Day 7-9 Bryce Canyon   Leave a comment

On the way to Bryce, we drove through Red Rock.

Two red rock tunnels.

 

Bryce Canyon was my favorite National Park. I think because of the rich colors and the odd shaped “hoodoos,” a natural column of rock.

The rock progresses from “fins” to developing “windows” that later collapse to form hoodoos., In ancient times, they thought that men turned to stone and had powers. It was fun to see the different shapes of hoodoos as we traveled through the park. We found Queen Elizabeth,

chicken,

 

lion and Trojan horse,

King Tutt

 

Bill and I took the Navajo Loop Hiking Trail.

Starting off at Sunset Point.

Down through all the steep switchbacks.

Strange how the trees can grow while completely surrounded by rock.

Found 2 natural bridges.

Hiking through the canyon gives you a totally different view of the landscape.

At the end of the trail, we had more switchbacks to hike UP.

The views were magnificent

Approximately 200 million years ago, the earth’s crust was crinkling throughout Nevada and into southern Canada. A strong, dense Pacific seafloor had smashed into North America’s weaker continental crust. Over 120 million years, compressional forces bent, folded, broke, and heaved our crust into the sky, giving birth to the Sevier Mountains. Rain and snow became geologic jackhammers, splitting mountains apart.

Just before dinosaurs went extinct (65 million years ago), the oceanic plate pushed up our continental crust uplifting land, forming the Rocky Mountains and warping Utah and Arizona. The rivers wore down the Sevier Mountains reaching the basin between the Sevier and Rockies, depositing layers of muds and silts., Lakes and ponds formed, but with no rivers flowing out of the basin, the sediment was trapped. Between 55-30 million years ago this mammoth mud puddle, known as the Claron Basin, continued to fill with sediments rich in calcium carbonate – dissolved limestone (pink and white). Over time, these beds of sediment were compressed into rock and uplifted from 3,000 ft. to 9,000 feet in elevation 15 million years ago, forming the Colorado Plateau. About 8 million years ago, the Bryce Canyon area broke off this uplift as the Paunsaugunt Plateau and has been sinking ever since into the Great Basin. The freezing and thawing of water does most of the sculpting at Bryce Canyon, as opposed to a flowing river. In the photo below, the land as far as you can see use to be at the same level we were standing taking the picture. It is now 1,000 feet higher.

Each viewpoint was different.

Rainbow Point

Aqua Canyon

Ponderosa Point

Natural Bridge

Bryce Point

Inspiration Point – MY FAVORITE

The canyon erodes between 1-4 feet per 100 years. They estimate that in 6 million years, Bryce Canyon will not exist.

Don’t forget to sniff the Ponderosa Pine Tree you are apt to smell vanilla, due to a fungus.

 

Shirley celebrated her 70th birthday with us.

She spent her day horseback riding through Bryce Canyon. What a way to celebrate #70!

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