~ Bryce Canyon National Park - The Descent ~

I woke up about 5:00 AM, to head to Sunrise Point and photograph the sunrise, which you saw on the first page in the Bryce Canyon series. After the sun was up, I headed back to the campsite for breakfast.

My first stop after breakfast was Sunset Point. From the time I first noticed people walking around down in the canyon, I wanted to go down there. So I took the Navajo Loop Trail down into the canyon, which is not really a canyon. There are several small canyons in the park, Bryce, formed by Bryce Creek, is one of them. Some others are Little Henderson, Tropic, Fairyland, Campbell, and Water. The Navajo Trail runs down into Bryce Canyon to Bryce Creek, than back up through another area of the Amphitheater. The view from below is nearly as stunning as from above. The main difference is you cannot see as much from down there and the formations look entirely different.

Most of the photos on this page were taken on the Navajo Trail and along Bryce Creek; several are from the rim.

Sunset Point Viewing Area

"...in this thirsty land, water has been the prime creator of scenery. Water formed these sedimentary rocks under ancient seas, and water sculptured them as they rose. Water carved the buttes and mesas, chiseled Bryce Canyon into every shape known..." ~ Peter Farb, Face of North America, 1963. Water, snow and ice continue to carve the formations at Bryce Canyon.

These could be chess pieces

People on the Navajo Trail. I would soon be way down in the green area of the photo on the right.

In the right photo you can see a couple of people in the lower right corner on the trail which curves around to the dar area in the center.

The Navajo Trail

Descent Among the Giants

The trail is about 0.7 miles down and then back up and the vertical drop is about 800 feet. You can walk the trail in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. In the photo of the sign above the trail is shown by a red line starting at the "You Are Here" label. The place where I began is under the "O". There are several more cutbacks than shown in the photo. I had to cutback about a dozen times before I was 100 feet below the rim. It was easier than some trials I have walked, but more difficult, given the change in elevation, than most.

Thor's Hammer

Some parts of the trail were very narrow

Still going down

In the lower left cornier of the left photo you can see people negotiating the cutbacks among the giants. The trail zigzags most all of the way down.

The trail goes through this arch. The right photo show three of the cutbacks and the arch in the lower right.

The trees have to grow tall to catch the sun

From The Bottom

This is Bryce Creek

Dry most of the year, the creek is filled with pink rock and parts of trees

Parts of the rim from the bottom

In the left photo is where I began the descent


This chipmunk was having a time with two pinecones. Eventually after much work, he managed to bite through the stem and carry the cones back to his nest one by one.

When I took the photo on the left, I noticed the rock in the vertical slot. So I zoomed in for the right photo.

That place looked familiar

Another arch

I can see the top
Almost back up

Back On Top

A couple of more shots from Sunset Point here and a few on the next page, then I was off on the Rim Road

Music is "Annie's Song"

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