There is no place quite like Bryce Canyon. Hoodoos (odd-shaped pillars of rock left standing from the forces of erosion) can be found on every continent, but here is the archetypal "hoodoo-iferous" terrain. Descriptions fail. Cave without a roof? Forest of stone? Even photographs strain credulity. When you visit maybe you'll come up with a better name. In the meantime "Bryce" will have to suffice.
At Bryce Canyon, hoodoos range in size from that of an average human to heights exceeding a 10-story building. Formed in sedimentary rock, hoodoo shapes are affected by the erosional patterns of alternating hard and softer rock layers. The name given to the rock layer that forms hoodoos at Bryce Canyon is the Claron Formation. This layer has several rock types including siltstones and mudstones but is predominatly limestone. Thirty to 40 million years ago this rock was "born" in an ancient lake that covered much of Western Utah. Minerals deposited within different rock types cause hoodoos to have different colors throughout their height.
Bryce Canyon is a small national park in southwestern Utah. Named after the Mormon Pioneer Ebenezer Bryce, Bryce Canyon became a national park in 1928.
Hoodoos are tall skinny spires of rock that protrude from the bottom of arid basins and "broken" lands. Hoodoos are most commonly found in the High Plateaus region of the Colorado Plateau and in the Badlands regions of the Northern Great Plains. While hoodoos are scattered throughout these areas, nowhere in the world are they as abundant as in the northern section of Bryce Canyon National Park. In common usage, the difference between Hoodoos and pinnacles or spires is that hoodoos have a variable thickness often described as having a "totem pole-shaped body." A spire, on the other hand, has a smoother profile or uniform thickness that tapers from the ground upward.
Bryce Canyon, famous for its worldly unique geology, consists of a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters carved from the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. The erosional force of frost-wedging and the dissolving power of rainwater have shaped the colorful limestone rock of the Claron Formation into bizarre shapes, including slot canyons, windows, fins, and spires called "hoodoos".
Ponderosa pines, high elevation meadows, and fir-spruce forests border the rim of the plateau and abound with wildlife. This area boasts some of the world's best air quality, offering panoramic views of three states and approaching 200 miles of visibility. This, coupled with the lack of nearby large light sources, creates unparalleled opportunities for stargazing.
Spend a week or spend a few hours. Bryce Canyon National Park offers something special for all ages of every interest.
Common Names: Hoodoo, goblin Size Range: 5-150 ft. tall (1.5-45 m) Formation Name: Claron Limestone Rock Age: Paleocene or Eocene in age, 40-60 mya Famous Examples: Thor's Hammer, The Hunter, Queen Victoria
The Queens Garden/Navajo loop hike has been called one of the world’s greatest 3 mile hikes. The pictures do not do it justice! The north part of the camp can be reserved 2 days in advance, but if you’re looking for first come first served camping, visit the south part instead.
There’s no way you can visit Bryce without staying 2 or 3 days though, the sunrises are seriously some of the most beautiful in the country.
VERY nice park - do the rim trail for a great easy hike with super views. Ride the bus and save time and effort. A must do when making the loop around Utah - make sure to catch Zion and the north rim of Grand Canyon if you get this far south.
Bryce Canyon is on the short list as one of my favorite all-time National Parks. The canyon is out-of-this-world cool, and the hiking leads to some of the most amazing views I've ever seen. As Dana said, be sure and do the Queens Garden/Navajo loop hike. You won't regret it, and you'll come away with some awesome photos and memories.
Great place, a lot of hikes.
Take the mule ride down have lunch stay at one of the cabins along the ridge! Amazing!
Bryce is so beautiful! We did the Queens Garden/Navajo loop with our family including our 10, 13, 15, and 17 year olds. Saw some family doing it with their walking two year olds..not sure that was a good idea. Very steep going down and back up. Beautiful and well worth it! We took the trail counter-clockwise (opposite of what the trail guide recommends) and we really liked that route. We think the route up was easier that way.
Absolutely breathtaking. If you're going to be in the area, don't miss Bryce Canyon. Incredibly unique and beautiful scenery. The Queen's Garden/Navajo Trail loop provides some amazing views and is a an easy to moderate hike.
If you have to decide between this park and others, chose this one!! So beautiful and amazing! If you come early enough you can get in for free. And it's worth getting up early for the sunrise.
Great park to visit with kids. The hoodoos and sites are amazing.
Do the Mule/ Horse Ride . We were first times and enjoyed the ride. The best way to see the park in summer since it takes you to sections that are too long to hike with kids. Do the Navajo loop its fun. Our kids are 12 and 10, and they loved it. Go for a ranger led Star Gazing program if they have one.
Meals: Two options. The restaurant at the lodge which is very good and a Pizza/ Coffee shop.
Bryce is one of the most beautiful and amazing places I have ever been to in my entire life. It's unlike any other place on earth. Definitely a must see! The Queens Garden/Navajo loop hike into the bottom of the amphitheatre is worth doing. You will be hiking among hoodoos, and the experience is amazing! Beware the weather conditions though. At this high elevation, it can snow any time of the year - that's what my guidebook said. I was really sceptical until I got there. We visited in mid-May and it snowed like it was January!
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Bryce Canyon National Park
- Sun - Sat: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
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