Southwest Road Trip! Day 5, Bryce Canyon Nat'l Park

Photographer Andy Austin's visual diary of a classic spring break trip
Andy Austin

Bryce Canyon National Park's famed hoodoos are in their full glory in the first light of day. Shot from Sunrise Point.

Day 5 of my Southwest road trip started, appropriately, at Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon National Park. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to see the park's famous “hoodoos.” At these times, warm, colorful light hits the rock spires at low angles, causing them to glow and cast long, distinct shadows. After I got my sunrise panorama, I took a trip down into the canyon, where I really got a feel for the awesome hoodoo spires. There are a few options for trails that descend into the canyon. One is Queen’s Garden Trail, which is around 1.8 miles and descends directly from Sunrise Point. The other is Navajo Trail, which leaves Sunset Point (a half-mile south of Sunrise Point). Navajo Trail descends around Thor’s Hammer and Wall Street, and the entire hike is about 1.3 miles. I combined these two trails for an approximately 3.5-mile hike that was well worth the extra effort.

Photo Details: Shot with a Canon 6D and 24mm TS-E. Three shot shift panorama using the tilt shift, ISO 125 f/7.1 shutter: 1/125 sec

Tomorrow I will spend the morning in Bryce Canyon National Park before heading off to Zion National Park, my last stop of the trip.

To see all of my images from the Southwest (updated daily) visit

Click here for:  Day 1  |  Day 2  | Day 3  |  Day 4  |  Day 6  |  Day 7

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