It’s been almost a week since the long Memorial Day weekend. How was it? I hope you traveled to somewhere exciting. But have you start planning your next summer travel yet? If the answer’s no, you should! Especially if you’re already planning to go to Las Vegas sometime this summer. Might as well extend the car rental period and drive to Utah. Yes…Utah, the state rich with national parks that are considerably close to each other. Chris and I did exactly that, two summers ago. Our first stop was Bryce Canyon National Park, and it was truly a sight to behold.
We visited Bryce Canyon for two days back in July 2012 (two nights and two days). The area’s elevation stands at 8,000+ feet (2,400+ meters) and I highly recommend bringing a good supply of water. The air up there can be thin at times, and you can get short of breath easily if you’re casual hikers like us. Of course, regularly applying sunscreen and wearing a hat will help you retain your stamina throughout the day immensely. When we first arrived, it was already late afternoon, around 4pm. We got to Inspiration Point and our vision was immediately filled with hoodoos.
Looking back to our short Bryce Canyon visit that summer, we found that Bryce Canyon gives different hues of awesomeness depending on time of day. On that first afternoon, we went down the famous Navajo Loop. It’s cool going down due to the towering Wall Street, but the climb back up was a bit of a challenge, not because of the steep grade but mostly due to the high elevation. We had to stop several times to catch our breath and drink water. But we were not complaining; the views (and resulting photos) were totally worth it.
The next day, we drove all the way to Rainbow Point in the morning…
…before doubling back to Queen’s Garden trail shortly before noon. I remember having skipped heartbeats whenever Chris hopped around some narrow pathways flanked with nothing but air to take pictures. The trail was nice (it’s actually close to Navajo Loop that we tackled the day before), but the heat was intense at times. No matter what, the views of those hoodoos bathed in sunlight were always a delight.
Since we had about a couple hours left of sunlight, we decided to go back towards the direction of Rainbow Point, stopping at vista points along the way (Blackbirch Canyon, Ponderosa Point, Agua Canyon, etc). The highlight was the Natural Bridge. That natural arch was amazing to look at, and it’s an honor to be able to see it before it’s going to fall apart in the future. One of the last pictures we took that day was sunlight hitting the hoodoos on sunset, making them glow bright orange.
On the last day, we woke up early and went to Sunrise Point at around 5am. The Sunrise Point is close to Inspiration Point / Navajo Loop / Queen’s Trail, so you know that the area arguably contains the most beautiful representation of Bryce Canyon as a whole and consequently, the prime target for tourists. But when we got there, it’s only a handful of people. It’s quiet, some people were jogging on the trail, and the soft beautiful sunrise light was nothing short of a divine experience. The natural light was PERFECT during sunrise, and the sweeping view of the canyon and Thor’s Hammer left me speechless.
Visiting Bryce Canyon National Park was quite an amazing experience. So if you haven’t been there, you should. Go there this summer! Even if you can only stop by for several seconds, go straight to Inspiration Point area and you won’t regret it. If you can stay longer, make sure you catch it during sunrise and sunset. The views are beyond amazing. And bring lots of water and energy bars to keep your stamina up on that high elevation area!
Bryce Canyon National Park was not the only place we visited while in Utah…but that’s a story for another week.
Enjoy your weekend, everyone,