Bryce Canyon National Park

Click on thumbnail above for enlarged panorama.

We decided to skip lunch today to save time and instead had one of those huge and gross $4 buffet breakfasts that is served at every casino/hotel in Las Vegas. After hiring a fork-lift to get us to the airport, we took off for Bryce Canyon. On the way we passed over the city of St. George and what we believe was Zion National Park. We took some aerial shots, but we'll save them for the Zion Park portion of our tour.
Bryce Canyon was named after Ebenezer Bryce, a cattle rancher. His cattle grazed in and among the fantastic formations of the area. He is quoted as saying that the canyon would be, "...a hell of a place to lose a cow." From our perspective, it'd be a hell of a place for US to get lost too!

The vertical rock spires are called "hoodoos." They are carved by the repeated action of freezing and thawing in combination with all the other forces of erosion. The night-time temperture at Bryce drops below freezing an average of 200 times per year! A Native American name for the area is, "Red rocks standing like men in a bowl shaped canyon." Obviously these Native Americans were extremely literal in their naming of Bryce! The beautiful colors of these formations are due to iron (reds, yellows, and browns) and manganese compounds (purples.)
Bryce Canyon is not an actual canyon. It's really a series of bowl-shaped amphitheaters. These are carved out of the edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Bryce is quite high up at about 7500 feet. Because of this altitude, even though the day-time temperaturesare quite pleasent, the night-time temperatures drop to the 20's or the teens.

Fairyland Point panorama

Click on the title or thumbnail above to download a 3-picture-wide panorama of Fairyland Point, one of the many bowls that contain incredible arrays of hoodoo (hoodoos???). Note that this JPEG image is very wide and you will have to scroll the page to see the entire picture.

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