by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved

Bryce Canyon

National Park - Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park, a sprawling reserve in southern Utah, is known for crimson-colored hoodoos, which are spire-shaped rock formations. The park’s main road leads past the expansive Bryce Amphitheater, a hoodoo-filled depression lying below the Rim Trail hiking path. It has overlooks at Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, Inspiration Point and Bryce Point. Prime viewing times are around sunup and sundown.

location

maps

Official Visitor Map of Bryce Canyon National Park (NP) in Utah. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Bryce Canyon - Visitor Map

Official Visitor Map of Bryce Canyon National Park (NP) in Utah. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Detail of the Official Visitor Map of Bryce Canyon National Park (NP) in Utah. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Bryce Canyon - Detail

Detail of the Official Visitor Map of Bryce Canyon National Park (NP) in Utah. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map for Camping on the east Fork in Dixie National Forest (NF) west of Bryce Canyon National Park (NP) in Utah. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Dixie - Camping on the East Fork

Map for Camping on the east Fork in Dixie National Forest (NF) west of Bryce Canyon National Park (NP) in Utah. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Map of Dave's Hollow Designated Camping in Dixie National Forest (NF) west of Bryce Canyon National Park (NP) in Utah. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Dixie - Dave's Hollow Designated Camping

Map of Dave's Hollow Designated Camping in Dixie National Forest (NF) west of Bryce Canyon National Park (NP) in Utah. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Area Map of Rainbow Bridge National Monument (NM) in Utah. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Rainbow Bridge - Area Map

Area Map of Rainbow Bridge National Monument (NM) in Utah. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of Powell Ranger District in Dixie National Forest (NF) in Utah. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Dixie - Powell Ranger District

Map of Powell Ranger District in Dixie National Forest (NF) in Utah. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Motor Vehicle Travel Map (MVTM) of Powell Ranger District in Dixie National Forest (NF) in Utah. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).Dixie MVTM - Powell 2020

Motor Vehicle Travel Map (MVTM) of Powell Ranger District in Dixie National Forest (NF) in Utah. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service (USFS).

Map of the Daily Lottery Permit Application Geofence Perimeter for Coyote Buttes North (The Wave) and South in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument (NM), Arizona Strip BLM Field Office area and Kanab BLM Field Office area in Utah and Arizona. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Coyote Buttes South - Daily Lottery Permit Application Geofence Perimeter

Map of the Daily Lottery Permit Application Geofence Perimeter for Coyote Buttes North (The Wave) and South in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument (NM), Arizona Strip BLM Field Office area and Kanab BLM Field Office area in Utah and Arizona. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of Powell Ranger District in Dixie National Forest (NF) in Utah. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Dixie MVUM - Powell 2023

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of Powell Ranger District in Dixie National Forest (NF) in Utah. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Travel Map of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (NM) in Utah. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Grand Staircase-Escalante - Travel Map

Travel Map of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (NM) in Utah. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Official Utah Highway Map. Published by the Utah Department of Transportation.Utah State - Highway Map

Official Utah Highway Map. Published by the Utah Department of Transportation.

brochures

Official Brochure of Bryce Canyon National Park (NP) in Utah. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Bryce Canyon - Brochure 2001

Official Brochure of Bryce Canyon National Park (NP) in Utah. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Centennial Newspapaer of Bryce Canyon National Park (NPS) in Utah. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Bryce Canyon - A Century of Wonder 1923 - 2023

Centennial Newspapaer of Bryce Canyon National Park (NPS) in Utah. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Official Visitor Guide to Bryce Canyon National Park (NPS) in Utah. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Bryce Canyon - Guide and Map 2018

Official Visitor Guide to Bryce Canyon National Park (NPS) in Utah. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Official Visitor Guide to Bryce Canyon National Park (NPS) in Utah. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Bryce Canyon - The Hoodoo Newspaper 2017

