Best Bryce Canyon Views and Photo Spots
People come from around the world to see the amazing Bryce Canyon views and capture the beauty with photos.
Use this Bryce Canyon travel guide with information and photo tips for each viewpoint so you can take the most amazing pictures at Bryce Canyon.
We also share resources to plan your Bryce Canyon vacation: what to pack, where to stay, things to do and more!
Check out these done-for-you Bryce Canyon itineraries:
- Bryce Canyon National Park One Day Itinerary
- Two days in Bryce Canyon National Park
- Three Days in Bryce Canyon National Park
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A Photo Tour of Bryce Canyon National Park
Take a visual tour through Bryce Canyon National Park to see the stunning landscapes you’ll see when you visit!
Bryce Canyon’s Unique Geography
What creates these unique rock structures you see in Bryce Canyon pictures?
The erosion process begins with rain water seeping into cracks in the rock. Due to its high elevation, the nights are cold at Bryce Canyon. The water freezes, expands and breaks the rock apart.
The deep, narrow walls called ‘fins’ result from rain and snow melt running down the slopes from the rim of the canyon. Holes or ‘windows’ continue to erode into the fins, and when they grow large enough they collapse and create the hoodoo towers.
Landscape Photography Tips for Bryce Canyon
The section of Bryce Canyon known as The Amphitheater has the most concentrated grouping of hoodoos and is one of the most iconic, Bryce Canyon photo spots in the park.
When photographing this park, focus on the viewpoints and overlooks along the Bryce Canyon scenic drive, at spots along the rim trail in The Amphitheater.
Check out our Bryce Canyon Photography Guide with tips and best times to take pictures at each viewpoint!
Stay Warm for Bryce Canyon Photography
Due to the elevation, Bryce Canyon gets cold at night even during the summer. The cold can drain camera batteries fast.
Cover the camera when you are not using it or keep a spare set of batteries close to your body.
Hand warmers and warm clothing layers are important to help keep you warm too.
Stay Hydrated When Taking Bryce Canyon Photos
Always carry water with you. We carry refillable water bottles in our camera bags.
Also eat plenty of healthy snacks and food.
Bryce Canyon Sunrise Photo Tips
The Bryce Amphitheater is a very dramatic place to watch the sunrise. There is a deep silence before dawn. Anywhere along the rim between Sunrise Point and Bryce Point is a wonderful view.
The best Bryce Canyon sunrise photo spots are at the overlooks and canyons that face east. You will be shooting into the sun at sunrise, but the formations in the canyon help produce a soft, warm glow of reflected light at this time.
Capture the glowing hoodoos in the first hour after sunrise. The low light conditions require a very steady hand to get a blur-free photo. During this time use a tripod and remote shutter release.
Reflected Light at Bryce Canyon
As the sun rises higher in the sky, the broader vistas become washed out. The reflected light continues through late-morning making it perfect to focus on the hoodoos, fins, windows and trees in the canyon.
Be creative with composition by taking pictures through rock holes, tunnels, windows and between cliffs. Unusually shaped frames can add drama to the shot.
Afternoon and Sunset are Difficult to Photograph at Bryce Canyon
Long shadows are cast into the canyon beginning late afternoon as the sun sets and light is only apparent on the tops of the hoodoos. Concentrate on any side-lighting of the hoodoos that aren’t in shadow.
If there are clouds in the sky, they may bounce light into the canyon to help reduce the shadows. Otherwise, the big vistas provide wonderful telephoto shots from any viewpoint in the amphitheater during sunset.
Bryce Canyon Sunset Photo Tips
The ‘golden hour’ after sunset may produce a pastel pink and blue sky above the canyon. Take advantage of the late dusk glow.
The hoodoos reflect light not seen by the human eye, but easily picked up by the camera’s sensor. Exposure times will need to be longer, but the images will capture the warm colors of the formations and the blue sky.
Bryce Canyon Viewpoints Map
Use this map of the Bryce Canyon viewpoints to navigate along the scenic drive.
