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2 July 2018 / leggypeggy

Breathtaking hoodoos of Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park

Hoodoos everywhere you look

Bryce Canyon National Park

Looking out over a bit of Bryce Canyon

Sorry to have been silent for so long. I’ve actually followed the wise advice given by those who said to enjoy the adventures and not worry about the blog until I had enough time and a better internet connection.

It’s given me the chance to savour all the sights and think about how to share them with you. So let’s start with one of the most unusual—Bryce Canyon.

Located in southwestern Utah, Bryce Canyon is actually a collection of giant natural amphitheaters running along the east side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau.

Bryce Canyon National ParkBryce Canyon National Park

Named after Ebenezer Bryce (a local settler) and designated as a national park in 1928, the canyon is a product of the weather.

Many millions of years ago, the area was filled with water. But after the water subsided, the transformation began with the limestone canyon walls (also called fins).

Over time (and still today), snow and ice settle on the fins. Then the sun comes out and melts both, and the resulting water seeps into cracks in the fins. When it re-freezes, it expands and cracks the rocks around it. Bits fall off, and this has happened again and again for millions of years. The process, called frost-wedging, is especially common in Bryce Canyon.

Bryce Canyon National Park, UtahBryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Frost-wedging ultimately creates holes (or windows) in the fins. As the windows grow, their tops eventually collapse, leaving columns/pillars of rock. Rain further dissolves and sculpts these limestone pillars into bulbous spires called hoodoos.

Poor John reckons hoodoos look like the creations made when kids dribble wet sand onto columns on the beach. They remind me of stalagmites, the rock formations that rise from the floor of a cave because of water that drips from the ceiling.

Hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Poor John thinks the hoodoos look like dribbled sand

But enough about how the hoodoos came to be. As an aside, hoodoos occur on every continent, but Bryce has the largest collection in the world.

We arrived at Bryce early in the morning, before the hordes came along and the temperatures rose.

Natural Bridge, Bryce Canyon

The Natural Bridge makes a fine picture frame

Our first stop was at the Natural Bridge, which isn’t a bridge at all but an arch. In geological terms, a bridge is created by rushing streams. Arches are formed by frost-wedging and a combination of other weather processes. This arch beautifully frames the Ponderosa forest behind it. 

My left hip was still bothering me, so for the rest of the day I wandered along the rim from Inspiration Point to Sunset Point and Sunrise Point. The walk is mostly level, but all three points are at an elevation of 8000 feet (2400 metres) or more. Some of parts of the rim rise to 9000 feet (2700 metres).

walking trail, Bryce Canyon, Utah

You can walk down, down and down

walking trail, Bryce Canyon, Utah

See walkers on the trail on the lower left of the pic

Poor John descended into the canyon as far as the Ooh Aah Point—what a great name for a lookout. Others in the group descended even farther. I felt I didn’t have enough time to go down and get back. Oops! I misremembered this—Poor John says the Ooh Aah Point is in the Grand Canyon. I might have remembered if I’d done it! 🙂

I have to say that even though my hip (which is fully recovered by now) limited some of my expeditions, I never felt like I missed out on much—except one place that I’ll cover in the another post.

P.S. I haven’t added captions to all the pics. They speak for themselves.

P.P.S. Fellow blogger, Michael Andrew Just, features many national parks on his site. Here’s a link to some pics he took in Bryce Canyon in winter.

Hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Sunrise Point, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Heading up to Sunrise Point



Leave a Comment
  1. Frank Prem / Jul 2 2018 4:32 pm

    Fantastic Peggy. A wonderful experience for you and John.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Emma Cownie / Jul 2 2018 4:41 pm

    Wow!!!!! I love the natural cathedral, the red colour and the arch. It must have been wonderful to visit.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. efge63 / Jul 2 2018 4:41 pm

    Poetry in Stone!

    Happy you here again !!!!!!!!

    An extremely long, long, time ago

    The Legend People lived in this place

    There were a very great many of them

    They did not belong to the human race

    They had enormous supernatural powers

    They wisely ruled this very ancient land

    They were called the To-when-an-ung-wa

    They were magnificent beings, most grand

    They would sit in sage, lengthy councils

    Pontificating about life, and all of Creation

    They could speak, fly, and even shape shift

    Theirs was truly a wondrous, peaceful, nation

    They dressed as colorful plumed birds and furry animals

    Or as great lizards and wise snails, and other such things

    But eventually, these Legend People came to be very evil

    Soon their terrible misdeeds, disaster to them would bring

    You can still see them in this ancient place, today

    Still standing in long rows, and some sitting down

    Some of them still desperately clinging to one another

    And each of them, now wearing huge immortal frowns

    One sad day, they began to fight, and even to hate one another

    And very horrifically, they began to steal, and to cheat, and to lie

    So one night, in total disgust, Coyote turned them all into red stone

    And here at night, in the eerie moonlight, you can still hear them cry

    The name of this place is Angka-ku-wass-a-wits

    (Red Painted Faces),

    And this is the story the people tell.

