A car load of visitors can enter Bryce Canyon National Park for a fee of $25 which allows you to come and go for one week. Most people allocate one day for what is admittedly one of the smaller National Parks in Utah. While you can see quite a bit in a day, two days gives you a better appreciation for the incredible beauty of this magic land.
We were using the America the Beautiful Pass which allows entry into all National Parks, Monuments and Federally Administered Lands for a period of one year, all for the low price of $80. In the course of a six-month trip around the US we saved quite a bit in entrance fees. This is one of the great values in travel so take advantage before they get wise and raise the price on this baby.
When one thinks of Bryce, one doesn't particularly think of flowers but when we were there in May of 2008, some beautiful wildflower were in bloom including the wonderful Rock Columbine. These sturdy violet flowers stand out in stark contrast to the red rocks from which they spring. Cherished by Native Americans as ornaments, they also made perfume by grinding their seeds.
In the late 1800's, mormon settler Ebenzer Bryce and his wife Mary moved to the area. The park is named after Bryce, who left and moved to Arizona after an unsuccessful attempt to raise cattle in the area. In addition to having the park named after him, Bryce is quoted as describing the canyon as "a helluva place to lose a cow."
Along Hwy 12 and around Bryce there are no fences to pen in the cattle, so they may be right along the roadside to get that greener grass. Many take a long time to find, once the rancher rounds them up, and may use horses, and/or ATV's.
The park is well known for clear, dark skies due to its distance from any large town and the high elevation. It is a great place to see more stars than you've seen before. Many moonless nights there will be someone with a telescope which can be used to see some of the wonders of the night sky. There is an astronomy festival every year where there are many more telescopes for use.
When the moon is full hiking at night is another interesting activity. Sign up far ahead for the popular ranger led hike.
And of course watching the sun rise or set is a time honored tradition. Best places to see the effects on the hoodoos would be Bryce Point or Inspiration Point.
Native Americans settled in the Colorado Plateau region for about 12,000 years, but nobody really knows when people started living at Bryce Canyon. Remains of the Anazasi and Fremont cultures were found just out of today´s park boundaries. When the first Europeans arrived, the Paiutes lived close to Bryce Canyon. They explained the colorful rock formations as 'Legend People' who were turned to stone by a coyote.
Mormon missionaries relocated the Paiutes and in 1875 a timberman called Ebenezer Bryce settled down at the canyon. Neighbors started calling the canyon behind his home Bryce's Canyon.
I guess we all agree on this on; there is nothing more exciting than going travelling - exploring another country, experiencing a different culture, travelling around in new ways, sampling the local cuisine and chatting to the local people for a different perspective on life.
However during our travels we learned that there is one certain thing that you should be aware of and prepared for to make sure that the trip is as easy and enjoyable as possible. We always try to see everything once we're there, but this is not always an act of responsible travelling. We always talk to the locals and we know that they have the information about just the right spots to visit and how to undertake them. It will not only enhance your experiences but also avoid any unnecessary hassles.
For us the travel tips we have written in this section made the most of our travel experience and we came home in the same happy, healthy state that we left.
UTAH is a state where it almost doesnt need to designate parkland as the entire state seems like one big national park. This shot was taken simply when we stopped at a rest area on the interstae highway.