Biweekly Wow: Sunset Point

We visited both Sunrise Point and Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon National Park, and we found they really aren’t very different.  Spaced just a half mile apart, you can get the same views from both.  However, Sunrise gives more of the valley floor and the northern distance, while Sunset focuses more on a little southern inlet.

Fire-orange hoodoos in Bryce Canyon at sunrise | LotsaSmiles Photography

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Bryce Canyon: Call of the Trail

After a spectacular morning being awed by Bryce, the trail called.  And this wasn’t an “oh, we should check that one out later” or even a “that trail looks interesting; let’s pack up our camera gear and go for a hike!”  Nope.  This was a “ooh, I wonder what’s down that way… I must find out now; forget that I still have all of my camera equipment on me!”

Snowy Bryce Canyon at sunrise | LotsaSmiles Photography

Trails do that to some folks.  Especially explorers like us.  And especially in a place as beautiful as Bryce.

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Biweekly Wow: Sunrise Point

I am quickly finding that most of Bryce is a Weekly Wow.  After all, how many places in the world have these unlikely geological features?  The colors – the rich red of the rocks, the deep green of the trees, the vibrant blue of the morning sky – all accentuated by the pure white of the snow, are hypnotic.  When we were there, we just stared at the valley; the scene never grew old.

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Biweekly Wow: Bryce Canyon’s Fire & Ice

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.  Continue reading

Zion’s Emerald Pools

Day 2 of our stay in Zion National Park was fairly low-key.  After all, we were pretty beat after the crazy climb to the top of Angels Landing!  We started the day with a cold wait for sunrise at the Canyon Overlook, and then we took a leisurely stroll to see the Zion’s Emerald Pools.

The muddy path that winds behind the trickling waterfalls at the lower of Zion's Emerald Pools

Spoiler alert: It was somewhat disappointing.

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Biweekly Wow: Zion’s Canyon Overlook

I’m somewhat beginning to adopt a habit of posting my “weekly wow”s every other week, so I suppose they’re more of a “biweekly wow.”  I still have so much to share from this trip!  I hope you’re enjoying the journey.

After our rainy bust at Zion’s Canyon Overlook the morning prior, we had to give it another chance.  After all, the golden rays of dawn are supposed to be spectacular on this national park’s red rocks.

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Angels Landing rock formation in Zion National Park | LotsaSmiles Photography

Photostory: Angels Landing

So I love surprises.  But sometimes, that affinity comes at my own detriment.  Because of this proclivity, I was hardly involved in the planning for our recent trip to Bryce and Zion, and I didn’t know anything about the Angels Landing hike.

I had no idea what I was about to experience.

Black and white image of the Angels Landing rock formation | LotsaSmiles Photography

We set out for a 5-mile hike.  That’s fine.  I can handle that, no problem.  There would be some elevation gain.  That’s fine, too; I’m used to such hikes from Colorado.  There will be epic views.  Awesome!  Sign me up!

Somewhere in there, I either didn’t hear or forgot all mention of chains.
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The Zion valley floor from atop the Angels Landing hike with the canyon walls dappled in spotty sunlight | LotsaSmiles Photography

Weekly Wow: Atop Angels Landing

After such a rainy start to our trip to Zion National Park, we didn’t expect the sky to clear out so beautifully.  And when it did, we further didn’t expect it to invite a few elite clouds back into the scene to perfectly diffuse the harsh sun at just the right moment, providing a spectacular view of the valley below.

Yes, we survived the famed (infamous?) Angels Landing Hike (though six people, sadly, have not), and we were in for quite a treat when we reached the top.  I have a more in-depth photostory to share with you about the full hike next week, but for now, I wanted to focus on this one photo.

View of a valley far below the summit of the Angels Landing hike in Zion National Park - Weekly Wow: Atop Angels Landing | LotsaSmiles Photography

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