Bryce Canyon National Park, in Utah, is a fantasy land of shapes and colors. The visitor looks down, or walks down, into a bowl of spires, called hoodoos. Each hoodoo is layered with colors, primarily red, orange, yellow, brown, and white, and rises from the amphitheater below in weird shapes or formations. Most of these pillars are narrow and fingerlike, but others are wide, forming small buttes. The colors change over the course of the day, due to shadows and lighting, but the views are always spectacular.
Ride along the rim road stopping at each of the overlooks to appreciate all areas of the park. Particularly beautiful views are found at Inspiration Point, Rainbow Point, Bryce Point, and Fairyland Point.
Not far from Bryce to the south lies Capitol Reef National Park which is located just off Highway 12 in Utah, a beautiful scenic drive in its own right. The park preserves a dramatic section of the Waterpocket Fold, a noticeable uplift which extends approximately 160 km (100 miles) in total. The park roads traverse a very scenic section of the Fold, and trails from the road give access to other areas of the park.
1. While in Bryce Canyon National Park, hike at least one of the park’s trails to get an up-close and personal look at the hoodoos, and a different perspective on the area. Many trails are fairly strenuous because of the elevation changes as you descend into the amphitheater, but there are easy trails as well.
2. In Capitol Reef, take the Capitol Gorge Trail, a fairly easy walk which provides access to an interesting area where pioneers camped and left their names and short philosophies on the rocks of the canyon.