Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah – Inspiration Point – OMG!

August 2016 – We have been fortunate to visit Bryce Canyon National Park three times in the past, and we often refer to it as our favorite of America’s National Parks. But this fourth visit with our RV was sensational.

View Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

Inspiration Point – Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.

We overheard a ranger telling a newcomer that the best way to see Bryce Canyon National Park is to drive the 20 miles or so straight to the very far south end of the Park at Rainbow Point and then to turn around and drive back slowly, stopping at all the overlooks on the way back.

If you are into saving the best for last, then this strategy is fine. It’s also great for easing traffic congestion at the main part of the park.

Pink and White Spires Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

Orange, pink and white spires seen from Inspiration Point.

However, we say, “Life is short, so eat dessert first!” and “Go for the gusto!”

Our suggestion is to drive (or take the Park Shuttle) directly to the Inspiration Point parking lot, walk straight out to the rim, and feel the breath get sucked right out of you as you gape in awe at the wondrous landscape laid out in front of you.

Overlook at Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

View from Inspiration Point.

Then, just like every other one of the thousands of tourists alongside you, you’ve gotta get a selfie. Of all the backdrops for self-portrait, this has to be one of the best.

Bryce Canyon RV trip Inspiration Point

Happy campers at Bryce Canyon.

The thing that sets Bryce Canyon National Park apart from all other magnificent, world class canyons, including its nearby little sister, Cedar Breaks National Monument is the jaw-dropping symmetry of the red rock formations.

Red rock patterns Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

Dizzying symmetry.

That wind and rain can join forces to carve sandstone into rows and rows of nearly identical pinnacles is extraordinary. There are legions and legions of hoodoos in this red rock army!!

Pinnacle closeup Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

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Bryce Canyon National Park is a fantastic area for photography, and we shot five thousand images between us during our stay.

Photography at Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

What a place for photography!

Bryce Canyon National Park is a massive amphitheater of red rock pinnacles and pink and white striped spires. It’s as if the gods were playing on a huge red sand beach and created a million giant dribble castles.

Closeup spires Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

These are hundreds of feet tall! A person would be a mere speck.

There is a wonderful trail along the rim of the canyon that is wide and smooth and easy to walk on. There are also many hiking trails into the heart of the canyon where you have a view from the base of these towers looking up towards the sky. From Inspiration Point we could spot a few of these trails in the distance.

Hiking trails Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

A hiking trail weaves between the spires.

Some of the hikes are really popular and we could see people starting their hikes on the far side.

Hiking trails Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

People head into the canyon on a hike.

Here and there on the rim, a pine tree clung to the edge with a tenacious grip.

Pine tree Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

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Following the Rim Trail up a steep climb past a series of overlooks, the final overlook is on top of the world and has a view across the entire canyon to the mountains, cliffs and valleys beyond. What a place to spot a soaring eagle!

Top overlook Inspiration Point Bryce Canyon National Park Utah

Bird’s eye view!

We are morning people, and we love getting out on the trail at dawn. One morning, the sun peaked through storm clouds in dramatic fashion.

Sunrise over Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

The sun works its way through storm clouds at dawn.

The rising sun lit a ponderosa pine in beautiful shades of vivid orange.

Sunrise Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

Sunrise at Bryce Canyon.

Even at this early hour, we were far from alone on the trail. Some people brought cups of coffee and wrapped themselves in blankets to see the sun rise. Others brought fancy cameras and tripods and staked out spots for beautiful photos.

All of us lined up and faced the far side of the Canyon, which is due east, like little birds sitting on a telephone wire.

Sunrise on the Rim Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

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As I walked along the rim enjoying the glow of the sunrise light, I noticed a camera sitting on a tree branch. It was still displaying the image of a guy holding his hands out towards the rising sun. But the guy was nowhere to be seen!

Camera Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

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When the final shades of pink faded to gray and the sun peeked over the horizon, everyone at the rim seemed to let out a collective sigh and begin to chat with each other. There were smiles all around.

Sunrise Inspiration Point Bryce Canyon National Park Utah

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The Rim Trail goes both north and south from Inspiration Point, and a walk in each direction is worthwhile, especially when the sky lights up at sunrise.

Trees at Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

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Of course, Bryce Canyon National Park is all about vivid color, and the oranges, pinks, yellows and whites of the sandstone blending together in mesmerizing patterns. But even when the color is taken away, a black and white image of the Park is alluring.

Bryce Canyon National Park Utah Inspiration Point Black and White

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Heading south a few paces from Inspiration Point one afternoon, we came across a different kind of red rock hoodoo than the precision cut ones seen in the views as you face north. These were more haphazard and jagged and they glowed in the afternoon light.

Tree at Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

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Rim Trail Hoodoos Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

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Pine tree Bryce Canyon National Park Utah Inspiration Point

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As the sun lowered in the sky, the craggy rock formations seemed to be lit from within.

Spires Rim Trail Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

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Pinnacles on Rim Trail Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

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Rim Trail Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

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In the same way that sunrise casts an angelic glow across Bryce Canyon in the morning, the light in the late afternoon becomes a rich orange, and it lit up the backside of a pine tree perched on the rim.

Sunset Bryce Canyon National Park Inspiration Point Utah

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The sun sets behind the Canyon, that is, it sets behind your back as you face Bryce Canyon’s views. But once it has sunk below the horizon, the eastern sky takes on the unique pink and blue hues of dusk in the desert.

Sunset Bryce Canyon National Park Utah Inspiration Point

The desert sky turns pink and blue at twilight.

Inspiration Point is truly the most dazzling part of Bryce Canyon National Park, and whether you have three hours or nearly three weeks to explore the Park, as we did, it is a thrilling place to start.

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For RVers planning an RV road trip to Bryce Canyon National Park, there’s more info and links below:

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10 thoughts on “Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah – Inspiration Point – OMG!

  1. I just want to say how much I have been enjoying your blog. We recently purchased a fifth wheel and the info on this site is invaluable. I also love the organization on your pages. It makes things very easy to find.

    Thanks again for this great site with awesome photos.

  2. We’ve been to Bryce four times…our favorite! But your pictures capture it’s majesty spectacularly…. They’re breathtaking!!
    I guess we’ll have to bite the bullet and get there for sunrise next time (can we bring our huskies where you were?).

    • You’re like us and keep going back and back and back again!!! Thank you for the compliments on our photos. We had such fun taking pics there. Definitely set the alarm and get out for sunrise — you can nap later!! I don’t know about the huskies. Probably best to call the NPS to find out their rules for dogs on the trails…

  3. Glad you had such a wonderful visit! I just finished 10 weeks there as a Volunteer Interpretive Ranger. I’d walk that trail from Inspiration down along the rim to Sunrise Point almost every day, often stopping to take a pic or two with my phone. Inevitably, visitors would say “so, it never gets old, does it?” Nope! Never did!

  4. Bryce is my favorite National Park so far. I have been there several times and LOVE it each and every time. Thanks for sharing:)

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