Bryce Canyon

The drive from Zion to Bryce is picturesque, it’s hard not to stop every 5 minutes to take another photo.  But there were a few places that I just had to stop.  Plus, they made it easy with a pull-off at the side of the road.  This first photo is of Red Canyon.  I don’t know if the photo even does the color justice.  I have never seen rocks so colorful before.  It was literally awesome.

© Nicole Norris

You are then driving through Dixie National Forest – this is a view from Red Canyon across the road and, well, a canyon.  You can see the elevation change from Zion to Bryce.  I was just entering the area where the snow hadn’t quite melted yet, but enough to have some nice color popping through.

© Nicole Norris

Below is the view of Bryce Canyon amphitheatre.  I am standing in about a foot of snow here.  It was fairly warm outside (because the sun was shining, and I was at the lowest altitude at Bryce – it definitely got cold!)

This is one of my favorite photos of Bryce.  There was still too much snow to go on the individual trails, so I mostly got the big scenics.  If I was brave, I probably could have braved a trail, but for anyone who knows me, probably not a very good idea.  Especially since before I took this, I had just fallen in the snow walking on flat ground for no reason other than the fact that I was walking and it was snow.  (Although in my defense, it was the melty stuff that gets slippery when you walk on it – and it was deep.)

© Nicole Norris

Since I was mostly getting the big landscape shots, I took a little more time with my infrared camera.  I thought that the detail in the hoodoos and pine trees, along with the clouds and the sky would make some good contrasts.  I am happy with how a few came out.

© Nicole Norris

I decided to keep some of the green of the trees in a few of the infrared.  I think that it helps convey the sense of scale here.  If you look at one of the individual trees in the photo below and think about the fact that it is not just a little sapling, you can see that this is just a HUGE place.  And I only have a tiny piece of it in this photo.

© Nicole Norris

Since I couldn’t really explore Bryce too much (but would like to go back in the future when I can and get on some hikes, it looks like there could be some interesting stuff down there!)  I decided to head back to Las Vegas.  I was going to wait in the park until after sunset, but realized that was probably not a good idea, since I had a good 5.5 to 6 hour drive ahead of me.  It was really clouding over and getting gray with some rain even, so I thought maybe I would risk it and hope for some color on the way home (and somewhere to pull off if I saw something!).  I was a little bummed about a less than stellar attempt at Bryce, but then I saw the sky turning into what could be some great color after sunset.  So I started to look for somewhere to pull off and set up my tripod.  It took a while, but I found a place and I think that I set my stuff up in double time – because this is what I saw in front of me and it was fading FAST!

I’d never seen a sunset like this before, and it was a real treat.  The color was just so bold.  It made the long drive back to Las Vegas better.  I was excited to see if all of my photos from the day came out!

© Nicole Norris

I do have to say, driving though all of those DAAARKKK roads, especially near Zion where all of the deer and other wild animals are is a little stressful and the drive took me a lot longer since I drove much slower to make sure I didn’t mush anything in the road.  (Plus that scary mountain I had to drive through again – yeesh.)

I was pretty happy with my day, although REALLY tired when I got back to the hotel around midnight – since if you remember, my day started at 2am taking star field photos in Zion!  That was one long day, but it was fun.

The last day of my trip 😦 I spent close to Vegas – photos to come soon!

See more on my flickr page

Check out the rest of my trip so far: