BryceCanyon

Bryce Canyon National Park in Southwest Utah is notable for its red-orange Hoodoos,
which are geological spires formed by frost-weathering and erosion. The Bryce Canyon
section is 8 pages containing over 400 images compiled from several visits to the park.

This Overview has selections from the 7 section pages on the Queen’s Garden Trail,
the Navajo Trail, Fairyland Canyon, Bryce Landscapes, Sunrise and Sunset Points,
Inspiration Point and other Rim Views, and the Flora and Fauna of Bryce Canyon.

Click a preview image for a larger version.
Use your back button to return to this page.
Click a Display Composite to visit the page.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Bryce Canyon Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

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Direct Links to the Bryce Canyon Galleries:

Queen's Garden Trail     Navajo Trail     Fairyland
Bryce Canyon Landscapes     Sunrise Point & Sunset Point
     Rim Views     Flora and Fauna

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Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon is on the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in Southwestern Utah. Best known for its hoodoos,  erosion features similar to spires but with irregular thickness, some of which form interesting shapes and are named, such as ET and the Rearing Horse in the Queen’s Garden, seen from Sunset Point in the image at right.

Hoodoos are formed when a relatively soft sedimentary rock is capped with a thin layer of harder rock that protects the softer rock below from the elements. The hoodoos at Bryce Canyon are formed by a combination of frost wedging and rain erosion. Water enters cracks in the rock, then expands when it freezes, gradually wedging open the crack. Eventually, fins form which are further weathered by frost wedging and rain erosion until windows or arches form, which then weather further and collapse, forming the hoodoos.

The word hoodoo itself first appeared in general use in the 1880s. There is much dispute as to the etymology of the word, with some researchers attributing its source from the Gaelic word Uath Dubh (pronounced huo-doo, meaning dark specter or evil phantom), and others giving it an origin with West African slaves whose Hausa language has a word hu’du’ba, which means to arouse resentment or produce retribution. Regardless of the origin, the word was applied to these strangely shaped rock formations, which were thought to be evil petrified giants by the Paiute Indians.

The largest concentration of hoodoos in the world is at Bryce Canyon. The Silent City, part of the Bryce Amphitheater below Sunset Point, has hundreds of rows of multicolored hoodoos and fins in one of the most spectacular geologic formations on Earth. The view into Bryce Amphitheater from Inspiration Point has become the signature image of Bryce Canyon. It can be seen further down this page in the Rim Views preview section.

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Bryce Canyon is not actually a canyon, it is a set of fourteen amphitheaters on the Eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau.

Queen’s Garden Trail

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Bryce Canyon Queen’s Garden Trail Winter 5389
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Hoodoos and erosion features below the rim on the Queen’s Garden Trail in late December.

The Queen’s Garden Trail and the Navajo Trail are the two most popular in Bryce Canyon, and
can get quite crowded from mid-morning to mid-afternoon during the tourist season. Early in the
morning during the season is the best time to see the Queen’s Garden with a minimum of tourists,
and the hoodoos are spectacular in early morning light. Mid-to-late afternoon in Winter is also great,
when the red-orange rock formations are dusted with snow and contrast brilliantly with the blue sky.

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Bryce Canyon Queen’s Garden Trail Winter 5327
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Hoodoos and fins emerge from a blanket of snow in this view from the Queen’s Garden Trail in late December.

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Bryce Canyon Queen’s Garden Trail Winter 5369
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The low-angle light in the late afternoon causes some lighter areas of the hoodoos to appear to be translucent.

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Bryce Canyon Queen’s Garden Arch 5340
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One of two arched tunnels carved through fins which would otherwise block the trail.

This shot of the Bristlecone Tunnel taken in the late afternoon in Winter focuses primarily
on the Bristlecone Pine skeleton itself. The backlit tunnel arch glows in the late afternoon light.

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Bryce Canyon Queen’s Garden Sentinel 5412
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One of several hoodoos at Bryce Canyon unofficially named the “Sentinel” near the end of the descent from Sunrise Point.

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Bryce Canyon Hoodoos Queen’s Garden 5361
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A prominent fin at the end of the Queen’s Garden wall, taken in the late afternoon in December.

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Bryce Canyon Gulliver’s Castle Queen’s Garden 1840
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One of the formations named in the early days of Bryce Canyon, Gulliver’s Castle was
a featured postcard scene used to advertise the canyon when the Queen’s Garden Trail
was constructed in the 1920s, allowing descent to the floor to see the hoodoos from below.

