Sunset Point was about a mile from my campground. Within a couple of minutes I arrived and parked. I grabbed my camera and hurried to the popular viewpoint. From the second I first glimpsed Bryce Amphitheater I was in awe. Despite knowing what to expect, the sight was absolutely astonishing. The amphitheater was overflowing with colorful hoodoos. Most were shades of orange or pink; some had streaks of white across them. The colors were bright and dazzling, making the stone pinnacles glow in the sunlight. There were many grooved fins and walls, with short spires on top of them. They would eventually erode into individual hoodoos, too. Most of the singular hoodoos varied in thickness throughout their entirety, similar to a totem pole or even a snow man. At first glance the scene resembled the spires, walls, and turrets on an ancient castle in ruin.
I couldn’t take my eyes off the mystical wonderland. The brilliant colors of the rock were especially stunning beneath a perfect sapphire blue sky. It was a vivid blue, like that of a pristine mountain lake.
Some of Bryce’s most famous formations were on full display from where I stood. Thor’s Hammer, a hoodoo that is considerably larger at its top than the pieces underneath it, was just below the rim. It looked like a large boulder precariously balanced on a sculpted orange column. The Silent City, a compact area with a very high concentration of tall skinny hoodoos, was to the south. Just to my right I could see the upper reaches of Wall Street, an incredibly scenic slot canyon.
I looked down, almost right below the lookout where I stood, to examine a path that weaved its way among the rock formations. The Navajo Loop Trail descends into the heart of Bryce Amphitheater from Sunset Point. That trail would make up part of the hike I was planning for the next day. I knew that as great as the view of the many amazing rock formations was from the rim, it would be even better to walk among them. I saw how the pathways curved up, down, and around within an endless maze of towering hoodoos. The sight made me consider heading down the trail right then and there. But I had high hopes of a long exploration throughout the area the next morning.
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