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Bryce Canyon's Navajo Trail

Is a Photographer's Delight
By Colleen Swift - August 3rd, 2000

When you see the big tour buses lined up at a trail head at a National Park it may want to make you run, but Navajo Trail is a stop I hope you take the time to enjoy when you venture into Utah's Bryce Canyon.

If the truth be known, when you see the tour buses, it give you a clue as to great trails to explore, because the tour group will only get a 5 minute stop at the trail head to ponder all the beauties ahead that they are going to miss while you on the other hand can go off exploring taking as much or as little time as you would like.

Navajo Trail is a 2.2 mile round trip trail taking 1-2 hours. The wonders of Mother Nature have cut 521 feet down into an area that has become known as Wall Street -- you will have no problems figuring out how it got its name. The trail continues to Sunset Point with a stop past 2 bridges and numerous stopping points for shutters to go click.

If you venture onto this trail without at least 2 rolls of film, you will be climbing out to get more film to return. While we were near the bottom, one family had sent a younger member to run back down and catch the shots they couldn't get since they hadn't brought enough film. I might add at this point that it is a moderately strenuous hike that you will love if you have been training on a stairmaster.

If you have a polarizing filter, you would be wise to include it in your travels. It brings out great contrasts in the cobalt blue of the skies and hypnotic red of the walls that surround you. No matter whether you are shooting from the top down or from the bottom up, there just isn't a bad way to point and shoot your camera.

If you'd like to tag on another 1.5 mile round trip you can include the Queen's Garden Trail for another 1-2 hours starting from Sunset Point. There is a 320 foot ascent and is one of the most colorful trails in Bryce. You can get views of Queen Victoria and Gulliver's Castle from the Queen's Garden Trail. One can quickly come to understand why Disneyland included this scenery in one of its early rides. It really seems like such a magical place of its own.

To reach Bryce Canyon take Highway 14 east from Cedar City, then take Highway 89 to Highway 12 through Red Canyon which is the bottom side of the fascinating hoodoo structures.


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