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Magnificent Bryce Canyon National Park in Southern Utah: Forces of Nature

Utah is a fantastic state filled with natural wonders, including many beautiful state and national parks. We loved vacationing there!

Hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park

Hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is located in southern Utah, not far from Zion National Park. It became a national park in 1928. It was one of five national parks in Utah that my mother, niece, and I enjoyed visiting in the summer of 1991.

Similar to Zion, an inland lake once covered this area. Uplifting of the land took place over time, and there are many fossil remains of plants and animal life, including dinosaurs.

Bryce Canyon Geology

Bryce is an amphitheater carved out of pink cliffs. The colors of the rocks are brilliant and vary according to the time of day when viewed. Iron oxide causes the red and yellow colors, manganese, lavenders, and purple hues.

The white cap-rock is more substantial than the rock beneath it and protects it from erosion from the top. Fantastic effects take place by the longtime action of rain, snow, and ice. One can conger up all types of images when viewing these otherworldly shapes, many of which are known as "hoodoos."

Bryce Canyon and the sculptural rocks found there are a prime example of the powers of erosion! This post will show many pictures of this geological wonder.

Settlement of the Area

Ebeneezer Bryce was a Mormon settler and tried to make a living in this area. Because of the lack of water, he gave up and moved elsewhere after about five years. This national park still bears his name.

Paiute Indians also lived around this area and considered this to be a very spiritual place.

A hell of a place to lose a cow!

— Ebeneezer Bryce

How to View Bryce Canyon

Photographers have a good time capturing various attitudes of the surreal landscape that is Bryce Canyon. There are 35 miles of paved roads (56 kilometers) that take one to several viewpoints. Photos taken in the winter when snow blankets the area are stunning. This park offers visitors a reason to come and enjoy its year-round beauty!

In addition to the numerous lookout points from the road, hikers have many paths and trails that can be enjoyed by hearty souls with good sturdy shoes. One has to carry water with one if one is to do any amount of hiking.

People can rent horses, and hikers must give horses the right of way when on these paths.

Flora and Fauna

Adjacent to the canyon are meadows filled with wildflowers.

Bristle-cone pine trees cling to the rocks and anchor themselves, often in precarious attitudes drawing moisture from the frequent summer thunderstorms. They also help to slow the process of erosion with their tenacious roots that embrace the rocks and hold them in place a while longer.

Many animals also call this place home. Mule deer are seen in abundance, especially in the mornings and evenings when they are foraging for food.

We saw many ground squirrels, and there is a prairie dog town nearby. Many people were amusing themselves, taking photos of the cute and curious prairie dogs, including us. It is quite a large colony, and although wary, the critters see so many tourists that they allow people to get quite close to them before dodging below ground into their haven tunnels.

Also known to reside in this area are coyotes and some mountain lions.

A Map of Bryce Amphitheater Region

A Map of Bryce Amphitheater Region

Ruby's Inn

We spent the night at Ruby's Inn. You can see the location of Ruby's Inn and its proximity to Bryce Canyon National Park at the top of the map featured above. It is one of the closest lodgings to this park.

Ruben and Minnie Syrett settled in this area back in 1916. They "discovered" Bryce Canyon and were granted permission to build a lodge nearby.

Ruby's Inn now includes a post office, a laundromat, dining facilities, convention facilities, an indoor pool, a trailer park as well as the motel. We were pleased with the accommodations and would stay there again were we ever to revisit this area.

Outside our room was a small lake where we amused ourselves by feeding some ducks one morning. The meadow surrounding Ruby's Inn was pretty adorned with a variety of blooming wildflowers and trees. It is quite a contrast to the fantastic shapes, spires, and weathered rocks that compose Bryce Canyon National Park.

Hopefully, you have enjoyed this glimpse via pictures and videos taken of the amazingly shaped rocks caused by erosion in Utah's Bryce Canyon National Park. It is so beautiful, and the colors, depending upon the time of day or passing clouds, make for a surreal landscape that one does not easily forget.