Best Bryce Canyon Views and Photo Spots
When visiting Bryce Canyon, we recommend you begin by driving 18 miles to Rainbow Point at the end of the park. Then stop and take photos at every overlook as you make your way back to the visitor center.
All the Bryce Canyon scenic drive overlooks are on the east side. If you start at Rainbow Point, you can avoid left turns on the busy road. You can instead stop at each pullout on your right.
Rainbow Point is a good introduction to Bryce Canyon. The scenery and geological formations dramatically change as you drive north. Completing the scenic drive at the Amphitheater viewpoints is a spectacular sight!
Rainbow & Yovimpa Points
The park road ends when it reaches the combined parking area for Rainbow Point and Yovimpa Point.
From this vista you look down on a colorful scene of hoodoos in Rainbow Canyon. You see the Table Cliff Plateau to the northeast that rises to over 10,000 feet at its southern end, Powell Point. The Sevier Plateau to the north is topped by 11,041 foot Mount Dutton.
The short Bristlecone Loop Trail leads to an 1,800-year-old bristlecone pine, believed to be one of the oldest living things at Bryce Canyon.
BRYCE CANYON PHOTO TIP: The light in the southern end of the park around Rainbow Point is wonderful from mid afternoon through sunset.
Yovimpa Point: access this trail from the Rainbow Point parking lot.
A short, paved walkway takes you past the picnic area to a magnificent viewpoint that allows visitors to look south and west over the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and take awe-inspiring Bryce Canyon Photos. It is one of the best spots to see the “steps” which give the Grand Staircase its name.
One of the many amazing Bryce Canyon views is from Agua Canyon. You’ll see stark color contrasts and two prominent hoodoos at this overlook.
Look for ‘The Hunter” and “The Rabbit”. The Hunter has a hat of evergreens and is easily seen just in front of the viewpoint. To the right is a smaller hoodoo commonly referred to as The Rabbit (the The Hunter’s prey).
One of our favorite Bryce Canyon photos is capturing the glow on the hoodoos at Agua Canyon in the morning.
BRYCE CANYON PHOTO TIP: The hoodoos and fins at Agua Canyon are especially dramatic in early morning light.
Known as the Natural Bridge, this natural arch is one of our favorite Bryce Canyon photos.
The structure called Natural Bridge is technically an arch. Formed originally as a small ice window in a large prominent fin, the forces of erosion have made Natural Bridge one of the most popular Bryce Canyon views along the scenic drive. You will see similar features within the park as you go on various Bryce Canyon hikes, but none as impressive at nearly 125 feet tall.
BRYCE CANYON PHOTO TIP: Natural Bridge is best photographed mid-morning when the sun is high enough in the sky that it nicely illuminates the features around the arch and bounces ample light onto the underside.
From many vantage points, being careful to stay behind the railing, you can frame rich green Ponderosa pine trees through the arch.
Bryce Point gives visitors fantastic panoramic views and photo opportunities.
This Bryce Canyon viewpoint is named for Ebenezer Bryce, who settled the area in 1870. Due to its elevation at 8,300 feet, Bryce Point offers one of the most scenic vistas of the hoodoo-filled red rock amphitheater.
It is famous for the extraordinary sunrises where the tops of the hoodoos glow with a brilliant burst of light. It is also beautiful throughout the day.
With views looking mostly to the north and east, you can see Boat Mesa and the rich colors of the Claron Formation.
BRYCE CANYON PHOTO TIP: Photographing the sunrise at Bryce Point provides an amazing view to capture the light sweeping across the amphitheater.
Taking pictures of Bryce Canyon at sunset can be disappointing. The hoodoos in the amphitheater area are in total shade as the sun sets.
Paria View is the one exception. The hoodoos here face the west and catch the golden light during sunset.
BRYCE CANYON PHOTO TIP: Our best sunset photography tip: keep taking pictures after the sun sets. You can capture the glow of the hoodoos during the soft light of blue hour.
