Bryce, Zion - Sunrise & Sunset

Old Mar 31st, 2007, 07:58 AM
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Bryce, Zion - Sunrise & Sunset

On to my next topic.

I looking for the best sunrise and sunset viewing locations at Bryce and Zion.

Why does Bryce appear to be obvious with names like Sunrise & Sunset Points? Must be a diversionary tactic.

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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 08:54 AM
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At Zion you are down in a hole. Not sure how you view a sunset or a sunrise.

At Bryce, just go find a place where you can see the red rays of the late afternoon sun change the color of the rock. You are looking east anyhow. The highlight is the subtle changes of color as the sun sinks lower.

Diversionary? Silly term that makes little sense to me.
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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 11:31 AM
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I too am interested in the answer to this question. We will visit Bryce in early May--and are staying in the lodge so that we will be close to the views in the evening and early morning.

I had read that Paria View is best for sunsets, because it is one of the few hoodoo amphitheaters that faces west. And then I'd planned to visit Sunset Point for the sunrise, because it would be easy to get to from the lodge. (I also read that the names are not to be "trusted").

My husband read that Sunset point is actually best for sunsets--but I don't see how that can be if it faces east!

Would love some input on this--it might help us avoid a "stand-off" when we actually get to the park. I can just see us in that beautiful setting, fighting over which scenic point to go to at sunset!

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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 12:17 PM
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Well, I may have some of the answers to my own question.

I came across a photography guide for Bryce Canyon.

Sunrise Point actually faces South and is great for sunrises and Sunset Point faces more towards the North for sunsets.

They said it. Not me.

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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 01:44 PM
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First, Bryce Canyon is not really a canyon. It was not formed by a river and doesn't have 2 sides. It is a plateau where the east side has been eroded by wind and water. thre is a very nice film in the Visitor's Center that explains this and more with beautiful film of course.

It is sort of an amphitheater that curves so some viewpoints are different under different lighting conditions. What you see from those views is also quite different.

Sunset and sunrise are equally beautiful. As Bob says above, it's the light that turns the rock even more red and the contrast of shadows that is so dramatic! I don't feel there is a huge diference between Sunrise Point and Sunset Point.

If you want to actually see a sunrise, get up 1/2 hour before sunrise and watch the light change on the rocks. Sunset is different because you won't actually see the sun set. You will still have the wonderful change of light and different shadows than you have at dawn.

I can never remember which point is which! I slightly prefer the viewpoint that is higher up and is a bit longer walk out to the end of the path. I do not think any of the viewpoints face west!

As far as Zion goes both sunrise and sunset are fabulous. I have the photos to prove it. Some really great ones of the Court of the Patriarchs. You have to get up early for those sunrise shots. Sunset makes great pictures of the Watchman, lower down in the canyon towards Sprindale. the upper end of Zion is narrow enough that it gets shady early and you don't get as much of the red sunset glow.

Hope this helps - really it's all gorgeous!
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