A national park is not a playground. it’s a sanctuary for nature and for humans who will accept nature on nature’s own terms.

— Michael Frome

Sources:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2008 Peggy Woods

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 09, 2018:

Very true Liz. Twenty years ago we would have spent time researching things in libraries or home encyclopedias rather than just accessing the Internet. Quite a change!

Liz Westwood from UK on December 08, 2018:

This is definitely a positive side of the internet. Compared to 20 years ago we have so much more information at our finger tips.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 07, 2018:

Hi Liz,

It is so nice that we can each share images and impressions of places that we have visited with one another via the Internet. Your article about Prague was so informative and I really enjoyed it. Happy to be able to show you images from the U.S.

Liz Westwood from UK on December 07, 2018:

Your article and photos help me to visualise what Bryce Canyon is like although I have not been there.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 07, 2018:

Hi Liz,

Bryce Canyon was one of the five national parks that we got to visit one summer in Utah. We also saw some state parks that same year. Utah is an amazing place to visit! Each of the parks is so distinctive. Thanks for your comment regarding the stunning illustrations.

Liz Westwood from UK on December 07, 2018:

This is a great article with stunning illustrations.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 06, 2018:

Hi Robert,

Yes I am sure that many people would consider the place in a spiritual manner. It is so beautiful at Bryce Canyon National Park!

Robert Sacchi on February 03, 2018:

Another great place you have visited. I can see from some of the pictures how native people would consider the place spiritual. The shapes of some of the rocks look like faces and figures. Thank you for posting.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 29, 2016:

Hello schoolgirlforreal,

Utah is a fabulous vacation destination with 5 national parks and even more state parks. It should definitely be on your radar screen for a wonderful vacation spot. Glad you liked this and yes...it is even more spectacular in person.

schoolgirlforreal on December 29, 2016:

Peggy,

This is a very well written and informative hub.

I would like to do some traveling someday- I'll keep Utah in mind. I don't think I've seen a mule before. They look just like horses. The pictures are beautiful, I imagine it must be stunning in real life , even more so. Sounds like a fun adventure and trip. A lot of people go to Florida to Universal Studios and to Niagra Falls, but this looks good too!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 08, 2012:

Hi Mary,

Will look foward to seeing your photos after Santa brings you your photo scanner. I know hearing about your trip will be wonderful judging from the other things you write. Did you ever visit Utah? If not...put it on your list. It is amazing!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 08, 2012:

Hi Sherry Hewins,

So glad that you liked my photos of Bryce Canyon. It is certainly a photographer's delightful place to expend some time in capturing some fantastic pictures. If we had had more time to do hiking down in the canyons...the pictures would have been even more amazing. Thanks for your comment and votes.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on July 08, 2012:

Peggy, I would love to write a Hub about our canyon trip, but I didn't keep a journal and I only have snapshots of our trip, no digital. I could refresh my memory by looking in the photo album, I guess.

I took some beautiful photos, but no digital. After Santa brings my scanner, I just might write that Hub.

See you....

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 08, 2012:

Hello christin53,

Bryce Canyon National Park is quite a place to see in person! Hope that is possible for you someday, and if not, at least you had a virtual look at the amazing views via this hub and youtube videos. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 08, 2012:

Hi Mary,

Have you written about your canyon tour? If not, perhaps you will consider doing so? That would have been a wonderful trip with your daughter. Thanks for your comment on this Bryce Canyon National Park hub and especially for the share. Glad that you liked it.

Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on July 07, 2012:

Amazing photos! Thanks so much for sharing your story. Voted up and beautiful.

Ann-Christin from UK on July 07, 2012:

This looks like a wonderful place to visit the photo's are spectacular. I just wish I had the money to travel and see it for myself.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on July 07, 2012:

I traveled here with one of my daughters about 4 years ago. We did a "canyon" tour, and it was so enjoyable.

You did a great job with this Hub, and I loved the photos.

