WUDN

March-2024

Exploring the Great Outdoors: 5 Must-Visit Features of Every National Park in the United States

WUDN Outdoor Adventure (National Park Series)

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Part 16 of Our National Park Series

Bryce Canyon National Park

National Park Series > Southwestern US > Bryce Canyon National Park

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Step into another world at Bryce Canyon National Park, where a forest of towering hoodoos stretches as far as the eye can see. Sunrise and sunset are not to be missed here, as the delicate spires are bathed in hues of pink, orange, and gold, creating a surreal landscape straight out of a fairy tale. Hiking trails wind their way through the hoodoo-filled amphitheaters, offering up-close encounters with these otherworldly formations. For an unforgettable experience, saddle up and explore the park on horseback, channeling the spirit of the Old West as you ride beneath the towering cliffs.

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Bryce Canyon National Park - Photo by Philip Graves on Unsplash

Top 5 Outdoor Adventures in: Bryce Canyon National Park

1. Hiking the Trails:

Bryce Canyon offers a variety of hiking trails that cater to all skill levels, from easy strolls to challenging treks. The most iconic trail is the Queens Garden/Navajo Loop, which takes you down into the canyon amidst a forest of hoodoos. For a longer hike, consider the Fairyland Loop or the challenging Peekaboo Loop, both of which offer stunning views of the park's unique rock formations.

2. Scenic Overlooks:

Take in the breathtaking vistas of Bryce Canyon from the park's numerous scenic overlooks. Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, and Inspiration Point are among the most popular spots to witness the changing colors of the hoodoos as the sun rises and sets. Don't miss Bryce Point for panoramic views of the entire amphitheater and the surrounding landscape.

3. Photography:

Bryce Canyon is a photographer's paradise, with endless opportunities to capture stunning images of the park's otherworldly landscapes. Whether you're shooting the sunrise over the hoodoos, capturing the play of light and shadow on the canyon walls, or photographing the Milky Way against the dark night sky, Bryce Canyon offers endless inspiration for photographers of all skill levels.

4. Stargazing:

With its high elevation and minimal light pollution, Bryce Canyon is one of the best places in the country for stargazing. Join a ranger-led astronomy program or simply find a quiet spot away from the crowds to marvel at the brilliance of the night sky. On clear nights, you can see thousands of stars, as well as planets, constellations, and even the Milky Way.

5. Ranger Programs:

Take advantage of the ranger-led programs offered at Bryce Canyon, which provide valuable insights into the park's geology, ecology, and cultural history. Join a guided hike, attend a campfire talk, or participate in a night sky program to learn more about the wonders of Bryce Canyon and deepen your appreciation for this unique natural environment.

In Bryce Canyon National Park, some of the top attractions that draw visitors from around the world include:

Bryce Canyon National Park is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and unique geological formations. Here are the top four must-see attractions in the park:

1. Bryce Amphitheater:
Bryce Amphitheater is the park's most iconic and visually stunning area, showcasing a vast collection of hoodoos, spires, and rock formations in various shapes and sizes. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the amphitheater from multiple viewpoints along the Rim Trail, including Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, and Inspiration Point. These overlooks offer breathtaking vistas of the colorful hoodoos and the surrounding canyon landscape, especially during sunrise and sunset when the rock formations are bathed in golden light.

2. Navajo Loop and Queen's Garden Trail:
The Navajo Loop and Queen's Garden Trail is one of the park's most popular hiking routes, offering an immersive journey through the heart of Bryce Canyon's hoodoo-filled landscape. This moderate 3-mile loop trail descends into the canyon, winding through towering rock formations, narrow slot canyons, and lush forests of ponderosa pines. Highlights along the trail include Thor's Hammer, Wall Street, and the Queen Victoria rock formation. Hiking the Navajo Loop and Queen's Garden Trail provides an unforgettable opportunity to explore the park's geological wonders up close.

3. Bryce Point:
Bryce Point is another must-see viewpoint in the park, offering sweeping vistas of the amphitheater and beyond. From this vantage point, visitors can marvel at the intricate patterns and vibrant colors of the hoodoos as they stretch out into the distance. Bryce Point is particularly popular for sunrise and sunset photography, as the changing light creates dramatic shadows and contrasts on the rock formations. It's also a great spot to appreciate the vastness and beauty of Bryce Canyon's unique landscape.

