Bryce Canyon A Stunning US Travel Destination

The state of​ Utah in​ the​ United States is​ home to​ lots of​ beautiful National Parks,​ & Bryce Canyon National Park ranks as​ three of​ the​ most magnificent & awe inspiring.

Bryce Canyon isn't a​ canyon. it​ is​ the​ spectacular edge of​ the​ Paunsaugunt Plateau,​ a​ place where intricately carved towers & archways of​ stone shimmer in​ a​ dazzling array of​ colour under the​ bright sun.

The rock in​ Bryce Canyon is​ composed of​ layer after layer of​ sediment deposits,​ deposited millions of​ years ago when the​ area was at​ the​ bottom of​ a​ lake. Now the​ Paria River has exposed the​ layers,​ allowing a​ detailed history of​ the​ lake to​ be determined.

15 million years ago the​ earth in​ this region began to​ shift,​ forming a​ series of​ plateaus. the​ Paunsaugunt is​ an​ extensive plateau,​ with the​ Paria River gradually eroding away the​ edge to​ form Bryce Canyon.

The Park itself was established in​ 1924,​ & was named after an​ early settler in​ the​ area,​ Ebenezer Bryce. they emigrated from Scotland,​ married a​ local girl then moved southwards in​ stages,​ building sawmills as​ they went.

In the​ mid 1870s they reached the​ Paria River,​ where they & his relatives settled for a​ number of​ years. it​ was at​ this time that Bryce made his immortal comment about Bryce Canyon - they called it​ "one hell of​ a​ place to​ lose a​ cow".

The area remained basically undiscovered by European tourists,​ the​ first guest houses only being constructed around the​ time when the​ park was officially established.

Luckily this has led to​ Bryce Canyon being an​ area of​ largely unspoiled beauty,​ as​ well as​ the​ enormous scientific value of​ the​ historic information trapped in​ its pinnacles & spires.

The canyon is​ by no means a​ stagnant place - the​ rim recedes by an​ average of​ about a​ foot every 50 years,​ & in​ this ever changing scene it​ is​ water that plays the​ most vital role in​ the​ shaping & eventual destruction of​ the​ magnificent scenery.

Because the​ rock was laid down in​ layers,​ there is​ a​ variation in​ the​ hardness of​ the​ rock formed. When water runoff trickles across the​ rock,​ some areas erode rapidly whereas others hold firm.

This variation in​ erosion speed causes the​ formation of​ pinnacles,​ or​ "hoodoos" of​ stable rock. in​ some places the​ water seeps down through cracks & eats out holes beneath the​ surface. When the​ side rock erodes away,​ an​ archway is​ left behind.

Eventually the​ arch collapses,​ leaving one more pillars to​ join the​ rest. the​ ever changing vista of​ colours,​ spires,​ walls & archways is​ spectacular at​ any season,​ & the​ park is​ open all year round.

Here you​ can wander through the​ Queen's Garden,​ or​ gaze up at​ Queen Victoria herself surveying the​ 'flowers' in​ her garden. Some of​ the​ most awe inspiring lookouts are situated in​ this area,​ including Sunset Point & Inspiration Point - a​ must for any visitor.

In the​ warmer months there's lots of​ trails for the​ visitor to​ explore,​ ranging from easy strolls to​ hard hikes. Some of​ the​ best trails are located in​ the​ Bryce Amphitheatre,​ located near the​ entry to​ the​ park.

Summer months can cause temperatures in​ the​ base of​ the​ canyon to​ soar,​ so it​ is​ very important to​ be prepared for the​ heat,​ & over lots of​ water.

Walkers can also follow the​ Fairyland,​ Riggs Spring & Under-the-Rim trails,​ which are longer,​ but permit more opportunities to​ see the​ different elements of​ the​ park at​ close quarters.

For the​ energetic,​ it​ is​ possible to​ cross-country ski in​ a​ number of​ areas in​ the​ park,​ & on​ some trails it​ is​ possible to​ go snowshoeing instead of​ hiking.

In winter the​ roads are opened between snowfalls,​ allowing a​ different perspective of​ the​ park. Snow capped pinnacles stand out sharply against the​ background of​ white snow & dark green trees. the​ air is​ also cleaner,​ allowing visitors to​ see great distances.

If you​ require a​ slightly different view of​ the​ park,​ it​ is​ possible to​ explore the​ park in​ a​ 1930 limousine. Alternatively,​ you​ can rent a​ horse on​ an​ hourly basis to​ trek some of​ the​ better trails.

there is​ lots of​ interest to​ explore in​ the​ park,​ apart from the​ marvellous scenery of​ the​ 'silent city',​ as​ the​ hoodoos are sometimes called. the​ park also contains a​ large variety of​ plants & wildlife,​ including meadows & forests.

Some bears & mountain lions also enter the​ park occasionally,​ but are seldom seen by tourists.

Ground squirrels abound near the​ viewing areas,​ & their antics are to​ distract the​ visitor's eyes from the​ scenery. on​ quiet mornings & evenings it​ is​ also possible to​ see deer,​ elk & antelope grazing on​ the​ meadows.

Bryce Canyon is​ a​ hidden jewel,​ thoroughly deserving to​ be as​ widely known as​ its southern neighbour,​ the​ Grand Canyon. Include it​ on​ your itinerary,​ & you​ definitely won't be disappointed.

In fact,​ you​ may be completely overwhelmed by the​ fascinating & awe inspiring beauty of​ Bryce Canyon,​ like every other visitor.
Bryce Canyon A Stunning US Travel Destination Bryce Canyon A Stunning US Travel Destination Reviewed by Henda Yesti on July 17, 2018 Rating: 5

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