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Bryce Canyon Queen’s Garden Arch 5342
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A closeup view of the Bristlecone Tunnel on the Queen’s
Garden Trail, illuminated by the late afternoon sun in Winter.

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Bryce Canyon Queen Victoria Hoodoo 6727
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A detail shot of the Queen Victoria hoodoo, glowing in front of a brilliant blue sky at mid-morning in late August.

For more images like those shown above, click the
Display Composite below to visit the Queen’s Garden Trail page

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Navajo Trail

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Bryce Canyon Navajo Trail Vignette 1886
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Bryce Canyon Rim, vignetted by Douglas Fir on the Navajo Trail at mid-morning in September.

Hoodoos at the base of the rim are part of the Pink Member of the Claron Formation and are rich
in iron oxides. The lighter limestone of the cliff is a part of the Upper Member, with less impurities.

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Bryce Canyon Hoodoos Navajo Trail X2056
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The path ascends through a narrow crack between hoodoos below Wall Street Canyon on the Navajo Trail.

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Wall Street Entrance Navajo Trail 5674
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The hoodoo guarding the entrance to Wall Street Canyon, shot an hour before noon in late August.

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Bryce Canyon Hoodoos Navajo Trail 1895
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Hoodoo formations on a slope above the Navajo Trail, outlined against a beautiful September sky.

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Bryce Canyon Wall Street Canyon 6771
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The exit from the slot canyon section of Wall Street, taken from an angle to capture the glowing rock wall.

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Bryce Canyon Wall Street Canyon 1927
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The view up through the exit from the slot canyon section of Wall Street, taken at late morning in September.

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Bryce Canyon Hoodoos Wall Street 1914
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Intensely colorful hoodoos in the Wall Street section of the Navajo Trail at late morning.

For more images like those shown above, click the
Display Composite below to visit the Navajo Trail page

NavajoTrail
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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Bryce Canyon Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Links to the Bryce Canyon Galleries:

Queen's Garden Trail     Navajo Trail     Fairyland
Bryce Canyon Landscapes     Sunrise Point & Sunset Point
     Rim Views     Flora and Fauna

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Fairyland Canyon

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Bryce Canyon Fairyland at Sunrise X1805
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Iridescent hoodoos and a solitary purple-pink fin at the Northwest corner
of Boat Mesa, not long after sunrise on a beautifully clear June morning.

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Bryce Canyon Fairyland Hoodoos at Sunrise X1833
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A Fairyland hoodoo formation, an hour after sunrise in June.

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Bryce Canyon Fairyland Castle at Sunrise 6583
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Fairyland Castle, just after sunrise in late August.

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Bryce Canyon Fairyland Trail X1812
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Bristlecone Pine, Juniper and Ponderosa Pine below a huge red-orange fin on the Fairyland Trail.

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Bryce Canyon Fairyland Hoodoos at Sunset X2139
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A lenticular cloud over a fluorescent group of hoodoos at the head of Fairyland Canyon in the late afternoon before sunset.

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Bryce Canyon Fairyland Wall X1829
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A huge red-orange fin in the Fairyland Canyon wall, about halfway down the trail and an hour after sunrise in June.

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Bryce Canyon Fairyland Hoodoo at Sunrise 6608
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A solitary hoodoo standing at the base of an erosion amphitheater in Fairyland Canyon.
Frost wedging has nearly separated a large flake from the hoodoo on the uphill side facing us.

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Bryce Canyon Fairyland Boat Mesa at Sunrise 6570
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Boat Mesa and Fairyland Canyon hoodoos as the first rays of sunrise reach Fairyland Point on a late August morning.

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Bryce Canyon Fairyland Canyon at Sunset X2097
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The hoodoos at the head of Fairyland Canyon below Boat Mesa in the late afternoon light near sunset.

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Bryce Canyon Fairyland Trail X1818
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The Fairyland Trail offers superb Southwest scenery, and quite often you can have it all to yourself.
The park shuttle does not stop at Fairyland Canyon, and it does not get as many visitors as many of
the other sections of Bryce Canyon, but the Fairyland scenery and formations are just as spectacular.

For more images like those shown above, click the
Display Composite below to visit the Fairyland Trail page

Fairyland
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Bryce Canyon Landscapes

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Bryce Canyon Landscape Queen’s Garden 5416
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Hoodoos, Pine and Juniper on the Queen’s Garden Trail, just below the rim in late December.

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Bryce Canyon Queen’s Garden Hoodoos 1976
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The Queen Victoria formation (Queen Victoria at left), taken with a 180mm lens from Sunset Point in the late morning.

