Bryce Canyon National Park

 

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The Ultimate Southwest Vacation includes Bryce Canyon!

Stay in Mount Carmel Junction, the heart of the parks, and visit the treasures of the Southwest.

Mileage from Mt. Carmel Jct.
Bryce Canyon 60 miles
Zion National Park 12 miles
Grand Staircase 9 miles
Sand Dunes 11 miles
Dixie Forest 22 miles
Cedar Breaks 45 miles
Red Canyon 47 miles
Coyote Butte 57 miles
North Rim 85 miles
Toroweap 90 miles

Plan your Bryce Canyon
vacation with our Utah
maps and information

In these pages you will find insiders information on Bryce Canyon adventures and hiking. This detailed guide includes road maps, park maps, pictures, trail beta, backpacking, history, fees, geology, flora, fauna, campgrounds, things for kids to do and even information on Bryce Canyon's hidden treasures.

Making summer memories in the Utah National Parks and National Monuments.

Utah!

 

Bryce Canyon  National Park Map

Bryce Canyon Map

Directions to Bryce Canyon

From Salt Lake City travel south on Interstate 15 past Beaver to UT 20. Exit on UT 20. Turn south on UT 89 and travel past Panguitch. Follow UT 89 to UT 12. Travel along UT 12 through Red Canyon to Bryce Canyon. Turn south on UT 63 to enter the park.

From Las Vegas: Travel Interstate 15 past St. George to Exit 16. Drive through Hurricane, Utah. Follow Hwy 9 through Hurricane and to the only stop light in LaVerkin. Turn right at the stop light. Continue on Hwy 9 to the south entrance of Zion Park. Drive through Zion to the junction of UT 9 and UT 89 at Mt. Carmel Jct. Turn north on UT 89, then exit on UT 12.

Follow UT 12 through Red Canyon, turning south on UT 63 to enter Bryce Canyon.

Bryce Canyon History

The Mossy Cave Trail in Bryce Canyon is a fun and easy trail for children. The hike goes past a stream, and then splits. One fork goes to the Mossy cave and the other to a desert waterfall.

 

 

 

Bryce Canyon History

Long ago, at the end of the Ice Age, the Paleo-indians hunted among the magnificent fins and hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. Puzzle pieces of ancient artifacts have been gathered leading scientists to believe that the Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) Indians lived in the Bryce Canyon vicinity over 2000 years ago. It is thought that they entered the area to harvest pine nuts and hunt rabbits, but the environment there was harsh and other places offered a better life. The next inhabitants were the Fremont Indians who stayed until the 1200s. More recently, it was the Paiute Indians that lived and hunted around Bryce Canyon. John Wesley Powell reported the names that the Paiute Indians had given to many of the rock structures in Bryce Canyon. In the 1870's, it was the Mormon pioneers that settled near Bryce Canyon. Bryce Canyon was established as a National Park in 1928 and named after Ebenezer Bryce, an early Mormon settler, who homesteaded in Bryce in the mid 1870's. In about 1880 Ebenezer and family left the Bryce Canyon area, moved to the Gila River Valley in Arizona and established the town of Bryce.  Ebenezer died the 26th of September, 1913 and is buried in the Bryce Cemetery.

What's a Hoodoo?

A Paiute Indian myth says "the animal legend people who lived in Bryce Canyon long ago, displeased the coyote. Angered, he turned all the people to rock." Today, while visiting Bryce Canyon think of the legend when looking down into the amphitheaters and imagine the ancient people with their straight posture, in the form of hoodoos. The name Bryce Canyon in Paiute means:"bowl shaped canyon filled with red rocks standing up like men."

Geological History of Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon's geological history is intriguing, as the current display of rock would suggest. Bryce Canyon will cast it's spell on humankind with the magnificence of hoodoo temples, twisted rock spires and hat capped domes. An incredible geological story is told as wide flat rocks, called fins, are molded into windows. The windows collapse and form the multitudes of hoodoos that make up the fourteen amphitheaters of Bryce.

Bryce Canyon is not really a Canyon

Do not let the name of this Southwestern Utah park fool you. Bryce Canyon is not really a Canyon at all. Instead it is a series of breaks in fourteen enormous amphitheaters that extend down one thousand feet and span twenty miles long, encompassing 36,000 acres. Bryce Canyon is the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau, a high section of the Colorado Plateau. The tall, elegant limestone formations in Bryce Canyon literally crowd together to form magnificent castle-like scenes. Red Canyon, located in a section of Dixie National Forest, is 9-miles northwest of the entrance to Bryce Canyon. The hoodoos of Red Canyon are similar, but smaller and less detailed than those of Bryce Canyon. map

Bryce Canyon was once covered by seas, mountains, deserts and costal plains

Long ago, the rocky area of of Bryce Canyon was once covered by sea, mountains, desert and coastal plains. The existing geological formations were all subject to the violent storms and changes that occurred over millions of years.

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The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago... had they happened to be within the reach of predatory human hands.

-- Havelock Elli

Photo: Bryce Canyon hoodoo
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Photography by Tanya

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