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Bryce Canyon Day 1

The earth has music for those who listen.”      William Shakespeare

In the past few years, we have traveled throughout Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Europe, Argentina, Southeast Asia and Africa.  As such, we thought it was about time for us to explore some of our own backyard.  We began with a visit to the home of good friends in Traverse City Michigan.  Because we’d been there many times before, I decided to leave the camera in its bag and simply enjoy our stay.  The weather was perfect as was the company of our friends and our many adventures.  But soon it was time to say goodbye, and we were off to Utah.

I must admit I was a bit worried when the Las Vegas thermometer showed 114 degrees as we landed but after a VERY long drive into the mountains of Utah, our fears both of wildfires and climate evaporated quickly.  We arrived very late at night so we began our first day at Bryce Canyon in the late morning on Thursday under clear skies and 70 degree weather.

RED CANYON, DIXIE NATIONAL FOREST
RED CANYON, DIXIE NATIONAL FOREST

Before you reach Bryce, you drive through the Red Canyon area of Dixie National Forest.  It’s a small preview of what’s to come but it’s quite beautiful.  And we were treated to our first natural bridge, one of many stone arches found in the area.

SANDSTONE ARCH, RED CANYON
SANDSTONE ARCH, RED CANYON

We decided that Day 1 would be all about getting the lay of the land, so we drove to each of the viewpoints in Bryce, as recommended by most everyone.  I thought that since it was late morning and we were not hiking, there would be few opportunities for photography, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Here are some of my favorites.

LONE TREE, BRYCE CANYON
LONE TREE, BRYCE CANYON
BRYCE CANYON AGLOW
BRYCE CANYON AGLOW
HOODOOS, BRYCE CANYON
HOODOOS, BRYCE CANYON
BALANCING ACT, BRYCE CANYON
BALANCING ACT, BRYCE CANYON

The light became a bit harsh by late afternoon so we returned home for a break, then headed back to catch some evening light as well as, hopefully, a beautiful sunset.  Unfortunately, it was not to be.  Storm clouds moved in as early twilight began, which gave me some wonderful stormy-sky opportunities.

STORMY SKIES, BRYCE CANYON
STORMY SKIES, BRYCE CANYON
GATHERING CLOUDS, BRYCE CANYON
GATHERING CLOUDS, BRYCE CANYON

We decided to cut our losses (a good thing, as it turned out), and head out before the storm hit.  One last stop at the appropriately-named Fairyland vista, and we called it a day.

FAIRYLAND HOODOOS, BRYCE CANYON
FAIRYLAND HOODOOS, BRYCE CANYON

All in all, it was an exhausting, exhilarating, amazing day.  Bryce is everything it promised and then some.  And my new Nikkor 10-24mm lens performed beautifully.  Tomorrow, we hike down into the canyon – woo hoo! Adventure awaits 🙂

Note:   All photos taken with Nikon D/300s – which survived it’s fall from my tripod quite nicely – with tripod and circular polarizer

  1. Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest:  Nikkor 10-24mm @24mm, ISO 200, f/18, 1/40
  2. Sandstone Arch, Red Canyon:  Nikkor 10-24mm @24mm, ISO 100, f/11, 1/100
  3. Lone Tree, Bryce Canyon:  Nikkor 10-24mm @24mm, ISO 200, f/18, 1/40
  4. Bryce Canyon Aglow:  Nikkor 10-24mm @24 mm, ISO 200, f/18, 1/30
  5. Hoodoos, Bryce Canyon:  Nikkor 10-24mm @24mm, ISO 200, f/18, 1/40
  6. Balancing Act, Bryce Canyon:  Nikkor 70-200mm @125mm, ISO 200, f/16, 1/100
  7. Stormy Skies, Bryce Canyon:  Nikkor 10-24mm @24mm, ISO 400, f/11, 1/50
  8. Gathering Clouds, Bryce Canyon:  Nikkor 10-24mm @24mm, ISO 400, f/11, 1/40
  9. Fairyland Hoodoos, Bryce Canyon:  Nikkor 70-200 @95mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/3
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26 thoughts on “Bryce Canyon Day 1 Leave a comment

  1. Your captions are perfect! The arch is amazing…. I am picturing you & Bailey in a convertible motoring at 80 mph on hairpin turns as you are snapping away! lol
    Oh my!! I just noticed this is 2012…. I am in a timewarp in your website haha.

  2. I think I am very lucky to have a home in Utah with our 5 National parks! I enjoyed looking at your photos even though they made me homesick for the West. I have been to Bryce many times, twice on bike tour. Beautiful country for biking, hiking and photography. We had a snow storm last visit and the hoodoos looked amazing with white caps on them.
    Cheers, Pippa

  3. Your shots are beautiful! Bryce Canyon is an amazing place! I just got my Nikon 70-200 lens out of the box. Do you use a teleconverter with it very often? ML

    • Congrats on the new lens ML, it’s a fabulous choice. I rarely use the TC as I don’t usually need it and the photos are a hair less perfect since it’s another layer of glass. Also using a D/300 plus 70-200 (on which I keep my tripod attachment) plus the TC makes it a VERY heavy rig! That said, I do use it occasionally and am glad to have it.

  4. We often forget to explore our own backyard..quite majestic..thank you for reminding us of our nation’s vast beauty

  5. Hi Tiner,

    Your new lens is taking some of the best pictures I’ve ever seen of Bryce Canyon. The pictures actually capture how truly striking the scenery is!

    Safe travels – JTR

    • Thanks Jane 🙂 After 2 days I’ve decided all of the fabulous wide shots of the hoodoos must be stitched together in photoshop. No way you can get the vastness of the vistas with a single shot. Its an incredible place.

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