We enjoyed our time at this location by ourselves after sunset. Some of our favorite Bryce Canyon photos are taken at Paria View with the moon and layered colors in the sky.
The view from Inspiration Point is spectacular. This is one of our favorite Bryce Canyon views and a perfect Bryce Canyon photo spot.
The light creates glowing reds, oranges and pinks around the fins, spires and hoodoos.
Inspiration Point is a good location to take photos of Bryce Canyon at sunrise and during the early morning.
BRYCE CANYON PHOTO TIP: Panoramic view are everywhere, but zoom in an photograph smaller sections of the hoodoos to create an image with immediate impact.
Don’t limit yourself to the designated overlook. Be sure to walk along the Rim Trail to find other views to photograph. BUT please use caution when walking along the Bryce Canyon trails.
The cliffs of Inspiration Point are exceptionally dangerous as they are formed of crumbly rock, slippery slopes and sheer drop-offs. All visitors are strongly cautioned to remain on trails and behind railings.
The name Sunset Point is deceptive since this area is NOT good for sunset photography. At this viewpoint, the light on the hoodoos as the sun rises creates the best Bryce Canyon photos.
Sunset Point is also home to some of Bryce Canyon’s most famous Hoodoos. The Silent City is a maze of hoodoos and fins packed in close proximity directly below the point and to the south.
Just below the overlook you’ll see the Navajo Loop trail descending into the famous Wall Street. You’ll also see the iconic Thor’s Hammer.
Every Bryce Canyon Photography Guide will include Thor’s Hammer, one of the most well-known formations in the park.
You can see why this famous hoodoo is one of the most spectacular Bryce Canyon views and is an amazing photo spot too. It can be found just below the Sunset Point overlook on the northern edge.
Thor’s Hammer is a wonderful Bryce Canyon photo spot because it’s isolated from other hoodoos and provides a striking contrast to the natural landscape.
BRYCE CANYON PHOTO TIP: The best vantage point to photograph Thor’s Hammer is along the Navajo Loop Queen’s Garden trail.
We recommend walking down the trail far enough to get that up-close view and photo of Thor’s Hammer.
Navajo Loop Trail
The Bryce Canyon views overlooking the Amphitheater along the Rim Trail are spectacular, but to see and photograph the hoodoos and windows up close is something YOU MUST DO!
You don’t need to walk the entire trail. The best Bryce Canyon view and photo spot to see Thor’s Hammer and windows is just below Sunset Point down the Navajo Loop Trail just a bit. Trust us!
PLEASE stay on the Bryce Canyon hiking trails. The increasing love for nature impacts outdoor areas which suffer from litter, trail erosion and more.
We recommend hiking the Navajo Loop – Queen’s Garden trail, starting at Sunset Point and ending at Sunrise Point.
Sunrise Point offers incredibly colorful vistas at sunrise as the sun casts an early morning glow on the red rock hoodoos. The early morning light makes it the ideal location for photography.
It is also one of the better spots for Bryce Canyon photos at sunset. The view to the northeast captures Boat Mesa and the Sinking Ship, incredible rock formations set against the stark Pink Cliffs of the Aquarius Plateau.
BRYCE CANYON PHOTO TIP: Hike down the Queen’s Garden Trail a bit to see and photograph a unique landscape.
The trees here seem like a scene from a Dr. Seuss book.
We also recommend you walk along the Rim Trail near the viewpoint to get different views of the amphitheater and hoodoos.
Bryce Canyon Amphitheater in the Winter
It’s a photographer’s dream to capture the contrast of the red/orange hoodoos against the white snow. Check out these Bryce Canyon winter photos so you can see how stunning the landscape is this time of year!
Be prepared for cold temperatures, snow-covered walkways and the possibility of road closures beyond the amphitheater depending on weather and road conditions.
You’ll want to make sure you have the right winter photography gear for the cold temperatures. Consider a lens warmer to protect the lens from freezing so the camera and lens function properly when it’s cold.
Remember the chemical reactions inside the camera battery slow down in colder temperatures which is why they drain faster in winter. Carry one spare battery in a coat pocket. The closer to the body, the warmer it stays.
