Spending our time untethering the mind, getting the fidgets out, exploring the in-between ideas, and learning kintsugi.

Hoodoos of Bryce on a chilly autumn day

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Navajo Loop Trail at Bryce

Bottom of Navajo Loop Trail at Bryce

I am not at all in favor of visiting national parks from the comfort of my car seat, but I came close enough that day. It was freezing –  I live in San Francisco Bay Area and anything below fifties is freezing for me. Cold wind was biting chunks off me – my nose, my ears ….

A little about Bryce for those who are not familiar – it is situated on a high plateau in Southern’s Utah, 5 or so hours drive from Las Vegas. The limestone rock formations, called the “hoodoos”,  are caused by rain and ice eroding away the relatively soft rock. A  large collection of hoodoos form a basin called the amphitheater and it is most definitely one of the few destinations worth visiting.

I am glad that we decided to walk the Navajo Loop Trail. It would be a strenuous hike if it were longer but it was less than 2 miles and offered a great opportunity to watch these rocks from a distance as well as close up. Besides, it was the only time that trip when I took my hands out of my pocket to hold the camera.

Thors Hammer

Thor's Hammer

Down in the canyon, surrounded by the maze of hoodoos, the light glowed in shades of orange and amber. Some of these remarkable looking rock formations  have surprisingly non-native, non-magical names like “Thor’s Hammer”. How does Utah’s rock get it’s name from a Germanic God who fights giants with a boomerang hammer. And “Wall Street”?

Wall Street - series of switchbacks amidst glowing amber

Wall Street - series of switchbacks on Navajo Loop Trail

After the hike, we saw the rest of the park from the comfort of our car’s heated seats. We drove to rainbow point and back, stopping at all the vista points – at each, I doubt I spent more than a minute.  After amphitheater, one does get a bit hoodooed out but if it weren’t so cold, I would have lingered longer. From some vista points, on a clear day you can presumably see as far as Nevada! Or is it Arizona – in any case you can see really far. And I hear that the night sky is bursting with stars.

Travel Note: Personally I like combining the solitude of national parks with the glitter of Vegas.  So I fly to Las Vegas and then drive to Utah’s canyons. Make it a week long trip and enjoy Zion, Escalante and the northern end of Grand Canyon. Some of these places may be closed during peak cold weather so check the park’s website.

Written by Som

February 12, 2009 at 11:11 pm

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  1. […] Bryce, a two hour drive from Zion, is  a photographer’s paradise – tall amber, red and white colored limestone rocks called hoodoos stand in a row, as far as eye an see giving it a large amphitheater full of people like appearance. […]

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