Being a Tourist at Bryce Canyon National Park – A Photo Essay

The mornings were spent hiking at Bryce Canyon, but the afternoons and evenings we played tourist just like thousands of others. We rode the shuttle. We checked out all the overlooks. We oohed and aahed. We took lots of pictures.

The first three miles inside the park is where you will find Bryce Amphitheater. The most iconic but also most popular views are found along the canyon rim here. Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunrise and Sunset Points all have breathtaking viewing of the hoodoos that populate the amphitheater. We also went to Paria View to see the sunset.

Hoodoos here begin as fins capped with dolomite extending from the rim of the plateau. Each year brings nearly a 200 day freeze-thaw cycle, combined with the effects of CO2 fueled acid rain, to erode the hoodoos and create windows in these fins. Eventually the caprock caves in creating hoodoos.

As the streams and rivers that feed the Grand Canyon carved down into the rock layers, the headwaters moved slowly, further and further back, like fingers into the rim of the plateau creating a bowl-shaped pattern. This is the genesis of the main Bryce Amphitheater and the other smaller theaters that adorn the plateau, creating the most dense collection of hoodoos in the world.

If you want to learn more about some of the hiking trails available at Bryce Canyon National Park you can see my reports here:

Fairyland Loop Trail
Mossy Cave Trail
Queens Garden Trail
Bristlecone Loop Trail
Swamp Canyon Trail

But if you just want to be a tourist, you can do that too. Put simply, Bryce Canyon is one of the most unusual and awesome places on Earth. If you’ve been, you know what I’m talking about. If not, you need to plan a trip. You will be inspired and amazed. Enjoy the photos! Feel free you leave your comments below the thumbnails gallery.



This post was created by Jeff Clark. Please feel free to use the sharing icons below, or add your thoughts to the comments. Pack it in, pack it out. Preserve the past. Respect other hikers. Let nature prevail. Leave no trace.

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