Wear winter clothing for outdoor photography – we especially love rechargeable hand warmers!
Fairyland Point is the first viewpoint as you enter the park, but it can be easily overlooked. Many people drive past without knowing it’s there.
We like to take close-up photos of the hoodoos at Fairyland Point. The hoodoos glow in the morning light and really stand out, creating an amazing photo of Bryce Canyon.
BRYCE CANYON PHOTO TIP: Walk along the Fairyland Trail a bit to get various perspectives of the hoodoos here.
Morning is a good time to visit Fairlyand Point. You’ll have good parking, and the hoodoos glow in morning light.
Mossy Cave Trail
The Mossy Cave trail is part of Bryce Canyon, but it’s outside the park’s entrance along Highway 12.
You’ll see interesting things along this trail like a cool alcove that’s sheltered where ice from the winter remains intact well into June. It’s a fun and easy Bryce Canyon winter hike.
There’s also a small waterfall along the stream that’s called the Tropic Ditch. Usually the stream has clear water, but we were lucky to visit during a rainy spring to capture a unique photo of muddy falls at Bryce Canyon.
Check Amazon for: Bryce Canyon Guides and Maps
Plan Your Bryce Canyon Vacation
- Visiting Bryce Canyon National Park
- Bryce Canyon Packing List
- Things to Do at Bryce Canyon National Park
- Bryce Canyon Photo Spots
- Best Time to Visit Bryce Canyon
- Bryce Canyon Tours
Where to Stay Near Bryce Canyon:
- Bryce Canyon Places to Stay
- Bryce Canyon Hotels
- Bryce Canyon Winter Lodging
- Bryce Canyon National Park Camping
- Bryce Canyon National Park RV Vacation
- Vacation Rentals Near Bryce Canyon
- Best Western Ruby’s Inn – easy access right outside the park
- Best Western Plus – also right outside the park
Camera Gear for Landscape Photography
- Camera: check out the compact travel cameras we recommend!
- Tripod: take a look at these compact and lightweight travel tripods!
- Camera Bag: protect your camera from sand and water → We use Lowepro camera backpacks for outdoor photography.
- Neutral density filter: to compensate for variance of light you’ll need to use a neutral density filter. → Check out the Kase magnetic filters we use!
- Camera cleaning kit: remove dust or water that WILL get on your lens. NOTE: this is not for cleaning the sensor.
- Memory cards: purchase name brand memory cards since you’re trusting your images to the card! → We use Lexar and Sandisk!
- External hard drive: copy photos to a portable external hard drive ‘just in case’.
- Headlamp: use when taking sunrise and sunset photos!
Camera Gear at Amazon | Camera Gear at B&H Photo
Thank you for your post! We are visiting Bryce next week for 1 day and I’m wondering what the best route is to see Natural Bridge, Bryce Point, Inspiration Point and Thors Hammer? We plan to arrive at Sunrise and we are avid hikers. Thanks so much 🙂
Jessica, the main road through Bryce Canyon will take you to all these sites. If you’ll be there at sunrise, I’d head to Bryce Point first – it’s a terrific sunrise location. Then I’d go to Inspiration Point then Sunset Point where you can access the Navajo Trail and see Thor’s Hammer. We LOVE the Navajo/Queen’s Loop trail: https://photojeepers.com/navajo-loop-queens-garden-trail-bryce-canyon-hikes. October is a wonderful time to visit – you should have cool temperatures and no crowds! Jamie
Jamie, thanks a lot for sharing these tips! I’m planning my first trip to Bryce in October and this has been a helpful resource for planning my trip. Cheers!
October will be a fabulous time to visit Bryce. Let us know if you have any questions!
This is such a good post and the video was really nice! I’m sorry I am just now getting to it, but I really enjoyed and it and I am tucking it away for my trip in a few months!! Great job!!
So excited for you to see Bryce Canyon. I can’t wait to hear all about it!
