Trekking through the canyons: 2nd stop Bryce, land of the Hoodoos (11.12.2014)

“There is no place quite like Bryce Canyon. Hoodoos (odd-shaped pillars of rock left standing from the forces of erosion) can be found on every continent, but here is the archetypal “hoodoo-iferous” terrain…”

Hello All!

After Zion my friend and I went to Bryce Canyon National Park, located between Panguitch and Kanab, in Southern Utah. This canyon and forest area has many picture perfect opportunities with its Hoodoos and sandstone cliffs; plenty of imagery to excite the imagination that can be used for fuel to ignite the flash on a camera. Bryce Canyon is definitely a place I’d visit again, maybe I’ll plan on one of the moonlit trails next or the stargazing!

So far, the map of the road trip looks like: Hoover Dam – > Las Vegas – > St. George – > Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah – > Panguitch – > Bryce Canyon National Park – >Kanab

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Below is some quoted information about Bryce:

“Bryce transcends 2000 feet (650 m) of elevation, the park exists in three distinct climatic zones: spruce/fir forest, Ponderosa Pine forest, and Pinyon Pine/juniper forest. This diversity of habitat provides for high biodiversity. Here at Bryce, you can enjoy over 100 species of birds, dozens of mammals, and more than a thousand plant species.”

“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. However, the hoodoos’ geologic story is also closely tied to the rest of the Grand Staircase region and the Cedar and Black Mountains volcanic complex.”

Click here for historical information related to Bryce: History & Culture

Click here for detailed information on these odd shaped pillars of rocks: Hoodoos

Glimpse of Hoodoos taken by my partner and I:

Arriving at Bryce:

P1110580(arrivetobryce)

Glimpse of Hoodoos and forest:

P1110581(glimpseofhoodoos)

This is a view of hoodoos, forest, and the horizon that you can see as far as your eyes will allow:

P1110582(glimpseofhoodoosgreenforestandhorizonaviewyoucanlookasfarasyoureyecansee)

More glimpses of Hoodoos, but these pictures do not give them any justice, the hoodoos must be seen in person:

P1110587(hoodoos) P1110589(hoodoos)

These hoodoos almost look like human figures:

P1110590(thesehoodoosalmostlooklikehumanfigures)

“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.”

Along with the Hoodoos Bryce is known for its arches:

P1110598(brycearch)

Click here to see the variety of experiences you can have at Bryce: Things to do

For Hiking Trails click here: Trails

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Trails with pictures my friend and I went on:

[information collected from hyperlinked links below]

Bristlecone Loop [easy trail]

“The Bristlecone Loop, accessible from Rainbow Point at the southern end of the park, meanders through the forest atop this highest portion of the park, reaching elevations over 9,100 feet (2778 m). Here you will pass by Bristlecone Pines up to 1,800-years-old and experience vistas reaching into the Four Corners area.”

Total Distance: 1.0 miles/1.6 km

Climbing: 195 feet/59 m
Descending: 195 feet/59 m
Min/Max: 8967/9115 feet; 2733/2778 m

At the view point on Bristlecone Trail, view of hoodoos and forest in distance:

P1110583

Next trail we did: Swamp Canyon [moderate trail]

Total Distance: 4.3 miles/7.16 km

Climbing: 800 feet/244 m
Descending: 800 feet/244 m
Min/Max: 7431/8059 feet; 2265/2456 m

“Swamp Canyon appears relatively small and sheltered from the overlook, bounded on both sides by fins and hoodoos. This size allows the viewer to develop a more intimate connection with the landscape than some of the grander viewpoints may provide. From the Swamp Canyon overlook, hikers can descend to either side of the prominence on a trail that will connect with the Under-The-Rim Trail and then return on the other side, making a loop.”

Beginning of Swamp Canyon. This trail takes you down into sandstone canyons that has a Bristlecone Pine forest, then the trail brings you back up to the rim of the Canyon. Sheep creek trail takes you to a camping site near the creek. My partner and I accidentally went off trail and found ourselves at the campsite, which gave us an idea of possibly planning a camping trip at this location on our next trip here.

P1110616(turningbackpointonbristelconetrail)

There are a lot of tall Bristlecone Pines on this trail. It is a very peaceful trail, and the Pines gave me and my partner a calm, serene, feeling while walking. The trails are “traditional” trails, meaning only compacted dirt trails where many walk, no paved concrete trails. This trail really gives you a feel of being in the wilderness; it is a great trail to walk to contemplate life, if one wishes, or to just enjoy being in solitude with nature.

P1110609lotsoflargebristleconetreesonthistrail

Beginning of the climb up the canyon, back to the rim:

P1110611(viewfrombristolconetrailsandstonecanyon)

Halfway up the canyon:

P1110614(bristlelconetrail)

The last trail we did was the Navajo Trail [moderate trail].

“Navajo Trail begins at Sunset Point and travels down into the main amphitheater. This is one of the more popular trails…”

Total Distance: 1.3 miles/2.16 km

Climbing: 550 feet/167 m
Descending: 550 feet/167 m
Min/Max: 7479/8000 feet; 2279/2438 m

This is a popular trail that leads you down into the narrow canyon with view points of many hoodoos.

Pictures inside the canyon, another arch is found on this trail:

P1110631(navahotrailcanyonbetweenhoodoos) P1110632(anotherarchdowninthecanyonofnavajotrail)

There is a place called “two bridges” where you are able to view two small narrow bridges, this is the end of the Navajo trail, a turning back point:

P1110641(endofnavajotrailturningbackpoint) P1110643(navahotrailhoodoosinbackground)

Hoodoos in the background, once we reached the top again, of last photo.

That is the end of my Bryce journey! Next post on trekking through the canyons: the Grand Canyon.

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