Sometimes getting your hopes up while traveling can only lead to a let-down. From Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, we drove west along Utah Highway 12 hoping to arrive at The Lodge at Bryce Canyon before sundown to catch a glimpse of hoodoos at dusk.
At the lodge, we didn’t unload the car or check in. Instead, we darted through the lobby and out the back door, following the short pathway to the rim to see something — anything — at the “golden hour” of sundown. Friends on social media had called it “Jaw-dropping. Gotta get to Sundown Point in time to see the last light of day.”
But not that day. Bryce Canyon with all its pinkish, whitish, glorious formations was socked in.
We rose before sunrise the next morning, threw on our clothes, and headed to Sunrise Point — on the other side of the horseshoe-shaped “amphitheatre” behind The Lodge.
But again, no view. Only fog.
We stood with tourists from Japan, Germany, and the UK. People took pictures, shrugging their shoulders at the site where nothing, at least for that moment, was happening.
And then something magical happened. Little by little, we could make out formations. Slowly at first, but at least something. Bundled up and expectant, we began pointing. “Look there,” we said. “Over here, too,” said someone else. “I can make out a head,” yelled one guy.
Sure enough, outlines appeared. We could make out the spikes of the hoodoos. And jagged rocks. And walking paths where photographers had set up. The fog (hated by all at first) had become a rising curtain showing off nature’s stage.
And before we knew it — maybe only about 30 minutes later, all told — we could see clearly. There they were: the colors, striations, and forms of Bryce.
Fog, as it turns out, can be a good thing.
If you go:
Book ahead at The Lodge at Bryce Canyon. Since it’s the only accommodation in the park, it fills up quickly.
For those with mobility concerns, the many paved pathways and sturdy viewing stations allow all to enjoy the natural beauty of Bryce. And there are benches throughout where sitting and contemplating are welcome!
Bryce Canyon National Park is open 24/7. Click here for Visitor Center hours and holidays.