After leaving Zion I headed towards Bryce Canyon. I stayed my first night in this area near the Tropic resevoir and captured some pictures of this moonrise.

Moonrise over the Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument

This morning I briefly drove through Bryce canyon.  I didn’t do any hikes in Bryce, simply taking in the spectacular views at several locations in the park.

According to Wikkipedia  –

“The major feature of the park is Bryce Canyon, which despite its name, is not a canyon, but a collection of giant natural amphitheaters along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Bryce is distinctive due to geological structures called hoodoos, formed by frost weathering and stream erosion of the river and lake bed sedimentary rocks. The red, orange, and white colors of the rocks provide spectacular views for park visitors.”

At the Bryce Canyon visitor center one of the rangers had set up a solar telescope to watch Mercury tranisting the sun.  Looking through the alpha h-1 filter the sun looked like a giant red ball! Mercury a tiny black dot in the lower right quadrant. The whole event takes 2-3 hours. According to the ranger it will be another 30 years before this event is visible again from the northern Hemisphere.

After traveling through Bryce Canyone, I drove on to Grand Staircase Escalante national Monument and stopped to get maps at the Cannonville visitor center. Tonight I’m watching the nearly full moon rise from a dispersed campsite off of Skuatupah road. I got here early enough to set up my tent and stretch out a bit before darkenss landed.

I’m spending the evening by lamp light, looking at maps to plan the coming days in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.

If you’d like to visit Bryce Canyon you can check out the National Park website here.