Official Visitor Guide to Bryce Canyon National Park (NPS) in Utah. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/brca https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryce_Canyon_National_Park Bryce Canyon National Park, a sprawling reserve in southern Utah, is known for crimson-colored hoodoos, which are spire-shaped rock formations. The park’s main road leads past the expansive Bryce Amphitheater, a hoodoo-filled depression lying below the Rim Trail hiking path. It has overlooks at Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, Inspiration Point and Bryce Point. Prime viewing times are around sunup and sundown. Hoodoos (irregular columns of rock) exist on every continent, but here is the largest concentration found anywhere on Earth. Situated along a high plateau at the top of the Grand Staircase, the park's high elevations include numerous life communities, fantastic dark skies, and geological wonders that defy description. From the North: Take I-15 south to UT-20 (exit 95). Travel east on UT-20 to US-89. Follow US-89 south to UT-12. Travel east on UT-12 to UT-63. Take UT-63 south to Bryce Canyon NP. From the South through Zion National Park: Take I-15 north to UT-9 (exit 16). Follow UT-9 east through Zion National Park to US-89. Travel north on US-89 to UT-12. Go east on UT-12 to UT-63. Take UT-63 south to Bryce Canyon NP. From the East Travel west on UT-12 to UT-63. Take UT-63 south to Bryce Canyon NP. Bryce Canyon Visitor Center The Bryce Canyon Visitor Center might be one of your first stops when visiting Bryce Canyon National Park. Here you can obtain driving and hiking directions beyond those available on this website, weather forecasts, a current schedule of Park Ranger guided programs, Junior Ranger booklets, and information on area services including lodging, dining and other attractions. The Visitor Center is located approximately one mile south from the park entrance on UT-63. From the North: Take I-15 south to UT-20 (exit 95). Travel east on UT-20 to US-89. Follow US-89 south to UT-12. Travel east on UT-12 to UT-63. Take UT-63 south to Bryce Canyon National Park. From the South through Zion National Park: Take I-15 north to UT-9 (exit 16). Follow UT-9 east through Zion National Park to US-89. Travel north on US-89 to UT-12. Go east on UT-12 to UT-63. Take UT-63 south to the park. North Campground Located across the road from the Visitor Center and is comprised of 100 sites in 4 loops; A, B, C, D. Loops A & B are for RV campers. Loops C & D are for tent campers. There are no sewer, water or electrical hook-ups available. A dump station is available in summer months near North Campground; use is included with campsite fee. Potable water is available near the dump station. North Campground is close to the Visitor Center, General Store, and Fairyland Loop/Rim Trail. Per Tent Site 30.00 Cost is per night. All sites are limited to 10 people with no more than 6 adults (16 and up); 3 tents; and 2 cars, or 4 motorcycles. Holders of the following passes (with valid ID) receive a 50% discount on their camping fees: Golden Age & Golden Access Passes; America the Beautiful Federal Lands Senior Pass (lifetime pass for U.S. residents 62 years and older); America the Beautiful Federal Lands Access Pass (lifetime pass for U.S. residents with a permanent disability). Per RV Site 30.00 Cost is per night. All sites are limited to 10 people with no more than 6 adults (16 and up); 3 tents; 2 cars, or 4 motorcycles, or 1 RV/trailer with 1 tow vehicle. Holders of the following passes (with valid ID) receive a 50% discount on their camping fees: Golden Age & Golden Access Passes; America the Beautiful Federal Lands Senior Pass (lifetime pass for U.S. residents 62 years and older); America the Beautiful Federal Lands Access Pass (lifetime pass for U.S. residents with a permanent disability). North Campground Campsite Camping chairs, a tent, and camper at a campsite. Both tents and RVs are welcome in North Campground Sunset Campground Located west of Sunset Point, approximately 1.5 miles south of the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center, and is comprised of 99 sites in 3 loops; Loop A is primarily for RVs; Loops B & C are tent-only. There are no sewer, water or electrical hook-ups available. A dump station is available in summer months near North Campground; use is included with campsite fee. Potable water is available near the dump station. Sunset Campground is close to Sunset Point and has a shuttle stop at its entrance. Tent Site 30.00 Cost is per night. All sites are limited to 10 people with no more than 6 adults (16 and up); 3 tents; and 2 cars, or 4 motorcycles. Holders of the following passes (with valid ID) receive a 50% discount on their camping fees: Golden Age & Golden Access Passes; America the Beautiful Federal Lands Senior Pass (lifetime pass for U.S. residents 62 years and older); America the Beautiful Federal Lands Access Pass (lifetime pass for U.S. residents with a permanent disability). RV Site 30.00 Cost is per night. All sites are limited to 10 people with no more than 6 adults (16 and up); 3 tents; 2 cars, or 4 motorcycles, or 1 RV/trailer with 1 tow vehicle. Holders of the following passes (with valid ID) receive a 50% discount