I voted this Hub Up , and I'll share so that others can see again the good work on this Hub.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 19, 2012:

Hi Eddy,

Photos will probably always be my most favorite of souvenirs and Bryce Canyon National Park certainly offered great vistas for my camera. Glad that you liked this. Thanks for your comment.

Eiddwen from Wales on January 19, 2012:

Oh Peggy this is truly beautiful and I have to vote up and bookmark as always.

Yoiur hubs are amazing;always so well presented,interesting and full of awesome images.

What more can we ask for ???

Take care my friend and enjoy your day.

Eddy.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 04, 2011:

Hello Chuck,

As close as you live to Utah, if at all possible you should make the effort to visit Bryce Canyon National Park and as many of the other National and State parks as possible. It is truly a wonderland with so much of the State remaining devoted to public lands. Of course your State of Arizona is also beautiful. Glad you liked the photos and thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 04, 2011:

Hi Cheryl,

So glad that you enjoyed these pictures from Bryce Canyon. Thanks for your comment. The scenery is truly wonderful. Hard to get a bad photo.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 04, 2011:

Hello Gypsy Willow,

Good point you brought up. People of a certain age can buy lifetime senior citizen passes for national parks and even get discounts or passes to state parks. Since we were traveling with my mother at the time, we received those benefits when visiting Bryce Canyon and other parks as it often covers all the people in a car.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 04, 2011:

Hi dahoglund,

So glad that you enjoyed seeing these photos of Bryce Canyon National Park. Thanks for your comment and the votes! :))

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 04, 2011:

Hi Stephanie,

Bryce Canyon is really something as are all of Utah's national parks. Obviously you have spent some time there as well. Thanks for visiting and leaving your comment.

Chuck Nugent from Tucson, Arizona on October 04, 2011:

I love your pictures. We live in Arizona, just one state south of Utah but, so far, we haven't managed to get to Utah. Our daughter has visited Zion and her pictures from there were great and, of course, you Hub and its pictures are a great incentive for people to go visit Utah.

Thanks for a great Hub and I am now more determined than ever to visit there.

Cheryl J. from Houston, TX on October 04, 2011:

Another beautiful and interesting place to visit and hike. Your photos present a lot of exciting outdoor activities. I love the beautiful and colorful rock formation. The scenery is absolutely awesome. Great photos and videos of Bryce Canyon. Thanks for sharing another informative and interesting hub.

Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on October 04, 2011:

reddog1027, be sure to buy a lifetime senior pass for national parks. It will save you so much money. Have a wonderful trip!

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on October 04, 2011:

A very nice tour of Bryce Canyon National Park.Your pictures are very attractive. voted up,awesome,beautiful and interesting.

Stephanie Henkel from USA on October 04, 2011:

Your hub on Bryce Canyon brings back memories of a wonderful trip to Utah's national parks! Bryce Canyon is so different from any other place I've ever heard about - it almost has an 'other worldly' feel about it. Love the photographs of the canyon and the prairie dogs! As always, you hub is useful, interesting and beautiful. Voted up!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 25, 2010:

Hi reddog1027,

If you visit Bryce Canyon on your cross-country trip, be sure and visit the other National Parks in Utah. They each offer something unique and memorable. Thanks for the visit and comment.

reddog1027 from Atlanta, GA on February 25, 2010:

Thanks for helping me add another stopping point for my "after retirement" cross county road trip.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 03, 2009:

Hi beccas90,

I agree with you that hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park would be an even better way to enjoy the park besides looking at it from above. Such beauty in the West! Thanks for the comment.

beccas90 from New York on October 03, 2009:

The American west just has so many places I've still to visit and this along with Yellowstone are top of my list. I'd love to hike some of the trails as I like to get as close as possible to the park. Thank you for great hub.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 20, 2009:

Hello loveroflife,

Yes, Bryce Canyon National Park is definitely scenic and that quote..."a hell of a place to lose a cow!" most appropriate. Can you imagine trying to round up cattle in that area? Thanks for your comment.

loveroflife on July 20, 2009:

Looks like a wonderful scenic experience.