Today was supposed to be a relaxing day visiting Bryce Canyon. We stayed just about 20 minutes outside the park and in a lovely little cabin. It was nice to have no worries about making noises around us.
We spent five hours at the national park, and yes, it was a relaxing day, but all the fantastic views were somewhat overwhelming.
The Grand Canyon receives 5 million visitors a year, and while somewhat remote, it’s much more accessible than Bryce Canyon, which is smaller and receives 2.5 million visitors yearly.
Most visitors are interested in the first 3 miles of the park, which includes a significant amphitheatre where all the hoodoos are. Because there’s so much traffic and parking is virtually impossible, they have a free shuttle that goes through the various viewpoints of that section of the park. Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunset Point, and Sunrise Point.
A hoodoo is a tall, thin spire of rock formed by erosion. Hoodoos typically consist of relatively soft rock topped by harder, less easily eroded stone that protects each column from the elements. They generally form within sedimentary rock and volcanic rock formations.
The Significance of Bryce Canyon
Some places in the Midwest USA have hoodoos, and only a few other countries, such as Turkey and China. There are even some in France somewhere.
The ones here and Bryce Canyon are probably some of the most magnificent, as they can be as tall as 10 stories high.
We first drove to the end of the park, about 18 miles, to see Rainbow Point. This is the highest point in Bryce Canyon, at a little over 9 thousand feet. We took a mile walk up the rim and around the forest, and I did some amazing birdwatching. I even saw four new birds on my life list.
Driving the route back, we saw a small herd of deer (about eight) feeding off to the side of the road.
The parking at Bryce Point was full, but we were able to get a parking spot. It was getting late in the day, and we didn’t want to take the shuttle – although it sounded appealing.