Bryce Canyon, Day One

SeniorPassPhotos © Todd Klein

Wednesday, Oct. 14th, we drove from Jacob Lake to Ruby’s Inn just outside the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park, where we’d stay for two nights, an easy drive of about two and a half hours. Ruby’s Inn is a whole city unto itself, you could stay for weeks, and we liked it fine there. After a quick lunch, we drove into the park, and a very kind Park Service person at the gate suggested I get a Senior Pass for $10 rather than pay the usual $30 entry fee. Senior Passes are for U.S. citizens who are 62 years old or older, and grant free access to all National Parks and Lands for life. What a great deal! This offer was on the entry sign at Grand Canyon National Park too, but we never looked at it. So, we saved $20 here, $30 at Zion, our next stop, and any parks we visit in the future are free. Ellen is not yet 62, but as long as I am, she gets in with me. Terrific!

BrycePointSignAfter looking over the map, we drove to Bryce Point, the highest viewpoint in the Bryce Amphitheater, which is what they call the semi-circular area of the canyon with the most spectacular stone structures.

BrycePointViewThe view was indeed spectacular! The Amphitheater is filled with limestone walls and towers (called Hoodoos by the local Indians), and it’s hard to think of a more amazing and photogenic spot. The limestone is white originally, but often stained my minerals like iron, which creates the red colors.

BrycePointArchesOn one wall of the canyon there were cathedral-like arches.

BrycePointView2Here’s the widest view I could get at Bryce Point. There must be many thousands of hoodoos.

PrairieDogWe went to the visitor center, and near there is a small colony of Prairie Dogs. This is the best picture I could get of one.

ToddBryceWe went next to Sunset Point for more wonderful views, and as it was late afternoon, stayed in that area until evening.

EllenBryceBryce is much smaller than the Grand Canyon, but I think it’s more visually striking.

BryceGlowLooking down at the hoodoos from Sunset Point, as late afternoon sun bouncing off some gives others a warm reflected light called “Bryce glow.”

BryceGlow2A little later, as shadows begin to darken the distant shapes.

BryceEveningAs the close shapes are darkened, the further ones become more prominent.

BryceEvening2Last area of sun on the close stones from Sunset Point. Soon we headed back to Ruby’s Inn for dinner, and would spend the entire next day at Bryce. More pictures next time.

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