Grand Canyon Trip – Day 6b – Bryce Canyon

We had been to Bryce Canyon once before and were nearby so it seemed like a fine idea to stop in again.  I think we were there for maybe an hour all together (partially affected by wasting time taking pictures of a hawk on a post earlier).  It seemed that there were about a dozen people in the entire park at that time and it was pretty cold and windy.

Bryce Canyon Map to Cedar City

We stopped at several of the overlooks and grabbed a few pictures of the rock formations in the fading daylight.  The lighting was incredibly different than the harsh midday sun that we were contending with last time we were in that area and the snow on the tops of the hoodoos was a nice change.  Most of the pictures I took are of the Queens Garden area.

The visitor center was closed already on our way in, but we stopped briefly at the lodge on our way out hoping that a gift shop was open, but we missed that by a few minutes.

While we were stopped, we booked a hotel in Cedar City.  I don’t remember the exact motivation for that area, other than it had been a larger city we drove through a few days earlier while heading north and was a reasonable distance away.   Turns out, it’s also over a mountain range, was heading into a storm and Tom Tom was completely unaware that we were driving a Prius.

I really have no idea how far through the mountains we got though I think we made it past a small lake as you can see on the map.  The visibility was continually deteriorating and the accumulated snow increasing when we came to any clearing in the trees.  It got to the point that just knowing where the road went was a challenge, so we stopped and very carefully turned around, which was a challenge for us since we didn’t exactly know where the road was and a challenge for the front wheel drive Prius since the tires were now all cutting their own tracks.  We saw two other vehicles while we were up there – a large SUV headed East right as we stopped and a minivan going West right after turning around.  The minivan made me wonder if the way was more passable than we thought, but it didn’t seem like a good idea to find out.  We ended up driving through Zion and then backtracking some to get to Cedar City.  In hindsight, there probably was no point to booking the hotel ahead of time and we could have stayed somewhere further South in the direction of the next day’s travel.

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Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Last from Bryce Canyon, posted in part because of my recent reading of this article on Luminous Landscape.  I was obviously at that point later in the day where the shadows were overtaking the valley.  I did some adjusting afterward, otherwise the lower portion of this picture was completely lost in one big shadow.

Picture taken with Canon 60D, EF-S 17-85mm lens @ 17mm, 1/50 sec shutter, f/16, ISO 100

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Second from Bryce Canyon, same polarization caveat as before, but I’ve done my best to correct it out.  It’s odd how a bunch of dead, or at least dead in appearance, trees can look so cool among the red rocks.  Probably because they’re the only thing that can grow there so they are naturally isolated.

Picture taken with Canon 60D, EF-S 17-85mm lens @ 20mm, 1/40 sec shutter, f/16, ISO 100

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Moving on to Bryce Canyon, this is one of the bristle cone pines there.  I thought it would be a good idea to use a polarizer to keep the brightness of the sky in check, but in hindsight, I think it made the sky look a bit off and I would have been better off just dialing down the exposure to make sure that the histogram didn’t shown any white clipping.

Picture taken with Canon 60D, EF-S 17-85mm lens @ 17mm, 1/80 sec shutter, f/8.0, ISO 100

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Another from Bryce – this was another that wasn’t really thought out, but I like how it turned out.  This was on the Queen’s Garden hike.  It was actually surprisingly dark at the bottom of the canyon as evidence by the ISO 400 need just to keep the shutter speed within reason (I have the older wide angle lens: no stabilization :-/).

Picture taken with Canon 60D, EF-S 10-22mm lens @ 10mm, f/4.5, 1/50 sec ISO 400

Bryce Canyon Hoodoos

Bryce Hoodoos

This picture is from the day at Bryce Canyon in Utah.  As mentioned when I posted the bulk of the pictures before, this was mostly a midday visit and getting good pictures was difficult.  On one hand, the contrast was very high due to the bright sun and abundance of shadows.  On the other hand, with the contrast dialed down these all blend into one red-orange blob or rock.  Or, maybe it’s not that difficult, and I should just practice more.  Regardless, this one seems to have ended well, so here you have a picture of the Bryce Canyon Hoodoos.

Picture taken with Canon 60D, EF-S 17-85mm lens @ 24mm, f/16, 1/20 sec, ISO 100