Three Mornings at Bryce Canyon

November 07, 2015  •  3 Comments

It didn’t take long to figure out that Bryce Canyon, while stunning at any time of day, is, photographically, a morning location. The amphitheater (not strictly speaking a canyon since it was not formed by a river) is East-facing and the shapes and colors are best in morning light.

On our first morning, we photographed from the aptly named Inspiration Point. This overlook provides stunning views of the Silent City -- a part of Bryce with an especially dense concentration of hoodoos and fins with narrow channels between them.  To modern eyes they resemble a warren of skyscrapers and narrow streets. To the native Paiutes they are the “Legend People” dressed in their finest, colorful clothing.

In the pre-dawn light the colors began to glow from the diffused light. 

Bryce Amphitheater from Inspiration PointBryce Amphitheater from Inspiration PointEarly light on the Silent City, Bryce Amphitheater, intensifies pink and orange hues.

Less than ten minutes later, directional light revealed completely different colors and highlighted the shapes of the rock formations.

Silent City, Bryce CanyonSilent City, Bryce CanyonFirst light on the Silent City, Bryce Canyon, Utah On the second morning, after a sunrise shoot from Bryce overlook, I walked down into the amphitheater on the Queen’s Garden Trail to get a different view of the hoodoos.  Looking up, the sky was an even deeper blue than from the rim, making a dramatic contrast with the orange hues of the rock.

Hoodoo, Bryce CanyonHoodoo, Bryce CanyonHoodoo along the Navajo Loop Trail, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

On morning three, a hike along the Navaho Loop Trail provided a variety of views of Thor’s Hammer, one of the most recognizable formations and one that quickly became a favorite.

Thor's Hammer, Bryce CanyonThor's Hammer, Bryce CanyonEarly morning light on Thor's Hammer, from Queen's Garden trail, Bryce Canyon, Utah

Thor's Hammer, Bryce CanyonThor's Hammer, Bryce CanyonThor's Hammer from Navaho Loop Trail, Bryce Canyon, Utah

Three days is nowhere near enough time to fully explore Byrce Canyon, just enough time to whet the appetite for a return visit.


Love the beautiful pictures. The pastel coloring is stunning. Your commentary was perfect.
Amazing looks so beautiful
Absolutely amazing! I would say that getting up before dawn was totally worth it! My day starts just as early, but the scenery is quite a bit less spectacular...
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