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Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park is a United States National Park that is located in Utah's Canyon Country. 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 1923 and was designated as a National Park in 1928. The park is one of the most popular in Utah with nearly one million people visiting each year.
The area was settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1850s and was named after Ebenezer Bryce, who homesteaded in the area in 1875 and was known to have described the canyon as "a hell of a place to lose a cow". President Warren G. Harding proclaimed Bryce Canyon a national monument on June 8, 1923. On June 7, 1924, Congress passed a bill to establish Utah National Park, when all land within the national monument would become the property of the United States. The land was acquired and the name was restored to Bryce Canyon. On February 25, 1928, Bryce Canyon officially became a national park.
Bryce Canyon consists of a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters carved from the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in southern Utah. The erosional force of frost-wedging and the dissolving power of rainwater have shaped the colorful limestone rock of the Claron Formation into bizarre shapes including slot canyons, windows, fins, and spires called "hoodoos." 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).
Bryce Canyon is home to 59 species of mammals including mule deer, elk, gray fox, black bears, mountain lions, coyotes, marmots, ground squirrels and pronghorn antelope. 175 different species of birds have been documented to frequent Bryce Canyon National Park, including swifts, turkeys, red-tailed hawks, swallows, jays, ravens, nuthatches, ravens, eagles and owls.
When visiting, do not, under any circumstances, feed the wildlife or allow wildlife to obtain human food. Animals which obtain food from humans often become aggressive, will sometimes get ill or even die due to a change in diet, and most seriously stop foraging for natural foods and frequently starve to death in winter months when human food is no longer available.
From April through October the park's weather is relatively mild, with pleasant days, cool nights and occasional thunderstorms. Temperatures drop during winter months, with many clear sunny days reflecting off of the deep snowpacks. The park boasts some of the world's best air quality, offering panoramic views of three states and approaching 200 miles of visibility. This, coupled with the lack of nearby large light sources, creates unparalleled opportunities for stargazing.
* Sunrise Point. Located near the Bryce Canyon Lodge, Sunrise Point provides an inspiring view of the canyon amphitheatre, with light best at (surprise!) sunrise.
* Sunset Point. Located a short hike from Sunrise Point along the Rim Trail, and also accessible by car, Sunset Point offers an alternative view of the canyon amphitheatre with best light occurring at sunset.
* Inspiration Point. Another viewpoint accessible by car or from the Rim Trail, Inspiration View's name is well-deserved. Photography from this overlook is best at sunset.
* Bryce Point. One of the most dramatic overlooks in the park, Bryce Point offers a tremendous panorama of the hoodoos and the surrounding landscape. It is accessible either by car or along the rim trail.
* Natural Bridge. Formed from an eroded hoodoo, the natural bridge is an interesting feature, although it may not impress those expecting an enormous natural arch.
* Rainbow Point. Located at the end of the park road, Rainbow Point and Yovimpa Point provide lookouts onto more hoodoos and also allow access to park trails including the Under the Rim Trail and the Riggs Spring Loop Trail.
* Hotel List Around Bryce Canyon