April 8 – Bryce Canyon

We had a relatively short drive to our campground in Cannonville, UT.  From there we drove back 12 miles to Bryce Canyon.  Enroute, we stopped by Mossy Cave, which is also surrounded by Hoodoos similar to those at Bryce, just 5 miles away.  It’s focal points are a small water fall and cave with blue ice columns. Actually, Bryce is not a canyon but the results of rain, ice and wind erosion of a section of the Colorado Plateau, which was uplifted some 10 million years ago.  The HooDoos 

 

(stalactite-looking vertical projections from the canyon floor) were the result of the steep slopes of the plateau speeded the erosion by water.  Faults and joints were further opened by the freezing and thawing along the slopes.  Debris borne by the runoff scour softer rock and created gullies.  Harder rock remained as” fins”.  As the gullies widened into canyons, the fins became exposed to more erosion of their vertical cracks.  Eventually, layers peeled away leaving the remaining hoodoos … which continue to be eroded and be created.

After yesterday’s visit to Zion, we were prepared for a letdown.  While entering Zion form the top and driving down into the canyon, the drive into Bryce is both higher in elevation and the canyon is generally viewed from the top.

We’d have ventured down on one of the many trials if it were not for up to 2′ – 3′ (or more) of snow on most trails and those clear of snow were deep in mud.

While driving through the Bryce plateau, we were also taken back by sections which had been devastated by fire in the not too distant past.

However, Bryce, while vastly different, was breathtaking!  While the following photos fail to due justice, we hope they will convey the awesome vistas we were privileged to see today.

 

You are often left asking how and why the capstones on certain hoodoos remain balanced.

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