“The poetry of the earth is never dead.” John Keats
Today, as planned, we headed off to Bryce for a hike into the canyon. The day began bright and beautiful although the weather forecasters were not optimistic. There had been storms with incredible lightning overnight, resulting in many new wildfires but fortunately none nearby. After studying our options and seeing yesterday’s vistas, we decided to follow the Navajo Trail, connect to Queens Garden, and finish with the Rim Trail. We began the hike at the trailhead on Sunset Point.
Each of the trails was quite different from the others, and one was more beautiful than the next. I suppose my favorite was the Navajo Trail, with its incredibly steep walls, narrow canyons and peek-a-boo vistas.
Navajo connects to Queens Garden, which offers wider vistas and flatter terrain.
Sadly, after about 3 hours, the weatherman turned out to be correct. As we approached the end of Queen’s Garden it became obvious that we were in for a major storm. We raced to the end up a very steep incline (passing some incredible photo ops, including amazing lightening over the canyon) keeping the camera equipment as dry as possible. We got to the Lodge before the worst of the storm hit and caught our breath until the storm abated. Then it was back to the Rim Trail to complete our loop.
A final stop before heading out took us to Bryce and Inspiration Points for a massive vista over the hoodoo amphitheatre.
Our planned return for sunset was once again foiled by clouds and storms. Tomorrow is forecast to be a washout but with all of the fires around here it’s much needed so we won’t complain. And we have enough time remaining to catch a sunrise and a sunset before all is said and done (we hope). I should add that I have done very little editing on the Bryce photos. These really are the colors and textures that await you should you have a chance to visit. And be prepared for some serious tummy-tickling as there are no guide rails along the edges of the steep, sheer cliffs.
Tomorrow’s plan, The Grand Staircase at Escalante – a long drive but a plan that works if it rains 😦
Note: All photos taken with Nikon D/300s – with tripod and circular polarizer
- Canyon Tree Trunk, Navajo Trail: Nikkor 10-24mm @22mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/20
- View From the Top, Sunset Point: Nikkor 10-24mm @24mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/640
- Peek-a-Boo, Navajo Trail: Nikkor 10-24mm @22mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, HDR-edited from 5 bracketed shots
- Queen’s Garden Vista: Nikkor 10-24mm @24mm, ISO 200, f/11, 1/160
- Pine Tree in the Middle, Queen’s Garden: Nikkor 10-24mm @19mm, ISO 200, f/11, 1/60
- Twisted Tree, Queen’s Garden: Nikkor 10-24mm @24mm, ISO 200, f/5, 1/80
- Cowboy Country, Queen’s Garden: Nikkor 70-200mm @180mm, ISO 200, f/11, 1/250
- Sentinels, The Rim Trail: Nikkor 10-24mm @24mm, ISO 200, f/11, 1/60
- Bryce Point Vista: Nikkor 10-24mm @24mm, ISO 200, f/11, 1/160
- Hole-in-the-Wall, Bryce Point: Nikkor 70-200 @200mm, ISO 200, f/11, 1/100