About two months later, and we’re finally to Part II of our little trip to Bryce and Zion National Parks.  Much like Yosemite, we ventured out to these parks in late winter not only to avoid crowds but also in the hopes of finding snow.  We were pretty disappointed in that endeavor with Zion, but Bryce was ready to deliver.

If Bryce Canyon is beautiful in the summertime, with its rust-red hoodoos and fiery vistas, snow only takes it up a notch by contrasting those rich colors with its pure white.  As soon as we crested the rim of the canyon proper, I was in simple photographic heaven.  And it was only our first night – a mere taste!

Bryce Canyon at dusk, with warm hoodoos to the left and the snowy rise on the right | LotsaSmiles Photography

Aaron particularly loved this view.  He called it the “fire and ice” view.  To one side, fires blazed so hot as to leave almost no trace of winter in its midst.  To the other, shadow permitted the season to cool the scene, caressing it in an icy blanket.

At the time, I didn’t even initially notice that aspect of the landscape.  My eyes were drawn to the horizon – the rich colors afforded by the quickly departing sun and the gentle pastels of the sky.  The distant plateau was barely kissed by the dying rays, the final vestiges slipping away as though sand through one’s fingers.

This scene filled me with a giddy joy (the kind of excitement I live for in photography).  It promised adventure in explorations to come.  It promised hidden wonders yet to be discovered.  It promised crisp fresh air and the exhilaration of someplace new.  And it promised a prolific collection of colorful pixels on my SD card.

Bryce Canyon at dusk, with only half the landscape covered in snow | LotsaSmiles Photography

I was pumped.  I was ready to see all this majestic place had to offer.  My finger rested poised above the shutter.

And then the sun set, and it got cold.

The rest of our party didn’t care to stick around for star shots (photography, folks, not alcohol – yes, I’ve had folks question this), so we packed up and called it a night.

I couldn’t wait for the morning.


Come back next week for our adventures in Bryce Canyon!  And catch up on all things Zion right here.


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