Oh, and your sunglasses rock! Love the bling! If you get back to that area check out the Thunder Mountain Trail in Red Canyon. Its regarded by mountain bikers as a classic in the West. I’m thoroughly enjoying my cup of tea while reading your blog on this rainy night.

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