These pictures are beautiful! We have this national park on our list to visit and almost made plans to swing by this summer, but are traveling to Sedona instead. Maybe next year….. Utah has some of the most stunning landscape.
I agree that Utah has stunning landscape 🙂 There are so many places to put on our bucket lists huh!?
Those images are gorgeous! I’ve been there only once while on a road trip from NY to AZ. We camped along the way, and made a stop at Bryce Canyon but didn’t arrive until well after dark. We didn’t actually know much about Bryce or what to expect. When we got up the next morning and saw that view, we were amazed! We’re to bring our kids there soon – all of your info will be so helpful in planning that trip!
What a cool experience to wake up to those hoodoos not knowing what to expect beforehand! That’s quite a road trip from NY to AZ, wow!
You really captured the essence of this park in this set, although nothing like visiting the place physically. I like the formation of the rocks and the rainbow point. I wouldn’t even believe the area is interesting if I were just shown one picture of the place. Thank you.
I traveled there back in the 70’s and 80’s. Truly enjoyed the sights, still have my slides from the area. I hope to get back there someday!
I wonder what has changed since your visits back then to now. It would be fun to see your slides to compare. I hope you can visit again some day Steve.
I have copies of my slides if you are interested in seeing what they look like. Only I did not even give a thought to composing back then just taking pics!
Dave and I would be very interested in seeing some of the copies of your slides. Email me at email@example.com!
Bryce Canyon looks so amazing! I’ve wanted to visit there for so long, but whenever we travel to the US, we’re never in the area! I hope one day we get to tick it off my list of NP’s to visit!
xo April | April Everyday
I hope you get to visit one day – the rock formations and colors are breathtaking!
This place looks perfect for photography. It reminds me Cappadocia though. Thanks for the info!!!
I just looked up Cappadocia – very similar! And yes, a paradise for photography!
Wow I wish I had this before I went to Bryce! I was there for only one day in November a couple years ago. I had a beautiful day and enjoyed it so much. Inspiration point is incredible. Your photography is gorgeous and brought back so many great memories.
Inspiration Point is the one we didn’t do – silly us! We plan to go back soon to make sure we see that overlook and to hike the Fairyland Trail.
I really need to get to Bryce Canyon. Your photos are fab and I love the photo tips for each place – very helpful. The rock formations are so interesting and I know our kids would love climbing all over them:)
I hope you get to visit one day – your kids will love the park!
Wow! So many canyons just in one area – all are gorgeous! This is a really detailed post and helpful for when we visit the US sometime soon! Great tips!
Yes, so many overlooks/canyons and each one just a bit different. I hope the article helps people plan their visit.
Woah what a great comprehensive post! I’ve always wanted to take a road trip to the US and do something like this. Your pics are awesome and the amount of tips and detail you’ve included is just fab – priveless!
Kristie – you.theworld.wandering
Thank you. We really want to help people make the most of their visit so I’m glad the photos and tips we included are helpful.
This is so beautiful! I love national parks so much.
National Parks offer so much beauty and time to be in nature – we love them too!
Bryce Canyon is stunning. I’ve been there a while ago and it’s still one of my favourite canyons. Thank you for this detailed article, it is really useful and would have helped us plan our trip better.
I agree with you – stunning and one of our favorite parks! I hope the article will help others plan their trip – sorry it wasn’t written yet when you were planning yours 🙂
Great tips Jamie! And there is so much to see. If only explored a tiny bit of the area, but looks like I’ll have to go back now 🙂
We spent 3 days there and felt it wasn’t enough…so much to see!
ahh I’ve always wanted to visit Bryce Canyon! Your pictures are gorgeous 🙂 and I love the the chocolate waterfall! so fun!
The muddy waterfall was definitely unique. Spectacular National Park to visit, hope you can make it there one day.
Great guide and I love the photography tips! Bryce Canyon looks really beautiful. I’d love to do the Navajo Trail and see Thor’s Hammer.
The Navajo Trail was the highlight of the trip for me – amazing to walk up close to all the hoodoos.