We set the tent up at Calf Creek, a lovely canyon outside Bryce National Park. Bryce is quite a bit higher in elevation and much colder too. We woke up with ice on our sleeping bags and frost on our toques. The thermometer read minus eight.
Not much I can say about Bryce. The place really doesn’t make any sense. Nothing could be that pink, white and tangerine coloured. And yet, there it is. Impossible shapes and colours that had us hiking around saying “wow” in an exasperated way.
Above: View from just below the rim of the canyon at the Sunset Point trailhead. This section is called, “Silent City.” We hiked the Queen’s Garden/Navaho/Peekabo trail system that descends into the canyon and winds through the lion’s share of the canyon.
Above: The white layers create an illuminating effect in the bordering layers of rock.
Above: Bryce has a distinctly architectural quality to it. Everything looks like a castle or a tower or a wall. The Paiute Indians who lived near here had a legend that the people who used to live here displeased coyote and were turned to stone. To my eye it seemed like a city built upon the ruins of another city built upon another city.
Above: The “Wall of Windows” The pinks and whites made this massive fortification look carved out of soap. The eroded talus slopes make smooth fades of colour and form in contrast to the sharp castellated towers. This fortress has it all; double drawbridges, windows, parapets, turrets, buttresses, crenelations and barbicans. I don’t think the National Parks Service will let me fix the place up though. (See castle terms here.)
Above: Sun starting to dip down and cast interesting shadows. I pulled these 8 pictures pretty much at random from the hundreds I took that day. Everywhere you wander is amazing and different. The hike wasn’t physically challenging but we were exhausted after a day of this place. More of an exhaustion of awe and wonder. Suz joked about getting to California and sitting on the beach with a blindfold to give our eyes a rest!
I’ll probably post a few dozen more pictures in an online album but at the moment I find it hard to whittle the selection down to something manageable.