After flying into St. George Municipal Airport and picking up our rental car, a 4x4 Jeep, we hit the road to Bryce National Park. Turned out that renting the AWD Jeep was a good idea because about 30 minutes into the drive the snow started coming down. Apparently we had flown in just as a blizzard was about to hit. For about an hour the snow came down so hard that we could barely see the lanes in the road. At some point the storm disappeared, we found a route to Bryce, and we arrived at our hotel 2 hours later than expected. We went to bed expecting that sunrise at Bryce would be covered up by the clouds.
We were treated to a nice surprise when we woke up: the radar showed an opening in the clouds right around sunrise. Drudgingly we got dressed, put on as many warm clothes as we could and headed out to Sunset Point to watch the sunrise (yes, it's a bit of contradiction that Sunset Point is one of the best places to watch sunrise at Bryce). The clouds did stay away long enough for sunrise to occur and it lit up the hoodoo's at Bryce beautifully. Unfortunately the sky was dull of color and none of those photos came out well.
After warming up in the car my buddy and I decided to hike the 1.5 mile Navajo Trail Loop into the canyons. The hike is absolutely stunning and we were treated to some beautiful light. As we descended into the canyon we came across this dead tree, that must have split in some previous storm. The light was hitting it *perfectly* -- making it glow, almost as if it was on fire. I thought that it was neat that this photo combined the beautiful light with the falling snow -- which shows off the wonderful juxtaposition of Bryce National Park: a dessert with huge red rock canyons, crazy rock formations, yet at the elevation that it SNOWS!
Nikon D700 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S:
70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250 sec, ISO 500