A hop and skip distance away from Zion is Bryce Canyon. Well, just under a two hour drive time. And it’s our second park of the Mighty Five.
A short two hour drive East we find ourselves in a dramatically different landscape. At a much higher elevation the nightly temperatures were well below freezing. Sick and tired of shivering at night and dealing with frozen food we caved in and spent a night in a motel before heading into the park. Only our second time crashing in a motel on our entire trip. After a night of lazy TV watching we made our way to the entrance of Bryce Canyon. Here the landscape is unlike anything we’ve encountered yet.
Bryce Canyon is not even a canyon, but a series of natural amphitheaters that have these crazy looking rock features called Hoodoos. These Hoodoo rock features were created not by a river, but by ice cracking the rocks apart and exposing the colorful sedimentary rocks underneath. Hoodoo type formations can be found all over the world. Another famous area with Hoodoos is in the Cappadocia region of Turkey where people carved houses into the rock formations.
When you arrive in Bryce Canyon you are on top of the Paunsaugunt Plateau looking East where the land descends in a series of steps known as the Grand Staircase. The Grand Staircase steps down through Zion, Vermilion Cliffs, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, and finally The Grand Canyon.