Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hoodoo -- Bryce Canyon National Park


A Hoodoo is also known as a "tent rock", a "fairy chimney" or a "earth pyramid".  These are what make up the  various rock formations, formed by frost weather, that have created these giant natural amphitheaters along Bryce's east side.  To say that Bryce is a canyon is not really correct...but it sounds better than Bryce Hoodoos National Park.  Regardless, Bryce is "Goodoo", a very beautiful goodoo.


Throughout the park one can see these giant creations which take so many different shapes and sizes.


Sometimes they form arches.

Sometimes you just see the start of an arch, what they call “windows” in this area.


But most of the time you see pillars, many many pillars,


Highway 63 leads to the entrance of the park from Highway 12, which is a designated scenic highway which, if you have an opportunity to drive, do drive it.  Once you enter the park the road does not seem to have a name….but do not worry, this road essentially travels for 18 miles to the south end of the park where Rainbow Point is located.  From there, you must turn back and retrace your steps. Since I have been here many times before, I knew that the best time to enter the park is after the sun has had an opportunity to rise fully into the sky…this time of year it means after 10 am.  Otherwise, you are trying to get pictures shooting directly into the sun…missing out on the full variety of redness much of the rock formations have. 


I also find that if you travel all the way to end of the park without using any of the many pull outs to view the scenery, and then start working your way back to the front of the park, that the flow seems to work much better.  In fact, when we got to Rainbow Point around 12:30, we had no problem getting a parking place….but when we left, the parking lot was nearly full.  You are also at an elevation of just over 9,100 feet, the highest elevation on the road…and as you can see above, you get a great view.


And as you travel around the area, you can start to see the many Hoodoos.  I prefer “rock formations”, so don’t worry, I won’t use the strange word “Hoodoo” any more.


We first visited along the paved pathway near the parking lot, with the dogs, and took a few hundred shots.  (Well, it seems like a few hundred, but it was just many.)  After that, we put the dogs in the car (temps were in the low-60’s) and we took one of the many dirt/rock pathways where dogs are not allowed.  The GoGo did very well, but there were some short areas where I had to help push it along, and help Marcia get over the three or four semi-washed out areas of the pathway.  It was easy to help, except the 9,000 feet elevation was a bit hard to deal with.


As we headed back our next major stop was at Agua Canyon.


Although the formations have many similarities, due to how they were formed, each has a unique and definitive shape and size.  You stand there staring out trying to capture it all…which is impossible to do, so you capture all that you can before you move on.


Our next stop was at Natural Bridges…a picture I already shared earlier in this blog.  But if you compare the first picture and this picture where the green arrow is, you can see that in this photo you can see this rock stands away from the rocks to the right, while the first picture makes it look like it is part of the rocks to the right.  Until I moved to the right I could not even see that it stood away from the rest of the rocks.  There is so many shadows, colors, depths that it is easy for your eyes to be fooled.

40b   40a

Farview Point, above, is just that….you get a “Far View”.  This was probably one of our shortest stops, and Marcia did not even get out of the car.


The next area we got to was where Sheep Creek and Swamp Canyon trails come together. I told Marcia she needed to get out for this one, and both stood there in awe at the many things to look, some close and some afar. 


This large formation caught our eye because we just have to wonder how these trees can grow right out from the rocks?  

60a     60b

As come down to the 8,000 feet level, there is a meadow with a number of Pronghorns right near the road.  We then turn right into an area where Para View, Bryce Point, and Inspiration Point are located.

70a    70b

Our first stop is Para View, and we again take the dogs for along walk along a paved sidewalk which which goes off to the right to a point.  

70c    70d

Again, the view from Para View is outstanding as all of the stops have been.


Finally we get to Bryce Point.  The opening picture and the “windows” picture shown earlier were taken from this area.  Marcia could not get out all the way to the point because the of the steepness of the pathway.  When I was got back to her, and to the car, I was beat….so we decided that would just have to finish up the park on another day.  So we will go back, which should not be too hard since it is only 15 miles from the RV park to the entrance…and the areas we want to see are close to the entrance.  


As we start to leave the park we see three deer alongside the road.  We did not expect to see wildlife, and yet we saw both Deer and Pronghorn…not bad.  Tomorrow it will either be Zion, or Cedar Breaks National Monument.


  1. I love Bryce and you really got some great pictures.

    1. Thanks. It is SO HARD to narrow down the pictures to just a few....

  2. Thanks for all these lovely photos of Bryce Canyon. We had a wonderful time there two years ago. It's a great place for Marcia since you can see most of it from the road turnouts.

    We couldn't get into Cedar Break. It was still closed for snow. We were there in May and they don't usually open til mid June. Take lots of photos!!

    1. In our travels over the last three years we have found many places to visit in which Marcia can enjoy it without the necessity of getting out of the car very often....and when she does, the GoGo comes in handy when it is a long walk. I only wish the motor was a little stronger, but it is as it is. Will get lots of pictures of Cedar Break for you.


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