Bryce Canyon, Utah

Bryce Canyon was a relatively short drive from where we are camped in Glendale, Utah.  It was a Saturday and the parking lot at the Visitor’s Center was jammed.  We made one attempt to find a parking place and it took us almost 10 minutes just to get through the backed up cars.  Way too small a parking lot for such a popular park.   We then drove further into the park and the first two viewpoints had signs saying the parking lots were full and there were Park Rangers directing people away from those roads.

It turned out not to matter so much because once we got further away from the entrance the number of cars dropped off a lot.  We stopped at a number of view points and took in the scenery.

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Once again, an absolutely spectacular landscape that was completely different from anything we’ve seen before.

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The columns, which are called hoodoos, are made of limestone.  Millions of years ago Bryce Canyon was at the bottom of a lake.  The different colors come from the times when iron-rich deposits washed into the lake and periods when the lake dried up.

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There was one large natural arch which probably won’t last that long.  The limestone is very crumbly and falls apart easily.  At every viewing area we stopped to take a look the limestone just outside the fence looked like it was ready to fall apart with a little rain or breeze.  It must be more solid where it isn’t exposed or it all would have fallen away a long time ago.

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We drove out to Rainbow Point which is at 9915 feet and is the far end of the road.  We had a picnic lunch there and then took in the scenery.

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The road out to Rainbow Point ran right along the top of the ridge and there were often views down into the canyon while we were driving.

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The weather was good but we were glad we’d brought our jackets.  It did warm up, but it was windy day and at several spots the wind was funneled straight up at us.  At one spot there was a narrow canyon down below us and in a small area next to the fence the wind was strong enough that I had to hold onto my hat to make sure I didn’t lose it.

Bryce 03 Susan

We’d give the park a B for handicap accessibility.  Almost all of the viewpoints were paved with wheelchair cuts in the curbing.  We never got into the visitor center because the parking lot was so crowded but there were only about 4 handicap parking spots there, which are too few for the size of the park.

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