    Bryce Canyon
    By Mr. Ed

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Coral Waight / Jul 2 2018 4:59 pm

    What an amazing place! I’ve never heard of it. Obviously, if you can get out of America’s cities, it’s stunning.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Dorothy / Jul 2 2018 5:00 pm

    Wow, looks like nature is creating majestic castles or temples.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. ortensia / Jul 2 2018 5:04 pm


    Liked by 2 people

  7. Vicki / Jul 2 2018 5:32 pm

    Magnificent photos, Peggy. Easy to see how fascinating the hoodoos are in reality. Sorry to hear your hip is still not 100%, but Poor John, (hopefully), took some photos at the OOhAAh point of the canyon for you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 2 2018 5:35 pm

      I can’t get Poor John to carry a camera. At least he’s willing to carry mine on and off airplanes.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Eliza Ayres / Jul 2 2018 5:54 pm

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. derrickjknight / Jul 2 2018 6:04 pm

    Excellent photographs of stunning views – useful information. I trust that hip will remain in good shape

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Miriam / Jul 2 2018 6:11 pm

    What a spectacular place. Gorgeous pics.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Murray Foote / Jul 2 2018 6:55 pm

    You’ll become a Hoodoo Guru in no time….

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Dreamtemples / Jul 2 2018 7:07 pm

    Truly amazing!They almost look like some temples in India.Its good that you are taking it slowly giving yourself time to recover.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 2 2018 7:36 pm

      You’re right. They do look like some temples in India. And yes, my hip is good now.


  13. ksbeth / Jul 2 2018 7:44 pm

    how amazing

    Liked by 2 people

  14. beetleypete / Jul 2 2018 7:47 pm

    Breathtaking is the right word, Peggy. Definitely worth the walk!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Anna / Jul 2 2018 8:25 pm

    I absolutely loved my time in Bryce many years ago. It really is magical and unique!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. lmo58 / Jul 2 2018 8:44 pm

    Hi Peggy,
    Like everything else you photograph and write about, these too are absolutely magnificent. Some of the hoodoos look like natural cathedrals. The colours and formations are beyond belief. I’m looking forward to going to the other blogger’s link to see them in winter. Thanks again.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 2 2018 9:08 pm

      Thanks Louise. You’re right the hoodoos look very cathedral-like. I hope you enjoy seeing how they look covered in snow.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Eamon / Jul 2 2018 8:49 pm

    Looking good Peggy. Great to see yourself and John and your amazing travels.
    Can you tell me what organization you traveled with? Might try it myself

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Yeah, Another Blogger / Jul 2 2018 8:50 pm

    The natural world can be totally amazing.

    Have fun, Peggy! —
    Neil S.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. The Year I Touched My Toes / Jul 2 2018 9:18 pm

    Hi Peggy, Never heard of this place but WOW. Louise

    Liked by 2 people

  20. pvcann / Jul 2 2018 10:57 pm

    Good advice, and worth the wait too from a readers point of view, wow, just wow.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. lexklein / Jul 2 2018 11:13 pm

    I’m moving too fast this morning – I read your title as ‘Breaking hoodoos off Bryce Canyon’ and wondered how on earth you did that! It did get me to read very carefully – ha! I’m not a huge orange-earth, dry-climate, southwest US lover, but this place was so amazing. I happily wandered in there for several days in spite of some brutal heat and some wicked climbs back up. The rim views were just as spectacular and I’m glad of that for your sake with your sore hip.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2018 7:44 am

      I like to pick up small stones, but not so much so that I would break bits off the hoodoos. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Snapshotsincursive / Jul 3 2018 12:54 am

    That views are magnificent! So glad you were able to appreciate them. 👁👁

    Liked by 2 people

  23. sidilbradipo1 / Jul 3 2018 1:03 am

    OHHHH… WOW… what a breathtaking panorama 😛
    Have a wonderful Monday ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Anthony / Jul 3 2018 1:04 am

    Stunning photos. What an amazing place.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. susan@onesmallwalk / Jul 3 2018 1:06 am

    LP – So wonderful to have this introduction to the park. I plan on visiting this year. It’s nearly in our backyard, so I have no excuse to have missed it until now. The photo of the switchback climb was certainly impressive. I think you got the idea without having to tax your hip with the work of up-and-down walking 😉 Happy trails – Susan

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2018 7:47 am

      I sure did get the idea. Funnily enough, I didn’t see the switchbacks until after I decided not to descend into the canyon! Hope you have a wonderful time visiting this extraordinary place.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Osyth / Jul 3 2018 1:15 am

    When I asked my husband where he what he wants to see here in this land that he has lived in for nearly 30 years and that so far he has not travelled around except for work, his number one is Bryce. Reading this, seeing your pictures I can understand why. In places it looks almost like the temple at Hampi and yet it is entirely natural. Yup – hubby gets his wish … we have to go see for ourselves!

