Bryce Canyon National Park

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The barren pink rock is in contrast to the green forests of Blue Spruce, Douglas Fir and White Fir.

I doubt that Homesteader Ebenezer Bryce expected his name to be remembered in such a stupendous way.  Born in Scotland, he converted to Mormonism and after being disowned by his family moved to America, then west to Utah in the 1850’s with others of his faith.  These white people called the area “badlands.”  The twists and turns of the slot canyons with their dead ends and high walls must have seemed unexplainable and strange to these settlers.  Now we look down on them in awe and fascination.

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We didn’t spend a lot of time in Bryce Canyon on this trip, only an afternoon.  These pictures were taken at Rainbow Point which has an elevation over 9,000 feet and is the highest point in the park.

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Slopes such as these lack vegetation and left unprotected are continually worn away by rain & melting snow.
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The cliffs of Bryson Canyon are only a small part of the area known as The Grand Staircase, seen here in the distance.

Because of its high elevation Bryce Canyon is a pleasant park to visit in the summer, with most days ranging in the 70’s to low 80’s.  When we visited in October it was unseasonably warm, and we wore only T Shirts in this high climate.

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We ran into a group of ladies from Germany, trying to take a group pic with an I Pad. I helped them take a photo and they returned the favor for us. Of course they were taken with Harley, our little German.

 

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Bryce Canyon is not a canyon at all but a series of immense amphitheaters.

The hoodoos at Bryce Canyon reach up to 200 feet high.  They are unique in the world, as are their sisters in Cedar Breaks National Monument.

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The red and pink colors are from the mineral hematite, This mineral occurs when particles of iron combine with oxygen and oxidize (rust).
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Unsurprisingly these are known as the White Cliffs.

Rainbow Point is at the end of the road into Bryce Canyon.  Going back down the mountains we stopped at Natural Bridge Overlook.

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We were trying to out run a tour bus of southerners, who were well fed and slow to exit their bus, having no awareness of holding up traffic. Being a replanted southerner myself, I can think of no worse way to see America.

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This bridge (or arch) is a result of: Frost wedging, which happens when water turns to ice and expands in cracks of the rocks which results in weakening of the rock; Dissolution, which is the wearing down of the rock by rainwater; and Gravity, which over time pulled loose the rock which had been worn down by the other forces, causing the hole.  See: http://www.nps.gov/brca/planyourvisit/naturalbridge.htm.

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Some of the the most colorful rock in the park is in this area, which makes the bridge even more striking.

Bryce Canyon is adjacent to Dixie National Forest.  We stopped so I could get a few pics near the Visitor’s Center.

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Its beautiful, how the sandstone tops these red rocks.
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Another area of many in Utah, which resembles a city on a hill.
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Getting out of the trees, I was able to capture these hoodoos a little clearer.
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Like the entrance to a medieval castle in the distance.
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These hoodoos can be reached by a trail, but it was late in the day and we were tired.

There are many other areas to see in this park, which we’ve visited in the past.  These were closed because it was nearing the end of October and they were getting ready for snow.  Names such as The Queen’s Garden, The Hat Shop, The Silent City and Fairyland Canyon give an idea of other areas to explore in the park.  Because its such a cool park, I’d like to spend some time hiking here, but because of the altitude we would have to plan on a bit of time getting our lungs used to the elevation before going out.  I have photos from a trip several years ago and will add these in time to this journal, but for now I’m trying to stay current with the places we’re visiting presently.  I’ll end this page by quoting from “Bryce Canyon, The Story Behind the Scenery,” by John Bezy.

“There are deep canyons and rooms resembling ruins of prisons, castles, churches with their guarded walls, battlements, spires, and steeples, niches and recesses, presenting the wildest and most wonderful scene that the eye of man ever beheld, in fact it is one of the wonders of the world.” by T.C. Bailey, 1876,  (a government land surveyor.)