Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon in Utah

Bryce canyon is located in Southwestern Utah.  It has some very unique geological formations.  Bryce is distinctive due to geological structures called hoodoos, formed by wind, water, and ice erosion of the river and lake bed sedimentary rocks.  The rim at Bryce varies from 8,000 to 9,000 ft.  Bryce Canyon was not formed from erosion initiated from a central stream, meaning it technically is not a canyon. Instead headward erosion has excavated large amphitheater-shaped features.  This erosion exposed delicate and colorful pinnacles called hoodoos that are up to 200 feet high.

I hiked down into the canyon and back out using a combination of the following trails.  Also, the views from sunrise and sunset point are amazing at sunrise.  Take a look at some of the pics to get an idea. 
Rim Trail (0-11 mi/0-17.7 km round trip) Outstanding views of hoodoos from above. Trail is paved and fairly level between Sunset and Sunrise Points.

Queens Garden (1.8 mi/2.9 km round trip) This is the least difficult trail into the canyon. Using your imagination you may even see Queen Victoria at the end of a short spur trail
Navajo Trail (1.3 mi/2.2 km round trip) Navajo Trail is open only on the Wall Street side (Thors Hammer/Two Bridges side is closed due to rockfall and trail damage). The trail begins at Sunset Point and goes down into Bryce Amphitheater through a "slot" canyon where large Douglas-fir trees are stretching to reach sunlight high above.
I also did a trip to Arches National park which is not too far from Bryce canyon.  Both can be seen in 2-3 days but more time would be needed for a complete survey.

Thank you,
Chris Clark