Hoodoos and forest mixed together
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.
History & Culture
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.
Bryce is famous for its worldly unique geology, consisting of a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters carved from the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in southern Utah. 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.” Tinted with colors too numerous and subtle to name, these whimsically arranged rocks create a wondrous landscape of mazes, offering some of the most exciting and memorable walks and hikes imaginable.
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.
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Dixie National Forest (Surrounding)
The Dixie National Forest, with headquarters in Cedar City, Utah, occupies almost two million acres and stretches for about 170 miles across southern Utah. It straddles the divide between the Great Basin and the Colorado River.
Kodachrome Basin State Park (20 min)
As soon as you see it, you will know that the name fits perfectly. Kodachrome Basin State Park, with its red tinged rock formations and incredible blue skies, just begs to be photographed.
Escalante Petrified Forest State Park ( 1.25 hours)
A visitor center was built in 1991, and features petrified wood, petrified dinosaur bones, ammonite, and shell fossils. Visitors will also enjoy several trails, which wind throughout the park.
Anasazi State Park (1.5 hours)
The Fremont were a prehistoric group that occupied most of Utah during the same period as the Ancestral Puebloans. The result is a blending of traits or a prehistoric “melting pot” that is reflected in the artifacts recovered from this site, as well as in the architecture.
Fremont Indian State Park (1.5 hours)
One thousand years ago, the valleys along what is now Interstate 70 near Sevier, Utah were home to the largest community of Fremont Indians ever discovered. Their rock art and structures are still visible in the canyons of Fremont Indian State Park.