Bryce Canyon is not a canyon. It is the spectacular edge of Paunsaugunt plateau, a place where intricate oblique towers and arches of rock chimneys in a dazzling array of color under the bright sun.
The state of Utah in the United States is home to many beautiful national parks, and the Bryce Canyon National Park is ranked as one of the most magnificent and awe inspiring.
15 million years ago, the earth in this region began to grow and formed a series of plateaus. Paunsaugunt is an extensive plateau, with Parias river which gradually removes the edge to form Bryce Canyon.
The rocks in Bryce Canyon consist of layers after stocks of sediment deposits deposited millions of years ago when the area lay in the bottom of a lake. Now the Paria River has exposed the layers, which allows a detailed history of the lake to be determined.
The park itself was founded in 1924 and is named after an early settler in the area of Ebenezer Bryce. He emigrated from Scotland, married a local girl, then moved to the south in steps and built sawmills while walking.
In the mid 1870s he came to Parias river, where he and his family settled for a number of years. It was at this time that Bryce made his immortal comment about Bryce Canyon - he called it a hell of a place to lose a cow.
The area remained basically undiscovered by European tourists; the first guest houses were built only around the time the park was officially established.
Fortunately, Bryce Canyon has been an area of largely unspoilt beauty, as well as the enormous scientific value of the historical information caught in its knees and spiders.
The canyon is by no means a stagnant place - the rim decreases by an average of about one foot every 50 years and in this ever changing scene it is water that plays the most important role in shaping and possibly destroying the magnificent landscape.
Because the rock lay in layers there is a variation in the hardness of the rock formed. When the water sewers drain over the mountain, some areas erase quickly while others are stuck.
This variation in the erosion rate causes the formation of knives, or hoodoos of stable stones. In some places the water sip through cracks and eats holes underneath the surface. When the side erosion erodes away, an arc is left.
Eventually, the arc collapses and leaves another two pillars to join the rest. The ever-changing view of colors, sprouts, walls and arches is spectacular at any season, and the park is open all year round.
During the warmer months there are many trails for the visitor to explore, ranging from easy walks to difficult walks. Some of the best trails are located in Bryce Amphitheater, which is close to the entrance to the park.
Here you can walk through the queens garden, or gaze up at Queen Victoria herself to measure the flowers in her garden. Some of the most apologetic inspiring outlines are in this area, including Sunset Point and Inspiration Point - a must for all visitors.
Hikers can also follow the Fairyland, Riggs Spring and Under-the-Rim trails, which are longer but allow more opportunities to see the different parts of the park close by.
Summer months can cause temperatures in the canyon base to float, so it is very important to be prepared for the heat and carry a lot of water.
In winter the roads will open between snowfall, giving a completely different perspective of the park. Snowy thorns stand out strongly against the background of white snow and dark green trees. The air is also cleaner, so visitors can see great distances.
For the energetic it is possible to go skiing in several areas of the park, and on some trails it is possible to go snow shoes instead of hiking.
If you want a slightly different view of the park, it is possible to explore the park in a limo from 1930. Alternatively, you can hire a horse every hour to go some of the better trails.
There is plenty of interest to explore in the park, in addition to the quiet city of the quiet city, which hoodoos are sometimes called. The park also contains a large number of plants and wildlife, including meadows and forests.
Ground squirrels flow close to the viewing areas, and their antics are almost enough to distract the visitors eyes from the landscape. In quiet mornings and evenings it is also possible to see deer, moose and antelope grazing on the meadows.
Some bears and mountain leaves also enter the park sometimes, but are rarely seen by tourists.
Bryce Canyon is a hidden jewel that is thoroughly deserved to be so famous as its southern neighbor, the Grand Canyon. Include it on your itinerary, and you will definitely not be disappointed.
In fact, you can be completely overwhelmed by the fascinating and apologetic inspirational beauty of Bryce Canyon, just like almost every other visitor.