in

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is a collection of giant amphitheaters along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau, located in southwestern Utah.

Bryce Canyon National Park for Kids

  • Bryce Canyon National Park is in southwestern Utah
  • It lies within the Colorado Plateau and straddles the Paunsaugunt Fault.
  • It has a continental climate
  • Many Anasazi and Fremont artifacts can be found here.
  • On February 25, 1928, it went from a national monument to a national park.
  • Utah prairie dogs are one of its endangered species.

Geography

Bryce Canyon National Park is a national park in North America located within the Colorado Plateau and just west of the Paunsaugunt Fault.

In Bryce Canyon National Park, a series of amphitheater-shaped features were excavated in Cenozoic-aged rocks. The hoodoos in the amphitheaters are up to 200 feet (60 m) high.

Climate

The Köppen Climate Classification System classifies Bryce Canyon National Park as having a continental climate, warm, dry summers, and an average annual extreme minimum air temperature of 10.0 °F (23.3 °C).

Native American habitation

Early Anasazi artifacts from the Bryce Canyon area date to at least 10,000 years old.

Native Americans in the area called Bryce Canyon “Anka-ku-was-a-wits” (red painted faces) and believed that they were the Legend People turned to stone by Coyote.

European American exploration and settlement

First European Americans explored the remote area in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Major John Wesley Powell led the first expedition to Bryce Canyon and the Virgin River area in 1872.

Facts for Kids x
Facts for Kids

The Bryce family settled in the Paria Valley, and Ebenezer Bryce built the canal and road to Bryce Canyon. They grazed their cattle inside the park borders.

After a drought, overgrazing, and flooding, many Paiutes left the area, and the remaining settlers dug a ditch into Tropic Valley.

Bryce Canyon to Zion

Bryce Canyon National Park is a natural amphitheater located in southwestern Utah. It is a smaller park than Zion National Park.

In 1931, Zion National Park was annexed by Bryce Canyon National Park. In 1942, the park was expanded by 635 acres (257 ha).

The formations in Zion National Park are part of the Grand Staircase.

Bryce Canyon Hoodoos

Bryce Canyon National Park is a collection of natural amphitheaters, with hoodoos, formed by frost weathering and stream erosion of river and lake bed sedimentary rocks.

Bryce Canyon is a series of amphitheaters with hoodoos that are up to 200 feet high. The largest amphitheater is 12 miles long, 3 miles wide, and 800 feet deep.

The Paiute Native Americans developed a mythology surrounding the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon, believing that they were the Legend People whom Coyote turned to stone.

Bryce’s Canyon was named after Ebenezer Bryce, who lived below Bryce Amphitheater, the main collection of hoodoos in the park, and built a road to retrieve firewood and timber.

From 63 to about 40 million years ago, cool streams and lakes formed the Claron Formation from which the park’s hoodoos are carved.

Bryce Canyon has many hoodoos, which are pinnacles made of soft sedimentary rock. The more resistant White Cliffs formed monoliths.

Creation of the park

In 1916, Union Pacific and Santa Fe railroads published magazine articles that promoted the scenic areas in Bryce Canyon.

A railroad was built in Bryce Canyon by Ruby Syrett, Harold Bowman, and the Perry brothers.

In 1923, conservationists became concerned about the damage caused by overgrazing, logging, and unregulated visitation to Bryce Canyon, and President Harding declared the area a national monument.

Bryce Canyon National Park was established in 1928 by transferring ownership of private and state-held land in the monument to the federal government.

In 1942, Herbert Hoover annexed an adjoining area south of Bryce Canyon and added 635 acres (257 ha) to the park.

Geology

The ancient deposition environment of Bryce Canyon varies from warm shallow water of the Cretaceous Seaway to cold, shallow lakes of the Paleocene to the Eocene epoch.

Two large uplifts created several other formations, but the Boat Mesa Conglomerate and the Sevier River Formation were mostly destroyed by erosion following the second uplift.

Bryce Canyon’s cliffs were uplifted over time, creating vertical joints, which were preferentially eroded. The softer pink cliffs were eroded into hoodoos, while the resistant white cliffs formed monoliths.

The area around Bryce Canyon National Park is part of the Grand Staircase formation.

Ecology

The park has a fir forest. The park is primarily populated by mule deer, but black bears, bobcats, and woodpeckers can also be found.

Bryce Canyon National Park protects three threatened species, and the largest protected population is found within its boundaries.

Swifts and swallows are among the many bird species that visit the park each year.

Eleven reptiles and four amphibians have been found in the park, including the Great Basin rattlesnake.

Activities

The Bryce Canyon National Park has a dark night sky with 7,500 stars, and there are two campgrounds and the Bryce Canyon Lodge that are open year-round.