Bryce Canyon Postcards

From Arches to Zion, I’ve been to most of the major national parks in the West. But after my first visit to Bryce last fall, it is easily my favorite. I took nearly 3,000 photos in two days and didn’t feel I had enough.

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Unfortunately, the lithographic representation of the park on the above postcard doesn’t do the scene justice, as the colors are far too muted. The logo on the back dates this paired postcard to the 1920s or, at the latest, 1932, the last year UP used the word “system” on its logo.

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This linen card comes closer to the real thing. However, because the photographer elected to take the photo when most of the scene was in the shade, even here the colors aren’t as bright as in reality. The logo on the back suggests this card was issued after 1950.

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Even though backlit, the stunning oranges in this photo are more like it. The long line of hikers must be part of a tour group. While this trail, which I believe is the Navajo Loop trail, attracts lots of hikers, other trails such as the Fairyland Loop trail are equally impressive but not as crowded.

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Just for comparison, here is my own photo of the same trail from a nearby location. The blue sky and reddish-orange rocks make for a beautiful color contrast. Note there are few people on the trail even though November is actually a better time to hike than in the heat of the summer.

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Horses today are only allowed on a few trails, and not necessarily the most spectacular ones.

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For example, not even hikers are supposed to climb under this particular hanging bridge, and horses are no longer allowed on the hiking trails that offer a view of the bridge.

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Bryce’s modest lodge, designed for Union Pacific by Gilbert Stanley Underwood, still has many photos of the era when it was owned by UP as well as this nice display in the lobby. Although I didn’t stay in the lodge, I did eat in the dining room and found both the meals and the service to be excellent.

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