Saturday, October 29, 2016

Bye-Bye Bryce Canyon

We had one more day to spend in the wonderland that is Bryce Canyon, and we made the most of it.  We packed another picnic and began a driving tour of the viewpoints along the canyon rim past the Main Ampitheater.  The day was clear, crisp and windy, so we weren’t encouraged to tarry, but we did take time to visit, and appreciate, all the viewpoints.

The park is long and narrow, encompassing the canyon’s rim and a short distance on either side.  From some of the viewpoints I am told you can see 200 miles on a clear day.  I don’t know what 200 miles looks like, but the vistas were magnificent.

Here are several images taken at Paria View.  This is the area where Stetson said the park’s Giant Condors are sometimes seen.  We got a glimpse of one on our first visit to the park, but none were flying today. 


The area below is Swamp Canyon.  

The views from Fairview Point are beautiful early in the morning. 

The Natural Bridge Viewpoint shows you not only the bridge, but a very impressive hoodoo. 

Agua Canyon Viewpoint, elevation 8800 feet, was our next stop.  It has an impressive hoodoo of its own.

Ponderosa Canyon’s viewpoint is even higher, a chilly 8904 feet.  Views from here include some of the area's "fin" formations. 

The Black Birch Canyon overlook has some lovely views as well.  But I was intrigued by the two hoodoos in the second and third images.  Don’t you think they look like a little old man and a little old woman in their rocking chairs?

Rainbow Point, elevation 9113 feet is, I believe, the highest viewpoint in the park.  You can see almost all the colors of the rainbow, and they seem to stretch forever.

After visiting the Bryce Canyon viewpoints, we drove some 30 miles east through the small town of Tropic to Kodachrome Basin State Park.  Its rock formations are beautiful as well, and the park has an impressive collection of hoodoos of its own...

including the most famous, The Chimney.

We had tried to make reservations there, but they have only a few sites that would accommodate us, and they were full. 

Just before leaving on Thursday morning, October 20, I made one last trip into the national park to catch the sunrise.  The formation glowed in the early morning light; it was a sunrise I won’t forget. 

The entire experience was a feast for the senses, and we loved every minute of our time here.

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