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The two RV Gypsies at
Bryce Canyon National Park
August 9 and 10, 2012

Welcome to Bryce sign
Bryce Canyon airport

Bryce Canyon National Park is located in southwestern Utah. The major feature of the park is Bryce Canyon which, despite its name, is not a canyon but a collection of giant natural amphitheaters along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau.

awesomeBryce is distinctive due to geological structures called hoodoos, formed by frost weathering and stream erosion of the river and lake bed sedimentary rocks. The red, orange, and white colors of the rocks provide spectacular views for park visitors. Bryce sits at a much higher elevation than nearby Zion National Park. The rim at Bryce varies from 8,000 to 9,000?feet.

clipart of an history bookThe Bryce Canyon area was settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1850s and was named after Ebenezer Bryce, who homesteaded in the area in 1874. The area around Bryce Canyon became a U.S. National Monument in 1923 and was designated as a national park in 1928. The park covers 35,835 acres (55.99?square?miles).

sign: Welcome to Bryce Canyon National Park
sign: watch for horses and groundhogs crossing the streets

Although a tram is available, the two RV Gypsies decided to drive their own truck on the 37-mile round-trip drive to Bryce Canyon's most popular viewpoints. It was a short walk from the parking lots to the view points, and the two RV Gypsies did NOT find it necessary to do any heavy duty hiking because it was a very hot day, although there are lots of hiking trails throughout Bryce Canyon National Park.

sign: Sunrise Point, elevation 8015

The two RV Gypsies found their first view of Bryce Canyon dramatic, as rows of pine trees veiled the color and grandeur of the canyon until they reached the rim after a short walk from the parking lot to Sunrise Point. Here the brilliant hues came alive.

first view of Bryce Canyon

The view to the northeast from Sunrise Point captures Boat Mesa and the Sinking Ship, set against the stark pink cliffs of the Aquarius Plateau.

Boat Mesa and the Sinking Ship
Karen Duquette at Sunset view point Bryce Canyon

It is the uniqueness of the rocks that caused Bryce Canyon to be designated as a National Park. These famous spires, called "hoodoos," are formed when ice and rainwater wear away the weak limestone that makes up the Claron Formation.

panorama of Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon

The two RV Gypsies at Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon

The two RV Gypsies at Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon
The two RV Gypsies at Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon
Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon
panorama at Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon

Looking south from Sunrise Point

Looking south from Sunrise Point
Sunset Point

Queen's Garden Trail is an easy to moderate trail that descends into a section of hoodoos ruled by the Queen Victoria hoodoo. The two RV Gypsies only walked the first few feet of the easy part so they did not get to see the Queen Victoria hoodoo, yet they still got some wonderful photos and were pleased with their choice.

sign: Sunrise Point Queen's Garden Grail

The Limber Pine at Sunrise Point, roots exposed by erosion of the rim, serves as a reminder of the resilience and ability of life to adapt to adverse conditions, and also of the rapidity with which the scene before us is disappearing. Geologists have calculated that the rim of the canyon is eroding at a rate of two to four feet every century and that in approximately three million years, Bryce Canyon will be gone forever.sad face

Limber Pine at Sunrise Point
an unique view of Sunrise Point
sometimes hard rock looks like sand

The main amphitheater has four primary viewpoints - Sunrise, Sunset, Inspiration, and Bryce Points - and all of them are connected by The Rim Trail. Below is an area known as The Queen's Garden located below Sunrise Point.

The main amphitheater & Queeen's Garden
view from Sunrise Point
Limber Pine and hoodoos

Thanks to Karen's zoom lens, some great close-ups of the hoodoos were captured.

close-up of hoodoos with zoom camera

There are so many hoodoos at Bryce Canyon, that most of the hoodoos do NOT have names.

hoodoo close-up

The geologic term, hoodoo, lives on at Bryce Canyon National Park as perpetuated by early geologists who thought the rock formations could cast a spell on you with their magical spires and towering arches.

amphitheater of hoodoos
a neat formation of hoodoos
another panorama
a pointy hoodoo
a smaller but tall pointy hoodoo
notice the yellow in the hoodoos
nature's beauty
Thor's Hammer
hoodoos look like 2 teeth with a space in-between

Suddenly it started to rain hard and the two RV Gypsies ran to their car and ate lunch in their car. They were glad they didn't take the shuttle bus or they wouldn't have had any shelter or place to eat their lunch.

After the storm ended, the two RV Gypsies spotted a tree that was hit by Lightning.

rain storm
lightning strike

Then the two RV Gypsies continued on the drive to see more of Bryce Canyon's most popular viewpoints. See the menu below for photos.

Bryce Canyon National Park - Menu (Index)

Please enjoy the other ten view points within Bryce Canyon National Park as listed below.
bullet You may choose any underlined view point below in any order you choose.

look below for Bryce's menu and options

1. Sunrise Point (this page)

2. Sunset Point

3. Inspiration Point

4. Bryce Point

5. Paria View

6. Farview Point

7. Natural Bridge

8. Rainbow Point

9. Black Birch Canyon

10. ATV tour

11. Fairyland Canyon

Look below

go back to the Colorado Menu page Please return to the Utah menu page for the other eleven adventures
of the two RV Gypsies in Utah - national parks, goblin valley and more.