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Bryce Canyon Hoodoos Sunrise Point 0470
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The hoodoos to the South of Sunrise Point, fluorescing in the low angle rays at sunrise. Taken with an 85mm telephoto.

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Bryce Canyon Amphitheater Silent City Hoodoos 0679
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Silent City hoodoos in the densest part of Bryce Amphitheater, taken with a
medium telephoto from Inspiration Point in the late morning in September. This
area of Bryce Amphitheater has the greatest concentration of hoodoos on Earth.

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Bryce Canyon Bristlecone Point in Winter 5426
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Bristlecone Point and the Mormon Temple from the rim just South of Sunrise Point in Winter.

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Bryce Canyon Landscape Bristlecone Point 6680
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The landscape near the Mormon Temple formation below Bristlecone Point from the Queen’s Garden Trail in August.

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Bryce Canyon Sunrise Bristlecone Point X1971
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Bristlecone Point and the Mormon Temple formation at sunrise in June.
This shot was taken from the Queen’s Garden Trail just below Sunrise Point.

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Bryce Canyon Hoodoos at Sunrise in Winter 5508
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A colorful formation of snow-capped hoodoos at sunrise on a brisk Winter morning from Inspiration Point.

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Bryce Canyon Dead Tree in Winter 5404
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Late afternoon light causes a hoodoo to fluoresce behind a Limber Pine skeleton on the Queen’s Garden Trail.

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Bryce Canyon Fairyland Hoodoos Sinking Ship X1894
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The late afternoon view to the North from Sunset Point showing the Queen’s Garden and
Fairyland hoodoos, Sinking Ship Mesa, and the Aquarius Plateau on the distant horizon.
The Aquarius Plateau is the highest in North America at 11,000 feet. The Queen Victoria
formation is at left center, and at the left frame edge are the Queen’s Court formations.
Top left is the Chinese Wall formation below Boat Mesa, to the left of the Sinking Ship.
In the upper right is the Mormon Temple and the landscape below Bristlecone Point.

For more images like those shown above, click the
Display Composite below to visit the Bryce Canyon Landscapes page

Landscapes
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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Bryce Canyon Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Links to the Bryce Canyon Galleries:

Queen's Garden Trail     Navajo Trail     Fairyland
Bryce Canyon Landscapes     Sunrise Point & Sunset Point
     Rim Views     Flora and Fauna

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Sunrise Point and Sunset Point

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Bryce Canyon Sunrise Point at Sunrise 0484
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The view across the purplish-pink fins at Sunrise Point into Queen’s Garden
on a misty late September morning at sunrise. In the distance is Bryce Point.
Manganese oxide in the limestone is the source of the purple cast of the fins.

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Bryce Canyon Iridescent Fin at Sunrise 5564
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Detail of an iridescent fin and apse in the Queen’s Garden area, taken near the end of sunrise in August.

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Bryce Canyon Sunrise Point at Sunrise X1924
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Fluorescent hoodoos in the Queen’s Garden and Silent City, below Bryce Point and Inspiration Point at sunrise in June.

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Bryce Canyon Dead Tree at Sunrise Point 5315
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The view to the Northeast from the rim South of Sunrise Point in Winter.
A photogenic tree skeleton provides a foreground subject to the distant view
of the Chinese Wall and Fairyland hoodoos on the left, Sinking Ship Mesa and
Aquarius Plateau at left center. Tropic Valley and the Table Cliffs are in the center,
and the Mormon Temple formation and Bristlecone Point are at the upper right.
Red-orange rock blanketed in snow with a bright blue Utah sky. Magnificent.

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Bryce Canyon Hoodoos Sunset Point X1880
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A prominent section of the Silent City hoodoos just north of and below Inspiration Point, taken in late afternoon in June.

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Bryce Canyon Hoodoos Sunset Point 1954
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A colorful section of hoodoos near the canyon wall, shot from Sunset Point near noon in late September.

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Bryce Canyon Thor’s Hammer 6775
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The solitary hoodoo known as Thor’s Hammer is one of the more well-known hoodoos at
Bryce Canyon, since it is near the rim at Sunset Point where almost all visitors can see it.

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Bryce Canyon Hoodoos Sunset Point X1859
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The dense cluster of hoodoos in the Bryce Amphitheater below Inspiration Point (top center),
seen from Sunset Point in late afternoon in June. The red-orange hoodoos are a part of the
Pink Cliffs of the Claron Formation. The lighter cliffs above are part of the Upper Member,
which is composed of limestone that has less iron oxide impurities, thus the lighter color.

