Bryce Canyon National Park: Pack Your Camera—and Your Long Underwear

Bryce Canyon at sunset.

Photo © Andrew Smith, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

No matter where you go in the park, it’s good to get an early start, but the place where it really pays off to get up before dawn is, unsurprisingly, Sunrise Point.Whether you’re traveling with a smart phone or a large-format film camera, it’s hard to resist taking photos at Bryce Canyon National Park. However, during much of the day, bright sunlight washes out the vivid colors of the hoodoos. No matter where you go in the park, it’s good to get an early start, but the place where it really pays off to get up before dawn is, unsurprisingly, Sunrise Point. Along with the glowing orange colors, you’ll have quite the fine social experience. You certainly won’t be alone, but a grudging predawn companionship develops as you jockey for position in the cold morning air.

Be prepared for truly chilly temperatures. At the park’s highest spot, Rainbow Point, the elevation is over 9,000 feet. During April, the average low temperature at Bryce is 25 degrees, and in May, it climbs to a mere 31 degrees. Especially if you are planning to camp, bring long underwear, a down jacket, and a warm hat and gloves. Sound too harsh for your spring trip to southern Utah? Consider spending the night a few miles east (and about 2,500 feet lower) in the tiny town of Tropic.

Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon National Park. Photo © David Smith, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

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