Gigapixel | Bryce Canyon Country

Aquarius Plateau

  • The Aquarius Plateau towers 6,000 feet above the desert.
  • Elevation: 11,328 feet
  • It’s a 100 mile long cliff, located on the north side of the Grand Staircase and covers 900 square miles.

Boat Mesa

  • Round trip time: 1 hour
  • Distance: 1.5 miles round trip
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Boat Mesa, capped by the resistant rock called “The Conglomerate at Boat Mesa,” rises above the hoodoos of Fairyland Canyon to an elevation of 8073 feet.
  • Boat Mesa separates Fairyland Canyon from the rest of Bryce Canyon. It is a dominant structure in the north part of the park.


  • Cathedral is a rock formation that can be found while walking the Peekaboo Loop Trail which is 3.5 miles long. This trail is quite strenuous, with several fairly steep climbs and descents, but the view makes the trip well worth the effort.

Sinking Ship

  • Coordinates: 37.6389° N, 112.1249° W
  • Elevation: 7410 ft / 2258 m
  • Distance one way: 1.35 miles

China Wall

  • The China Wall is located on the Fairyland Loop Trail.
  • The wall looks appears to have been purposely built their and resembles the Great Wall of China, hence its name.
  • The outermost portion of the wall is primarily hoodoos due to erosion caused by weathering.


  • The Alligator is roughly 700 ft (213 m) lower in elevation than Bryce Point and can be seen at the center-left in the bottom photo of the Bryce Amphitheater. Park geologist Moore and Interpretive Park Ranger Peter Densmore created a pictorial illustration of this area to aid my research. It gives a perspective of the approximate elevation difference.
  • The nickname for this light-colored rock layer is The Alligator, named for its appearance from certain angles as a giant inflatable alligator pool float, lying on the more prominent reddish rock beneath it. The hard rock above protects the weaker rock below, creating very durable fins.

Silent City (Terracotta Soldiers)

  • A gridwork of deep ravines that some suggest may have been an ancient metropolitan area.
  • Silent City is a maze of hoodoos and fins packed in tight formation that rise from the canyon floor.
  • Relentless erosion has carved a maze of ridges, fluted columns, towering pedestals, and outrageously shaped rocks which evoke scenes of mythological animals, medieval castles, ancient temples and perhaps even a grand army of terracotta warriors.

Sunrise Point

  • Start your morning at Sunrise Point for one of the most breathtaking views of Bryce Canyon.
  • About a mile from the visitor center.
  • Sunrise Point offers incredibly colorful vistas at sunrise—hence the name—as the sun casts an early morning glow on the red rock hoodoos.
  • You will need to park and walk a short distance to reach Sunrise Point.

Powell Point

  • The first six miles of the route includes a steep 1,900-foot climb to the crest of the plateau. You can omit this portion by driving to the point where the road turns south towards Powell Point making this a moderate 8-mile trip.
  • Technical Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Length: 20-mile round trip
  • Elevation: 2,400
  • Time to Allow: 1/2 day

Rim Trail

  • Distance: 1.0 - 11.0 mi
  • Time: 1 - 7.5 Hours
  • Walk the rim of the beautiful Bryce amphitheater. (Not a loop)
  • View the hoodoos from above. The trail is paved between Sunrise and Sunset points.
  • Elevation Change: 1177 ft. / 359 Meters

Sunset Point

  • Distance: 1.3 Miles
  • Time: 1 - 2 Hours
  • Elevation Change: 550 ft./ 168 Meters
  • Concrete Trail
  • Summit Elevation: 8000 ft

Bryce Canyon National Park, which was named after early-Mormon settler Ebenezer Bryce, is a natural amphitheater filled with spiral rock formations called Hoodoos. These unique rock structures are found on every continent, but the world’s largest grouping is located in—you guessed it—Bryce Canyon. This red-rock park is also a great place for stargazing, allowing visitors to see up to 7,500 stars in the night sky—5,000 more than areas plagued by light pollution. From hiking to stargazing to horseback riding, see for yourself what Bryce Canyon has to offer! Plan your trip today and come experience the unique features of this one-of-a-kind national park.