4. Fairyland Loop Trail:
For visitors seeking a longer and more adventurous hike, the Fairyland Loop Trail offers an immersive journey through Bryce Canyon's less-visited Fairyland area. This 8-mile loop trail winds through a wonderland of hoodoos, spires, and rocky terrain, providing stunning vistas and opportunities for wildlife viewing along the way. Highlights of the Fairyland Loop Trail include Tower Bridge, Chinese Wall, and Fairyland Point, where hikers can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Some Real Wooden Style for Your Trip

We are working on more branded merch to accompany your trip. In the meantime, here is a pair of real wooden shades for some excellent style while you hike the back-country of Bryce Canyon National Park.

6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)
6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)

6 oz. Wooden Hip Flask (US National Park Collection in Mahogany)

$35.00
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How to Get To Bryce Canyon National Park

To reach Bryce Canyon National Park, visitors typically travel by car, as the park is located in a remote area of southern Utah with limited public transportation options. Here are some common routes to reach the park:

1. From Salt Lake City, Utah: Bryce Canyon is approximately 270 miles south of Salt Lake City. Visitors can drive south on Interstate 15 to Highway 20 (near Beaver, Utah), then take Highway 89 south to Highway 12. Follow Highway 12 east to the park entrance.

2. From Las Vegas, Nevada: Bryce Canyon is approximately 270 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Visitors can drive north on Interstate 15 to Highway 20 (near Beaver, Utah), then take Highway 89 south to Highway 12. Follow Highway 12 east to the park entrance.

3. From Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona: Bryce Canyon is approximately 270 miles northwest of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Visitors can take Highway 67 north from the North Rim to Highway 89A, then Highway 89A north to Kanab, Utah. From Kanab, take Highway 89 north to Highway 12, and follow Highway 12 east to the park entrance.

4. From Salt Lake City International Airport: Visitors flying into Salt Lake City International Airport can rent a car and follow the directions mentioned above to reach Bryce Canyon National Park.

Once at the park, visitors can explore the scenic drives, hiking trails, and viewpoints by car or on foot. It's essential to check current road conditions and park alerts before traveling to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.

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History and Creation of Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park, located in southern Utah, boasts a captivating history deeply intertwined with geological evolution, Native American presence, and European exploration. The area's story begins millions of years ago when ancient seas covered much of what is now the southwestern United States. Over time, sedimentation and erosion shaped the landscape, creating the unique rock formations known as hoodoos that define Bryce Canyon today.

The region has a long history of human occupation, with evidence of Native American presence dating back over 10,000 years. The Paiute tribe, who called the area home for centuries, referred to the canyon as "Unka-timpe-wa-wince-pock-ich," meaning "red rocks standing like men in a bowl-shaped canyon." They crafted tools, hunted game, and left behind rock art throughout the region.

European exploration of Bryce Canyon began in the late 18th century, with Spanish explorers venturing into the area in search of new trade routes and resources. However, it wasn't until the late 19th century that the region gained widespread attention from settlers and adventurers. Mormon pioneers, led by Ebenezer Bryce, homesteaded in the area in the 1870s, and Bryce Canyon was named after him.

In the early 20th century, the unique geological features of Bryce Canyon began to attract the interest of scientists, artists, and conservationists. President Warren G. Harding designated Bryce Canyon as a national monument in 1923 to protect its scenic beauty and geological significance. Later, in 1928, President Calvin Coolidge signed legislation establishing Bryce Canyon National Park, preserving over 35,000 acres of stunning rock formations, hoodoos, and ancient forests.

Since its creation, Bryce Canyon National Park has become a beloved destination for visitors from around the world. Its otherworldly landscapes, colorful rock formations, and clear night skies attract nature enthusiasts, hikers, photographers, and stargazers alike. Today, the park continues to inspire wonder and awe, inviting visitors to explore its unique geological wonders and connect with the natural world.

/Fin. Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park, located in southern Utah, is a mesmerizing landscape of otherworldly beauty and geological wonders. Renowned for its stunning hoodoos, towering spires, and colorful rock formations, Bryce Canyon offers visitors a captivating glimpse into the forces of nature at work over millions of years. From the iconic Bryce Amphitheater to the winding trails of the Fairyland Loop, the park invites exploration and discovery at every turn. Whether admiring the breathtaking vistas from Sunrise Point or hiking through the labyrinthine canyons, visitors are sure to be enchanted by the unique landscapes and timeless allure of Bryce Canyon National Park.

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Bryce Canyon National Park - Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

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Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

About the Author

Jaimeleigh Christian

Jaimeleigh Christian

Jaime is passionate about the outdoors and traveling throughout these gorgeous United States. Especially National Parks in the Pacific Northwest. 

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Travel

Outdoor Adventure Series

National Parks

Tour Guide

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