Bryce Canyon National Park offers many breathtaking views from above but Paria View is the best of all. After scouting multiple views from Sunset Point to Inspiration Point, we decided Paria View was the most beautiful place to take sunrise picture of Bryce Canyon due to its panoramic view of the entire canyon. Paria is a Paiute word meaning “water with elk” or “water with mud”. The translation varies depending on context and season.
Sunset at Bryce Canyon
Since Sunset Point didn’t offer good view of Bryce Canyon, we drove to Paria before sunset to see how it would look. The road from Sunset point and Sunrise Point to Paria View is an easy and paved road but the last few mile to Paria View is winding so drive carefully. You can park at a small parking lot and walk to the outlook.
At sunset, there were lots of tourists standing around. Since this view faces east, the sun will go down behind you, and most of the view will be in the shadow. When we were there, the sky became light purple at sunset but we decided to head back to the hotel to have dinner as we thought that the sunset would be a bit disappointing. Unfortunately, the line at the only open restaurant at that time was more than an hour and we missed the gorgeous sunset 🙁
We set up the alarm clock at 5AM but we overslept and woke up at nearly 7AM and it was only 20 minutes before the sunrise! We frantically put on warm clothes and drove to the Paria View. The 20 minute drive was the longest drive ever! We saw the pink color of the cloud at the horizon as we raced to the sunrise. As we parked the car, the sun was right at the horizon, brightening the whole canyon.
I grabbed my gear while Duy was busy unpacking, and ran to the inspiration point. To my surprise, there were many photographers at this time in a freaking cold and windy morning. I put on a graduated filter to make half of the frame darker as the sun was rising and took several quick shots.
After the sun had risen, people started to leave but we stayed a bit to take some panoramic photos of the entire area. It was definitely breadth-taking in the morning!
- Wear lots of layers to stay warm as it could be really cold here during Spring Break (about 20F while we were there). You might need some gloves and scarves.
- Sunrise is amazing at Paria so don’t waste time at Sunrise point
- Bring some graduated filters for better photos
- You need a sturdy tripod as wind here is crazy and it can knock down your camera!