June 21, 2014
The tiny ranching communities of Cannonville, Henrieville and Tropic make up the area known as Bryce Valley. Surrounding Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce Valley falls within the borders of both Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and Dixie National Forest, and is part of the Paria River Valley region.
Collectively, the three towns make up the Bryce Valley but each has its own unique charms. Located along Scenic Byway 12, Henrieville is a historic farming community known more for its location and scenery than amenities. Nearby Cannonville is equally quaint, with lodging options including a campground, gas station, and a Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument visitor center. Tropic sits in the Paria Valley with easy access to Bryce Canyon National Park and Kodachrome Basin State Park. You can even hike right into Bryce Canyon’s main amphitheater from Tropic.
Cannonville, Henrieville and Tropic are ideally situated for sightseeing, recreation and adventure travel and offer about a dozen lodging options including B&Bs, country cabins, motels and campgrounds. Several guides and outfitters are available in Bryce Valley to arrange scenic adventures, trail rides and wagon rides, hunting trips and ATV tours.
Scenic Byway 12, one of the top 10 scenic highways in America, links Cannonville, Henrieville and Tropic, and leads to a variety of world-class scenery and adventure possibilities. Kodachrome Basin State Park lies just nine miles south of Cannonville via scenic Cottonwood Canyon Road, and Grosvenor Arch is just a few miles farther down the road. Cottonwood Canyon Road continues through the Highway 89, giving easy access to Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon North Rim. Bryce Valley is a great base camp for everything Bryce Canyon Country has to offer including Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef and Zion national parks; Anasazi Indian Village and Escalante Petrified Forest state parks; Red Canyon; Cottonwood Wash Narrows, Bull Valley Gorge and a multitude of other slot canyons, all within easy driving distance.
A Brief History of Bryce Valley:
Mormon pioneers began settling the Paria Valley in 1874, drawn to the favorable climate and abundance of fertile lands for crops and grazing. The creation of the 10-mile long East Fork Canal, also known as the Tropic Ditch, brought life-sustaining water to Bryce Valley. Cannonville and Henrieville are the two surviving towns of the original Paria Valley settlements. Historic buildings, including a one-room schoolhouse from 1881, still stand in Henrieville. Be sure to visit the cabin of Ebenezer Bryce — Bryce Canyon National Park’s namesake — in Tropic.
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