We are staying only 21 miles from Bryce Canyon, so it was a very short ride today. The weather was perfect…a sunny 73 degrees with a nice breeze. Bryce Canyon is a very unique place. At Bryce Canyon National Park erosion forms an array of fantastic shapes that are called hoodoos. Geologists say that 10 million years ago forces within the Earth created and then moved the massive clocks known as the Table cliff and Paunsaugunt plateaus. Rock layers on the Table Cliff now tower 2,000 feet above their corresponding layers on the Paunsaugunt. Ancient rivers carved the tops and exposed the edges of these blocks, removing some layers and sculpting formations in others. Over time tall, thin ridges called fins emerge. Fins erode into pinnacles and spires called hoodoos that, weakening and falling, add their colors to the hills below. The Paiutes, that inhibited the area accounted for the hoodoos as the “Legend People” that had been turned to stone. And indeed, a lot of the formations do look like people.
We’ve learned that during the Cretaceous Period (144 million to 65 million years ago) there was a seaway that cut North American into two islands. And it’s the sediments from that shallow seaway from which these formations began to develop.
We took a picnic lunch and ate it overlooking the magical valley. We did have a little company during lunch.
It was a nice, relaxing day at Bryce. Tomorrow we are off to Zion National Park. Then I think we’ll start the journey home.
Here’s a few photos from Bryce.