Bryce Canyon, Utah – September 1, 2009 (Midday)

Late Tuesday morning and early afternoon: I drove north on the park road, stopping at overlooks along the way. Most of these overlooks do not have any trails associated with them, but are simply small parking areas and sidewalks with an interpretive sign telling visitors what they are seeing.

The first stop was at the parking area to Black Birch Canyon. Years ago, when using a film camera, I would carry a notebook and write down what I was shooting in each frame. I didn’t write notes on this trip. However, I realized that with digital cameras, there’s no need to worry about wasting film, and that I could shoot photos of signs that would help to identify a set of photos. This is an example of one such identifying photo, and I include it because it also shows the typical signage and short paths leading from some parking areas to the  overlook. Also, note the elevation here. Some people have problem with higher elevations, especially with exertion, but luckily I haven’t had such problems. Years ago, on my previous trip to the Four Corners states, I spent time camping with the Sierra Club near Aspen. I recall that we were camping at around 10,000 feet, and working on a trail that led to a mountain lake around 13,000 feet. So what’s a mere 8,800 feet above sea level?

Black Birch Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

Black Birch Canyon

Black Birch Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

Black Birch Canyon

Black Birch Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

Black Birch Canyon

The next stop on the park road was the overlook from Ponderosa Canyon:

Ponderosa Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

Ponderosa Canyon

Next up was Agua Canyon:

Agua Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

Agua Canyon

The next overlook was Natural Bridge.

Natural Bridge, Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

Natural Bridge

Next up was Farview Point, which included a short trail to another overlook, Piracy Point. I think that this photo is actually from Piracy Point, though I’m not certain:

Piracy Point, Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

Piracy Point

I spotted a small arch or bridge, and zoomed in:

Piracy Point, Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

Piracy Point

I then drove past the Swamp Canyon overlook, knowing that I’d be returning there in the afternoon for my afternoon hike. I drove back toward the Bryce Amphitheater and went to my campsite, where I had lunch. There wasn’t much of a view from the campsite itself, which was in a small bowl, but then I spotted a trail from the campsite leading up a hill, and went to have a look. The trail was the Rim Trail, a trail running along the western half of the Amphitheater. So just a hundred yards from my campsite I topped a hill and had a very nice view, once I knew where to find it.

Rim Trail, Amphitheater, Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

Rim Trail

As I mentioned, just driving on the park road, it’s not unusual to see animals. Here are two photos of deer that were taken from the road, either from my car or standing close to it:

Deer

Deer

Deer

Deer

Next: A hike through a burned and still smoking Swamp Canyon.

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