The Peekaboo Loop trail in Bryce Canyon National Park is an instant favorite. Mile for mile this half day hike has more mind blowing, jaw dropping scenery than any other trail this length I can think of. I'm sure there are times when this trail sees heavy traffic, but midweek in mid February I practically had the place to myself.
In "Hoodoos and Snow", simplification of composition is achieved by isolation of elements of the scene through lens choice and camera placement. The more simplified, more elemental images often seem more personal in such iconic wide view places as Bryce. This image of Bryce is mine; the wide view from the rim, not so much. One reason I highly recommend the Peekaboo Loop is, it gets you up close and personal with the hoodoos; an experience much different than walking along the rim.
The Peekaboo Loop can be accessed at the top by a steep trail coming down from the rim at Inspiration Point, or at the bottom, by a short connector trail coming from the bottom of the Navajo Loop/Queens Garden trail junction. Because it's more difficult to access, I would imagine traffic is always less than the Navajo Loop and Queens Garden trails. The loop itself is not level, but climbs and descends several times as you climb in and out of several canyons between fins of hoodoos. I'm assuming the trail is named for those moments when you climb to a pass on a fin, walk between hoodoos, and a new world is revealed in the next drainage.
This was only my second trip to Bryce Canyon National Park. Which makes Bryce my least visited Utah National Park, by a long shot. Less than four hours from my front door, not sure what kept me away. Maybe it was the thought that it's a small park without a lot of hiking. Probably aught to hike the trails there are before deciding there's not enough hiking. After this trip to Bryce if feel like I owe it to myself to go back soon.
One of my favorite images from last year and a good example of the influence Instagram has had on my photography. In the last three years I've put myself in the frame significantly more often than the thirteen years previous. I think the reason I've been more open to those opportunities has a lot to do with the photographers I follow on Instagram. An increased exposure to images of tiny people in giant landscapes has helped me tune-in to situations were that sense of scale provided by the human form makes setting my self timer seem like the appropriate thing to do.
It had been several life changes since I'd made my one and only trip into Coyote Gulch with my good friend Ken. It wasn't the stunning beauty or the idyllic camping that kept me away, but the canyon's reputation as one of the most popular in all of southern Utah.
In Steve Allen's book, Canyoneering 3, he warns, "Spring brings an overwhelming number of people into the canyon". The Park Service hasn't set any limits on the number of people to enter the drainage, but has set strict regulations for camping in Coyote Gulch; including no fires, and the directive to pack out ALL solid waste!
Well, it was spring, and with the help of a dicey forecast to keep the hordes away, I decided to head down to Coyote Gulch to see what I'd been missing.