The Grand Staircase in Utah and Arizona

The Real Grand Staircase – First Three Steps

Published under Geology,Grand Staircase on

 

The Grand Staircase is a massive geologic phenomenon that defines millions of acres of landscape in southern Utah and northern Arizona. Made up of five defining “layers,” the oldest layers of the Grand Staircase are found at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, while the newest layer makes up Bryce Canyon. Starting with the oldest layer first, the stair steps are named for their general color: chocolate, vermillion, white, gray, and pink. As the landscape shifted over the millennia

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Devils Garden Utah

Devils Garden: A Natural Playground

Published under Activities,Escalante Utah,Geology,Grand Staircase on

Welcome to Devils Garden, a natural playground located in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument about 17 miles southeast of Escalante. This surreal high desert landscape is accented by natural sandstone arches, hoodoos and monoliths colorfully sculpted over 170 million years by wind, ice, and thermal erosion. Distinct layers of red and white sandstone, blended with erosion-resistant caprock, create some of the area’s most notable rock formations such as Metate Arch, Mano Arch, Gnome Rock, the Marching Trolls, and the Four

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Bryce Utah

Bryce Canyon Country – A Multi-day Destination – Part 1

Part One:The next couple of blog posts introduce information on why Bryce Canyon Country is truly a multi-day destination.  

Bryce Canyon National Park in early morning light.

Bryce Canyon National Park is the crown jewel of Garfield County—but there’s so much natural beauty and adventure to experience! With charming towns and easy access to scenic byways, a national monument, national and state parks, alpine lakes and incredible scenery, you’ll want to return again and again. Bryce Canyon National Park Visitors

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Bristlecone Pine

Flora Diversity – Box Death Hollow Wilderness

Box Death Hollow Wilderness Area

“The Box” is a canyon located in the western section of Box-Death Hollow Wilderness Area. The canyon was created by Pine Creek, which runs north-south through a steep monocline, and is only accessible from its lower end. The wilderness area is extremely fertile due to frequent floods inside the canyon from the clear, fast-flowing creek, so The Box and surrounding wilderness is home to a huge diversity of plant life.  Box Death Hollow is

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Bryce Canyon Hoodoos

Bryce Canyon, America’s Most Unique National Park

Published under Bryce Canyon,Geology,National Parks,Seasons,Utah on

A man takes photographs on the Queens Garden Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Bryce Canyon is, without a doubt, America’s most exceptional and distinctive national park. Carved into the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau, the forces of nature are striking in Byrce Canyon National Park, as the landscape explodes with enigmatic hoodoos, fins, arches, and spires carved over millennia by wind and water erosion. Bryce amphitheater, the largest here in America’s most unique national park, spans six

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Red Canyon Views

Perhaps not surprisingly, there are many people who turn from Highway 89 onto Scenic Byway 12 and venture about two miles up the road to the point where they hit Red Canyon, and they say to themselves, “this must be Bryce Canyon”.   Those visitors often turn around and go on their merry way, believing that they have seen Bryce Canyon National Park, when it reality they have experienced Red Canyon which is part of the Dixie National Forest.

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Natural Arches & Bridges in Bryce Canyon Country

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Mother Nature is always hard at work shaping Bryce Canyon Country’s awe-inspiring bridges and arches. So what distinguishes these seemingly similar rock formations? A natural bridge is created from walled cliffs primarily by moving water erosion, such as a stream or river, whereas a natural arch is influenced by other forces of nature, like water, wind, chemical weathering, and frost wedging.

An arch formation in Devils Garden just off the Hole In The Rock Road.

One of the best-known natural

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View from Rainbow and Yovimpa points area.

Bryce Canyon – Yovimpa & Rainbow Points

Looking north along the Bryce Canyon rim from the southern end of the park.

Many travelers visiting Bryce Canyon National Park never make it to the canyon’s top points. But Rainbow and Yovimpa view are not to be missed! Less than a mile from each other, these stunning vistas are well worth the 17 mile drive to the top! Not only are spectators able to sneak a breathtaking peak at the expanse of the entire National Park, the southern

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The upper falls at Calf Creek

Upper Calf Creek Falls

Published under Backway,Geology,Hiking,Photography,Scenic Byway 12,Utah on

Side trip from Escalante, Utah
Perhaps one of Southern Utah’s best kept secrets, Upper Calf Creek Falls is an 88 ft cascading waterfall located just upstream for Lower Calf Creek. This secluded little downpour is hidden behind a steep sandstone incline, lined with volcanic boulders and obscured from trail view behind the trailhead register.  Two miles roundtrip, most hikers need to allow at least two hours traversing the uphill trail and scouting for the tricky location (it’s easy to get lost).

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Volcanic Lava Activity – Bryce Canyon Country

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Much of Bryce Canyon Country’s unique landscape reflects an interesting volcanic history. Exposed geology reveals ancient lava deposits. and large lava fields on the Markagunt Plateau show evidence of volcanic activity as recent as one thousand years ago.

Hikers walk up a hillside covered in volcanic rock

One of the most significant areas of volcanic activity in the Bryce Canyon region is the Markagunt Plateau, beginning about 5 million years ago. The latest eruption occurred around 1,000 years ago, based

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