For more images like those shown above, click the
Display Composite below to visit the Sunrise Point & Sunset Point page

SunrisePt_SunsetPt
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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Bryce Canyon Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Links to the Bryce Canyon Galleries:

Queen's Garden Trail     Navajo Trail     Fairyland
Bryce Canyon Landscapes     Sunrise Point & Sunset Point
     Rim Views     Flora and Fauna

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Inspiration Point and other Rim Views

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Bryce Canyon Inspiration Point at Sunrise X1792
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The view north into the Bryce Amphitheater from Inspiration Point at sunrise. Between
Inspiration Point and Sunset Point is the Silent City, consisting of hundreds of rows of
hoodoos that glow in the low angle light. In the distance is Boat Mesa and Fairyland.

Hoodoos are spires formed by frost wedging and rain erosion. The main difference
between hoodoos and other types of spires is the variable thickness of the hoodoo.

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Bryce Canyon Hoodoos at Sunrise in Winter 5487
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The view North from Inspiration Point at sunrise in Winter. At top of the frame are the Chinese Wall and Sinking Ship Mesa, in the foreground is Bryce Amphitheater and the Silent City.

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Bryce Canyon Amphitheater Silent City Hoodoos 0687
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Detail of a dense cluster of Silent City hoodoos near the rim, taken from Inspiration Point about an hour before noon, as the sun was reaching its zenith in late September.

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Bryce Canyon Hoodoos at Sunrise in Winter 5511
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A group of iridescent hoodoos from Inspiration Point at sunrise in Winter.
The golden sections of the limestone appeared to be almost translucent.

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Bryce Canyon Rainbow Point View 0525
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Rainbow Point is at the South end of the Rim Road. This view towards the north shows the Pink Cliffs.

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Bryce Canyon Wall Street Rim View 1801
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The view facing East down into Wall Street Canyon from the Rim Trail between Sunrise Point and Sunset Point.

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Bryce Canyon Rim Winter 5321
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A Northeast view from the rim to the north of Sunrise Point in Winter.
At left are the Sinking Ship Mesa and Aquarius Plateau, and at center
are the Gulliver’s Castle hoodoo formation in front of Bristlecone Point.

I couldn’t resist composing with the Limber Pine skeleton at right.

An exquisitely beautiful view. Quite colorful.

For more images like those shown above, click the
Display Composite below to visit the Bryce Canyon Rim Views page

RimViews
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Flora and Fauna

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Bryce Canyon Bristlecone Pine Fairyland X1828
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A gnarled ancient Great Basin Bristlecone Pine tree stands above the Fairyland Trail,
with a bright blue Utah sky and the orange hoodoos of the canyon wall providing a backdrop.
Bristlecone Pines are the oldest single living organisms on Earth, with some as old as 5000 years.

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Bryce Canyon Ponderosa Pine Navajo Trail X2000
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A Ponderosa Pine on the Navajo Trail, with a characteristic Bryce Canyon hoodoo formation in the right background.

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Bryce Canyon Pinyon Pine Fairyland X1852
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A young Pinyon Pine stands beside the upper part of the Fairyland Trail, with defocused hoodoos in the background.

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Evening Primrose Bryce Canyon X1840
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An Evening Primrose shot in the early morning on the Fairyland Trail.
The flowers open rapidly near evening, and close by the late morning.

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Golden-Mantled Squirrel Bryce Canyon X2016
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A Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel sniffs out a
tasty seed on a fallen tree beside the Navajo Trail.

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Mountain Chickadee Bryce Canyon 0533
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A Mountain Chickadee foraging at Rainbow Point. They
often hang upside down below branches and eat seeds.

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Blue Grouse Strutting Bryce Canyon 0567
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A Blue Grouse strutting across a parking lot at Rainbow Point in Bryce Canyon.
These Blue Grouse are also known as the Dusky Grouse and the Sage Grouse.

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Mule Deer Bryce Canyon 5428
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A Mule Deer doe in Winter at Sunrise Point in mid-afternoon.
She emerged from the forest with her two fawns in tow, passing
very close by me, allowing a series of 85mm (short telephoto) shots.

For more images like those shown above, click the
Display Composite below to visit the Bryce Canyon Flora and Fauna page

Flora_Fauna
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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Bryce Canyon Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


Direct Links to the Bryce Canyon Galleries:

Queen's Garden Trail     Navajo Trail     Fairyland
Bryce Canyon Landscapes     Sunrise Point & Sunset Point
     Rim Views     Flora and Fauna

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