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2018 7:49 am

      Your husband has made a fantastic number one choice. I look forward to hearing about your travels to Bryce when his wishes come true.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Jul 3 2018 2:19 am

    Peggy, thank you for the detailed description of Hoodoos as well as your fantastic photos. They are strange and magnificent creations. Sorry your hip was still achy but you didn’t let you stop enjoying your adventure.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2018 8:00 am

      The hip was a pain, literally, but didn’t interfere with most of our adventures. I wouldn’t have missed Bryce for anything.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Sy S. / Jul 3 2018 6:35 am

    Hello Peggy,

    It has been about 50 years since I have been to this are, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park.So I forgot how beautiful these parks are! And super photos by the one and only PeggyZ. are great to recall the scenery and panoramic vistas. I had to Google; ” ‘Hoodoos’ are tall skinny spires of rock that protrude from the bottom of arid basins and “broken” lands. Hoodoos are most commonly found in the High Plateaus region of the Colorado Plateau and in the Badlands regions of the Northern Great Plains.” The surreal formations of mother nature and all it amazing colors, are for sure amazing!

    Aside- I liked the poem that was posted by a blogger and also this area must also be beautiful with snow cover as well.

    Sy S.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2018 8:01 am

      Oh Sy, I’m delighted to know you have seen Bryce in person and that this has brought back good memories. And yes, that poem is a perfect addition to the blog post.


  29. Chris Riley / Jul 3 2018 10:45 am

    The photos absolutely do speak for themselves, and with at least a thousand words – half of which would be ‘Ooh Aah’!

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2018 5:28 pm

      I’m so glad you picked up on the Ooh Aah! It sums up Bryce Canyon perfectly.


  30. Phyllis Gaetz / Jul 3 2018 12:44 pm

    Enjoyed the pictures! We went to Bryce Canyon on one of our motor cycle trips. I remember worrying about the high altitude for one of our riders who had suffered a heart attack the summer before! It is a magnificent view and a must see.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2018 5:29 pm

      Yes indeed, Phyllis, it is a must see. Glad you’ve had the chance to be there.


  31. shawnthompsonart / Jul 3 2018 1:09 pm

    Nice photos, and very interesting canyon.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Tracey Bacic / Jul 3 2018 3:38 pm


    Liked by 2 people

  33. a mindful traveler / Jul 3 2018 4:32 pm

    Speechless Peggy, and I’m sure it was even more breathtaking in real life!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jul 3 2018 5:31 pm

      I can still picture Bryce in my mind’s eye, but there’s nothing quite like being there.


  34. Yvonne / Jul 3 2018 5:06 pm

    It seems your followers are very happy with this offering.

    I liked reading about the geology of this beautiful area, long legged one.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Popping Wheelies / Jul 3 2018 9:29 pm

    As a photographer I have seem many pictures of Bryce Canyon. Your series today is undoubtedly the best collection I’ve seen and tells me the most about the magnificent area, which I’ve never had the opportunity to visit. Thanks so much.

    Liked by 3 people

  36. paolsoren / Jul 3 2018 10:23 pm

    Dribbled sand, Poor John. I remember when we were kids. That takes me back.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 4 2018 11:44 am

      Ah yes, wish the weather was warm enough to go to the beach.


  37. Sascha Darlington / Jul 4 2018 8:14 am

    Beautiful pics.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Gilda Baxter / Jul 4 2018 1:00 pm

    Such incredible place, absolutely stunning. I am glad your hip has recovered now and that it did not spoil things too much for you. Beautiful photos, thanks for sharing them 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 4 2018 6:35 pm

      You are so right Gilda. Bryce is stunning and incredible. So glad you enjoyed the photos. The hip is better.

      Liked by 3 people

  39. Phil Huston / Jul 4 2018 9:39 pm

    All along the borders of the four corners Mother Nature’s sculpture gardens will stop you in your tracks. The Navajo and Hopi and others considered this Holy ground. Away from the crowds, the wind and sand in your face, this area will, if you give it a moment of your time give you goosebumps, if not an insight into the Earth Mother religions. Thanks!

