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Bryce Canyon National Park

zion national park

Awe Inspiring Formations

The first non-Native American to see this area was a man named Ebenezer Bryce. He had settled in the Paria Valley below the canyon and was generally unaware of the formations that were just to the west of his farm. One day he lost some cattle and while looking for them he wandered into the amphitheater you see below.  Imagine his facial expressions as he moved through the red rock formations.  Ebenezer's resulting comment from his first experience with the canyon was, "It's one hell of a place to lose a cow."

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Bryce Canyon is actually a series of amphitheaters that open up on the eastern rim of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. The park is 20 miles in length. Native Americans long referred to the area as "bowl shaped canyons with men standing without hands". The lifelike formations in the park, called hoodoos, are made of limestone that has been colored by oxidizing iron.

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Water manages to get into the cracks in the limestone and as the water freezes and expands it breaks apart the formations.  Melting snow and flowing water from rainstorms continue to uncover the slopes of the amphitheaters in Bryce Canyon, revealing more of the remaining hard limestone formations. Bryce Canyon is just 75 miles away fromZion National Park.

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The north end of Bryce Canyon National Park sits at 8,000 feet in elevation (2,438 m) and rises to 9,000 feet (2,743 m) at the south end of the twenty mile long national park. Bryce Canyon is a world-class attraction that is worth the trip.

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View of the Valley

This couple has a great view of the valley in the main canyon of Zion National Park.  At this point they stand about 1,000 feet above the valley floor.  The Sentinel is the point in the far distance (upper left). 

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Sandstone Vistas

Zion National Park is comprised of many different layers of sandstone. This person stands above the Blind Arch and near the mile-long tunnel. This hike is one of the easier ways to get a scenic view of the park. The trail starts just above the tunnel and there is very little elevation gain.  

zion national park

Scenic Side Canyons

This couple is wandering through a side canyon inside Zion National Park. The early morning light is reflecting off the walls and across some water from recent rains. The back of this canyon is a short slot canyon that makes for a great canyoneering experience.

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Observation Point

These intrepid hikers are enjoying lunch in Zion National Park at Observation Point.  This is one of the highest overlooks into the park.  Start on this trail at Weeping Rock in the main canyon.

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Natural Play Land

Some kids think that McDonalds offers the best play land but Zion National Park has all the natural elements for fun with the family.  These three friends posed for the camera in an awkward position over a fairly deep pool of cool water. They seemed to be enjoying the wet sand in their toes. 

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Along the Trail


This group is working their way downhill after a steady but fairly easy walk to this point. Just above them is Upper and Lower Emerald Pools. This area is one of the most popular destinations within Zion National Park.

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Toward Emerald Pools

These people are working their way along the trail to Emerald Pools in Zion National Park. They have a great view to the canyon below as the sandstone formations rise yet another thousand feet or more above them.

Click here - Zion National Park Information
Click here - More Zion National Park Photographs


Click here to visit the Zion National Park main page.