Rim Trail Hike Sunrise & Sunset Points, Bryce Canyon National Park

Welcome to Bryce Canyon National Park! Best known for hoodoos, tall columns of rock formed when soft rock is eroded under a harder layer of rock. If you follow my Instagram you'll know I like to talk about the power of water to shape our earth. Once again water is responsible for creation of these hoodoos by rivers and streams and continued erosion of the hoodoos by rain and by water freezing and thawing in cracks of the rocks.

Bryce Canyon, containing the largest collection of hoodoos in the world, is located in southwest Utah and is one of the Big 5 National Parks in the state. The park is named after Ebenezer Bryce, a Mormon homesteader. The highest point in the park (Rainbow Point) rises over 9,000 feet, so for those of us used to living at sea level, hiking became a little more challenging!

View from Rainbow Point, 9105'.

Perhaps the most recognizable area of the park is Bryce Amphitheater. For hike 22 of my 52 Hike Challenge, we hiked a portion of the Rim Trail from Sunrise Point to Sunset Point and back, which offers breathtaking views of this amphitheater.

Bryce Amphitheater from Sunset Point

Iron content in the rocks and bacteria living on the rocks gives them a red-orange color that is incredibly vivid any time of day, but they are especially bright at sunrise and sunset. You may notice white bands throughout the park which are salt deposits left by evaporating water.

Bryce Canyon and nearby Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (in the distance and where we camped) have some of the darkest skies in the country. That made for great stargazing and viewing of the Perseid Meteor Shower.

We thought we might miss the meteor shower because of the giant storm clouds rolling in. We visited Bryce Canyon during monsoon season, and got to witness one of these storms at dusk. Fortunately the sky cleared and we could watch the stars!

From our campsite in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Memorial, waiting for sunset and the meteor shower to be visible.

After a great night's sleep through another desert thunderstorm we headed out to hike down into Bryce Amphitheater.

Subscribe or check back soon for my next post about hiking the Queen's Garden - Navajo Loop! Have you hiked Bryce Canyon? Tell me about it in the comments!


Chrissy Livergood

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