As ‘80’s rock icons the B-52’s once said, “If you think you’re in outer space, don’t feel out of place, ‘cause there are thousands of others like you.” Indeed, upon catching their first glimpse of Bryce Canyon, many visitors comment that the enigmatic rock formations remind them of the set of a “Star Wars” movie.
The smallest of Utah’s National Parks, Bryce Canyon is one of the Earth’s most beautiful and oddest examples of erosion. Here, in a gathering of horseshoe-shaped amphitheatres, soft rock layers have worn away over millions of years, sculpted by wind and water into bizarre shapes called “hoo-doos.” It’s a bit ironic that the park was named for Ebeneezer Bryce, one of the area’s first Anglo settlers, because he didn’t quite appreciate the landscape for its scenic qualities. He merely commented that the labyrinth of small canyons was “a hell of a place to lose a cow.”
At 8,000+ feet above sea level, Bryce Canyon offers summertime relief from the hot temperatures that dominate most of the area. Popular activities include horseback riding, air tours, and day hiking. In wintertime, hardy souls can enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Visitors wishing to stay near Bryce Canyon National Park may be interested in staying at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. This 4,000 acre resort is just 70 miles from Bryce Canyon and borders the eastern edge of Zion National Park. Visitors may stay in one location and see both parks. Zion Ponderosa offers a variety of excellent lodging and even camping options, along with two restaurants, and a host of activities such as horseback riding, rock climbing, ATV and Jeep Tours and much more. There is also lodging available at hotels in nearby communities.