This week’s topic for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is Places People Visit.
Each year, America’s national parks host millions of visitors, Americans and foreigners alike. The national park system has a variety of different types of parks with diverse landscapes as well as historical and cultural attractions.
I appreciate all natural beauty, but I admit I am partial to the geography of the American Southwest. Last June, on our road trip which culminated with traveling Route 66 from L.A. to Chicago, we visited many places on our way out west. I always want to see as many national parks as possible, and Bryce Canyon had been on my bucket list for decades.
Bryce Canyon is the 12th most visited National Park in the United States. In 2017, it had 2,571,684 visitors.
Because I didn’t book far enough in advance, our only choices for lodgings were overpriced hotels located several miles outside the park. No Ruby’s Best Western for us, although we are Best Western members!
The road into the park takes vehicles under an arch of red rock. Once in the park, we were able to park our car and wait for a shuttle which would stop at various popular points along the way. The shuttle is free and one can get off and on at any time at any of the designated shuttle stops. The shuttles run about every 20 minutes.
We only had about half a day to spend at Bryce Canyon. We wanted to see as much of the canyon as possible during that time and we knew we wanted to hike. However, for health reasons we couldn’t take any of the trails with large changes in elevation, so we chose a couple of miles along the Rim Trail, from Inspiration Point to Sunrise Point.
This allowed us to see many beautiful views from the top.
Bryce Canyon is well-known for its most interesting geological feature: hoodoos. Hoodoos are spires or columns of rock that rise up singly or in groups.
50 million years ago, the place now known as Bryce Canyon was a lake surrounded by higher land. Through erosion, tiny particles of rock accumulated and cemented together.
Plate tectonics (movement of sections of the surface of Earth) lifted these rocks to an elevation where other forces could act upon them.
Weathering from ice, rain and wind sculpted the columns of rock we see at Bryce Canyon today. Sometimes a section of rock breaks off, leaving an arch or hole.
It is advisable to carry plenty of water and keep hydrated when hiking. Not all the shuttle stops have facilities available.
My husband and I took a lot of photographs, sometimes two in a row that were very much alike – that’s because the views are so awe-inspiring that every time I looked, I felt the need to capture the scene on my memory card!
We spotted some wildlife, including lizards