Bryce Canyon National Park



A land that captures the imagination and the heart, Bryce is a favorite among Utah's national parks. Although its splendor had been well known for decades, Bryce Canyon wasn't designated a national park until 1928. The park is named for Ebenezer Bryce, a pioneer cattleman and the first permanent settler in the area. His description of the landscape not being hospitable to cows has oft been repeated. Even more than his famous quote, however, Bryce Canyon is known for its fanciful "hoodoos," best viewed at sunrise or sunset, when the light plays off the red rock.

In geological terms, Bryce is actually an amphitheater, not a canyon. The hoodoos in the amphitheater took on their unusual shapes because the top layer of rock— "cap rock"—is harder than the layers below it. If erosion undercuts the soft rock beneath the cap too much, the hoodoo will tumble. Bryce continues to evolve today, but the hoodoos are a permanent feature; old ones may die, but new ones are constantly forming as the amphitheater rim recedes.

Find a Hotel

Related Articles

10 Incredible Things to Do in Bears Ears National Monument
Bears Ears National Monument is considered by many to be among the country’s most important and beautiful national monuments. This national monument is home to intriguing canyons, ridges, waterways, and ruins. Our ten picks for the park’s most incredible experiences offer something for nature lovers and history buffs of all stripes, from a leisurely drive through scenic Indian Creek to multi-day cycling and rafting trips.

13 Southwestern Slot Canyons That Will Take Your Breath Away
Slot canyons, narrow passages between soaring sandstone walls, are rare natural beauties. Only a tiny handful of places in the world have the right combination of desert, geology and flash-flooding to carve the earth so precisely. In the U.S., these labyrinthine mazes of light and shadow are concentrated in the high-elevation desert along the border between Utah and Arizona. Each slot is a little different—some are tame and the distance between the walls never narrows more than a few feet, others are treacherous, filled with giant boulders to scramble, ice-cold pools to swim through and palisades so narrow that the average hiker can’t fit through without turning to the side and sucking in the gut. These 14 Southwestern canyons will, quite literally, take your breath away.

Bears Ears Is Rich With Native American Culture—But Leave the National Monument to Experience It
The area is replete with Native history and society, but you’ll have to leave the park to best learn about it.

Around the Web