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 4 2018 10:10 pm

      Mother Nature stopped in our tracks again and again. We had an especially rewarding just-us-and-a-ranger experience in one park in Colorado.

      Liked by 2 people

  40. J.D. Riso / Jul 6 2018 4:19 pm

    I can never get tired of looking at that red rock. Poor John’s description of the hoodoos is so accurate. 🙂 Sorry to hear your hip was bothering you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 7 2018 9:18 am

      Poor John has a knack for describing things. Hip has recovered. Replaced by two torn tendons in my left shoulder. Ugh!

      Liked by 1 person

  41. The Lockwood Echo / Jul 6 2018 10:56 pm

    Wow. That’s truly breathtaking.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. poshbirdy / Jul 7 2018 6:26 am

    Stunning, isn’t it. Haven’t been there for more than 20 years but there’s nowhere like it x

    Liked by 3 people

  43. Lynz Real Cooking / Jul 7 2018 12:27 pm

    Breath taking is the best description Peggy! Wow and thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Forestwood / Jul 7 2018 10:27 pm

    Oh I recognize this place. Yinglan submitted it on one of my Monday Mystery Photos. Awesome place. Glad your hip has resolved.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 8 2018 9:06 am

      Bryce is certainly memorable once you’ve seen it. The wonky hip has been replaced by two torn tendons in my left shoulder, but they are improving too.

      Liked by 2 people

  45. jeanleesworld / Jul 11 2018 9:13 pm

    Beautiful post and even more beautiful news that you’re better! Keep absorbing all the wonder that you can, and share it when you can. Safe journey, Friend! xxxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 4 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 11 2018 9:49 pm

      Thanks Jean. The hip is better but have torn two tendons in my left shoulder. Life is an adventure.

      Liked by 2 people

  46. dfolstad58 / Jul 12 2018 2:48 am

    Wonderful blog report on the canyon. As terrific as your photos I suspect seeing them “live” is many degrees more impressive. I was struck by the similarity to the cappadocian pillars in Turkey.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. tony / Jul 25 2018 10:39 pm

    Amazing Place, Peggy. Breathtaking Photos!


    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jul 26 2018 12:44 pm

      Thanks Tony. We were sure lucky with the weather.


  48. macalder02 / Jul 30 2018 6:20 pm

    The formations derived from the wild nature, look like works of art sculpted in a wonderful way. Your photos are extraordinary.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. / Aug 3 2018 2:34 am

    Peggy, Bryce Canyon is a fabulous place, and one of many incredible sights in the Western US that owe their exisitence to erosion. Mother nature is relentless. BTW, good explanation of frost-wedging, and great photos. ~James

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Aug 3 2018 7:28 am

      Thanks James. It was a wonderful place to visit. Good to know the frost-wedging explanation makes sense.


  50. milliethom / Aug 7 2018 6:29 am

    Fabulous post, Peggy. The geologist in me would LOVE to visit this place. What amazing structures – and your photos of them are wonderful. Sorry to hear your hip problems held yo back on this trip, but glad to know you are OK now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Aug 7 2018 7:17 am

      Thanks Millie. Bryce really is breathtaking. And yes, the hip is fine, but have managed to tear two tendons in my left shoulder. Ah the joys of camping.

      Liked by 1 person

      • milliethom / Aug 7 2018 8:13 pm

        Camping is something I haven’t done for years, but it’s a great way to get into the wilds, away from the cities and towns. My husband couldn’t do it nowadays as he’s partially disabled. Loved your post!

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Aug 7 2018 8:21 pm

        Sorry to hear camping is no longer part of your explorations. You still have great adventures.


  51. tony / Aug 30 2018 10:49 am

    Hi Peggy

    Late as always! The photos are terrific and inspiring as always too! But, I particularly loved your descriptions of the fins, hoodoos and the arch and their formation. It makes sense! Usually, geological formation descriptions are boring, tedious, too remote or just unintelligible. Congratulations.

    I had been meaning to read the posts on your trip again and do some planning for next year. This has inspired me.


    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Aug 30 2018 12:32 pm

      Thanks Tony. I always try to give descriptions in plain English. Often takes longer to write and fine-tune, but always worth it.


  52. afterthelasttime / Oct 27 2018 7:02 am

    Nicely done, Peggy! Not sure why I’m just now seeing this post but….glad I am now!

    Liked by 1 person

  53. jeanleesworld / Jun 16 2020 4:09 am

    Beautiful photos! Here’s hoping I can get my family here some day. x Hope you and yours are doing well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jun 16 2020 7:19 am

      Thanks Jean. We’re doing well and hope it’s the same for all of you.

      Liked by 1 person

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