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🠈  Bryce National Park  🠊

Bryce National Park

Bryce National Park preserves 35,835 acres of loose sandstone formations in Bryce Canyon in Southern Utah with portions of the park in Garfield and Kane. The sandstone is part of the Dakota Formation that was laid during the Cretaceous period about a hundred million years ago. The sand is rich in hematite and limonite which gives the formation a rich red and yellow hues.

The primary feature of the park are massive sandstone towers called "hoodoo." These features are carved by the infrequent rains and frequent winds in the area that pound against the soft sandstone.

The Arches of Arches National Park were also carved by wind from this softer Dakota layer of sandstone.

History of the Canyon

There are traces left by Native Americans in the area going back ten thousand. Life in Bryce Canyon was harsher than in surrounding areas.

Mormon pioneers surveyed much of Southern Utah starting in 1850. John Wesley Powell visited in the area in 1872. Serious efforts to settle the land by LDS pioneers began a few years later.

The canyon is named for LDS pioneer Ebenezer Bryce. Mr Bryce was a carpenter who came to the area on instructions of Brigham Young. He tried raising cattle in the lower basin of the park.

The area proved itself prone to overgrazing and conservationists became concerned about the rapid degradation of the area and petitioned for protected status from Utah State. Bryce was declared a National Monument by Warren G Harding in 1923. The area was upgraded to a National Park in 1924.

Construction of Bryce Canyon Lodge began in 1924 with the lodge opening in 1925.

President Herbert Hoover expanded the park in 1931. FDR set the Civilian Conservation Corp to building features in the park in 1934.

The Bryce Canyon Natural History Association was formed in 1961. It partners with the National Park Service to help preserve the area.

Bryce National Park saw 2,365,110 visitors in 2016. The Utah Color Tumblr shows some of the photos.

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