Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park is a US national park located in southwestern Utah. Some 35,835 acres (14,502 ha) or 56 mi² (145 km²) in extent, the designated area around the spectacular Bryce Canyon (not actually a canyon, but rather a giant natural amphitheater created by erosion) became a United States National Monument in 1924 and was designated as a National Park in 1928. The Park receives relatively few visitors compared to Zion Canyon and the Grand Canyon, largely due to its remote location, but is nonetheless well worth the visit.
Bryce is distinctive due to its unique geological structures, called hoodoos, formed from wind, water, and ice erosion of the river and lakebed sedimentary rocks. The varued colors of the rocks and rock formations contribute to the spectacular views.
Bryce lies at a much higher elevation than nearby Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon, varying from 8,000 to 9,000 feet (2,440 to 2,740 m), whereas the south rim of the Grand Canyon sits at 7,000 feet (2130 m) above Sea Level. Bryce Canyon National Park therefore has a substantially different ecology and climate, offering a contrast for visitors to the south west (who often visit all three parks in a single vacation).
The area was settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1850s and was named after Ebenezer Bryce, who homesteaded in the area in 1875.
Most park facilities were constructed between 1930 and 1960. Some have been upgraded for accessibility, while others could be used with assistance. Because of the park's natural terrain, only a 1/2 mile section of the Rim Trail between Sunset and Sunrise Points is wheelchair accessible. The one-mile Bristlecone Loop at Rainbow Point has a hard surface and could be used with assistance, but several grades do not meet standards. Parking is marked at all overlooks and public facilities. Accessible campsites are available in Sunset Campground. (National Parks Service advice)