Tag: Bryce Canyon

The USA’s National Parks are some of the country’s greatest assets and today the National Park Service celebrates its birthday – when entry to every park across the country is free for the day. Each National Park has so much to see that you’d ideally want to spend at least a couple of days there – and hikers could easily spend a week in each. But what if you’ve only got a day to spare, or even less? My visits to five of the southwest’s National Parks earlier this year were all on a fairly tight timescale, with a day or sometimes only half a day to spend in each.
Sometimes a long-distance road trip can pass by in a blur – early mornings, long driving days, dinner at a roadside diner, then crashing out in a roadside motel before starting it all again the next day. But as I said before in my road trip guide, my plan for seeing the southwest USA was to take things a bit slower. So as we were going to spend at least a couple of nights in each place we stopped in, I wanted to find accommodation that was comfortable and good value, as well as preferably being locally owned with some individual touches.
A land of delicately carved rock spires in sunset shades, Bryce Canyon was an out-of-this-world start to my southwest US national park hopping. The park is made up of a series of amphitheatres along the edge of a plateau, filled with thousands of rock formations called hoodoos. They’re formed when the limestone is eroded by wind, frost and rain, shaping it into in assortment of canyons, fins, arches and spires. Iron oxide in the rock gives it a vivid red, orange or yellows tint. Well that’s the science, but looking at the twisted shapes you can see why the early Paiute Indians thought the hoodoos were people who’d been frozen into rock by an evil spirit.

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