The rock formations here are quite unique—tall, thin, colorful spires called hoodoos with shades of gold, red, pink, and white. And what a treat—we are viewing them snow-topped! I love the way the storm clouds envelop the plateau like a warm, wooly hat. Sadly, these hoodoos are eroding at a rate of about 1 foot every 60 years! That means some of these rock formations will no longer be standing when future generations visit. How fortunate I am to see them up close and personal as we hike the Queen’s Garden trail!
Bryce Canyon is misnamed. It is not a canyon at all (a canyon has a rim on both sides with land in between), but instead is an amphitheater. And it was found quite by accident by Ebenezer Bryce, a Mormon homesteader after whom the canyon is named, when he went looking for a lost head of cattle. What a cool discovery!
Bryce Canyon National Park is home to the bristlecone pine tree, the longest lived tree species in the world. In fact, one tree at Farview Point dates back 1,500 years! The Park also is “home” to Ponderosa Pine, Pinion Pine, and White Spruce. I am amazed that these trees can grow on canyon walls, cliffs, and crevices. They are truly an example of survival, holding on for dear life, standing on “tip toe” to gain traction and stay grounded. Many trees will succumb to the elements and fall over into the canyon. T-I-M-B-E-R!
Boy, the elevation and the cold are taking my breath away! Rainbow Point is the highest elevation at Bryce, at 9,115 feet.
The area is home to stellar jays, Utah prairie dogs (which are on the endangered list), mule deer, prong-horn deer, and ravens, the smartest of all birds. The lodge here, built in 1900 by the Union-Pacific Railroad, is the only lodge within any of the National Parks that is an original building.
We are staying at Ruby’s Inn and RV Campground in Bryce City, right outside the Park. I give this campground a 5-cheese rating, hands down! Big, spacious sites, fire pits, Wi-Fi, even cable! They provide free access to the pool and spa at the Inn. And better yet, they offer a 3-hour Park Tour free of charge. Our guide Randy was funny, informative, and personable. Ruby’s Inn is a family operation celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.