Bryce Canyon – Hoodoos from Sunset to Sunrise

Our first stop and venture into national parks started with Bryce Canyons.  After four hours from Salt Lake City, I almost dismissed and skipped over this marvel in favor of an extra day at Grand Canyon.  Luckily, upon arriving at Bryce in the late afternoon, I completely fell in love with the canyon and it’s collection of hoodoos.  Not to be confused with voodoos,  hoodoos are tall skinny spires of rock that protrude from the bottom of arid basins and “broken” lands.  I’m sure they exist in other parts and countries, but I personally have never seen anything like it.

Bryce Sunset to Sunrise 1

My brother and I started at Sunset point for no main reason besides the fact that it was the first parking lot we saw.

Bryce Sunset to Sunrise 2

We ooohed & ahhed looking down below
Bryce Sunset to Sunrise 3

The first mile or so were steep switchbacks straight down to the canyon floor

Bryce Sunset to Sunrise 5

As the floor of the canyon there was a side trail called Peekapoo loop.  We started thinking it was a short loop until we learned it was about 5 miles and we quickly turned back.

Bryce Sunset to Sunrise 6

On our return we met with a dinosaurBryce Sunset to Sunrise 7

Instead of taking the steep sunset point back up, we decided to follow the trail to sunrise point instead.

Bryce Sunset to Sunrise 8

There we met her majesty the queenBryce Sunset to Sunrise 9

Clearly my brother was very happy that he got to avoid walking up the steep switchbacks and instead slowly made his way up the canyon on a longer but more gradual trail.  Bryce Sunset to Sunrise 10

The view was amazing and with each step we were rewarded with an spectacular peek at the canyon.

Bryce Sunset to Sunrise 11

Sunrise point looked slightly similar to Sunset point and was only a half mile hike away from the start along the rim.  We walked by many trees hanging by a root that gets them closer and closer to the edge as the canyons continue to erode and grow.

Bryce Sunset to Sunrise 12

After a failed attempt at getting dinner, I dragged Tony away from his homework and to sunrise point to watch the sunset.

Bryce Sunset to Sunrise 13

No one left disappointed. but a little cold.  The temperature went from 70 at 5PM to 40 at 8PM!

The hike from Sunset Point to Sunrise point was about 3 miles (not counting our peekaboo  trail) and could probably be done in 1-2 hours depending on how long you take pictures.  Starting at Sunset allows you to quickly descent and a more gradual ascent to sunrise point.  Unfortunately, I did not have the energy or motivation to wake up early enough to watch the sunrise, but I’m sure it would have been worth it.