What can I say about Bryce Canyon National Park? Incredible! The park is located in Southwestern Utah close to Zion National Park but farther North About 50 miles and I 1000′ higher. The weather is a lot cooler and receives alot more precipitation so it’s always a good idea to dress warm when you arrive.
I’ve been fascinated with Bryce Canyon ever since I was a young kid going there a few times with my family. To be honest, Bryce Canyon really got me intrested in photography even though at the time I only had my phone camera . Little did I know that this was the start of something big for me! There were so many interesting and amazing rock formations that I had to stop a lot to catch different angles and views. I also thought the colors were beautiful and vibrant.
The Queen’s garden trail and Navajo loop trail is a 2.6 mile heavily trafficked moderate trail that is very scenic. This hike is considered by many to be the best way to see the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon. The views from sunset point and sunrise point on the rim area are stunning but being down on the Canyon floor while looking up at the hoodois is a different experience and cannot be missed!
I found the history of Bryce Canyon very interesting dating back 10,000 years starting with the Anasazi and the Palute Indians that moved into the valleys and plateaus in the area. They hunted and gathered for most of their food and later developed a mythology surrounding the hoodoos ,believing that they were the legend people whom the trickster Coyote turned to stone. I have to say a lot of the hoodoos did look like they had heads and faces on them which I thought was pretty comical. It was not until the late 18th and 19th century that the 1st European Americans explored the remote area. Mormon scouts visited the area in 1850 to gauge its potential agricultural development. The church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints sent Scottish immigrant Ebenezer Bryce and his wife Mary to settle the land in Paria Valley because they thought his carpentry skills would be useful in the area. The Bryce family chose to live right below Bryce amphitheater which is a collection of hoodoos in the park. Bryce grazed his cattle inside what are now park borders and soon other settlers started calling the place Bryce’s Canyon. A combination of drought, over grazing and flooding eventually drove the remaining settlers from the area. Bryce moved his family to Arizona in 1880. Years later members of Congress started to work on upgrading Bryce Canyon protection status from a National monument to a National Park so in 1928 the rename the Bryce Canyon National Park was established.
There are many things to do in the park and a must see is the scenic drive which provides access to 13 view points over the amphitheaters. The Canyon has 8 marked hiking trails that can be hiked in less than a day. The park also has 2 trails designated for overnight hiking. I was able to catch an area where there were previous forest fires that had burned trees and the Sun with setting which made for a nice sunset photo with a rather spooky look to it.
If you are into National parks with a view, red rock and beautiful scenery, this is the place to see! There are 2 campgrounds in the park and a large lodge, a few amenities which is a good thing because you will want at least a couple days to explore!