on their camping fees: Golden Age & Golden Access Passes; America the Beautiful Federal Lands Senior Pass (lifetime pass for U.S. residents 62 years and older); America the Beautiful Federal Lands Access Pass (lifetime pass for U.S. residents with a permanent disability). RV site in Sunset Campground Two RVs parked at gravel campsites in Sunset Campground. Both RVs and Tent campers are welcome in Sunset Campground Bryce Amphitheater from Inspiration Point A red rock landscape and plateau forest glows with the morning sun Viewpoints of the iconic Bryce Amphitheater are located along the first 3 miles of the park road and are a popular destination at sunrise. Winter sunrise at Sunset Point Snow blankets a red rock landscape of tall rock spires beneath an early morning sky Here at 8,000' (2438 m) winter comes early and stays late. Snow transforms the landscape and requires seasonal closures in some areas and trails. Milky Way over the Hoodoos The center of the Milky Way galaxy is seen rising above a horizon of forest and red rock spires Bryce Canyon's clean air and dark night skies are some of its most precious and vulnerable resources. Full moon nights also provide a unique experience of seeing the park after dark. Queen's Garden Trail A lone white rock tower stands surrounded by red rock walls and forest along a trail More strenuous trails below the rim provide up-close views of the hoodoo rock spires, while easier walks along the rim give perspective from above. Bristlecone Loop trail near Yovimpa Point Red and white rock cliffs lightly dusted with snow with a forest atop them and a long view beyond The park's highest elevations at its southern end and backcountry areas provide views of over 100 miles (161 km) atop high steep cliffs. Old NPS Housing Historic District Cultural Landscape Old National Park Service (NPS) Housing Historic District is located in the heart of a visitor-focused area of Bryce Canyon National Park. The existing landscape and its Rustic style buildings reflect a period of development within the National Park Service, characterized by park planning principles that had been formalized by the National Park Service between the years of 1916-1942. Ranger station/residence, 1929 (Old NPS Housing Historic District: CLI, NPS, 2010) 2009 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2009 Environmental Achievement Awards California Condor Species description of the California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus). An adult condor with the wing tag label number 80 stands over a juvenile condor. Bryce Canyon Lodge/Deluxe Cabins Cultural Landscape The Bryce Canyon Lodge/Deluxe Cabins cultural landscape is a significant example of the role of landscape architecture in Rustic style of national park design and planning. A rustic lodge with a broad green roof is surrounded by a low stone wall and tall pine trees. NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. Links to products from Baseline Geologic and Soil Resources Inventories provide access to maps and reports. [Site Under Development] park scene colorful rock hoodoos Park Sells Firewood from Thinning Project In the last two years, Bryce Canyon National Park has completed numerous fuels reduction projects to reduce the stand density of ponderosa pine and return the forest to a more natural state, while also reducing the risk to park infrastructure. Firewood being collected by local residents Bryce Canyon National Park Completes Fuels Reduction Project Bryce Canyon NP completed a major fuels reduction project around Bryce Canyon Lodge to reduce the fuel loading and return the forest to a more natural state. Ponderosa pine was thinned and limbed by chainsaw to eliminate the risks that a prescribed fire might have. The debris was burned in piles in winter, when there was less risk of escape. Some wood was sold as firewood. This work restored resilient landscapes and fire-adapted human communities. Landbird Monitoring in Northern Colorado Plateau Network Parks, 2018 Because birds can be sensitive to habitat change, they are good indicators of ecosystem integrity. The Northern Colorado Plateau Network partners with the University of Delaware to assess breeding-bird species trends in three different habitats: low-elevation riparian, pinyon-juniper, and sage shrubland. Find out which species were increasing and declining at network parks as of 2018. Small, bright-orange bird with yellowish underfeathers. Structure Assessments Conducted at Bryce Canyon National Park Wildland Fire Modules from Saguaro NP, Bandelier NM, and Zion NP participated in the annual Wildland Fire Module Conference in May 2012 at Bryce Canyon National Park. The modules coordinated on performing structure assessments. The information they collected will be available on an internal agency mapping website called “InsideMaps,” so fire personnel can look up hazard assessment information when responding to a fire in the area. Veteran Story: William Bouley Bill Bouley served in the US Army for 20 years. Today he continues in public service as a Safety Manager for several parks and monuments in southern Utah. Bill Bouley, in uniform, with a helicopter in the background Survival of the Southern Paiute The Paiutes have overcome insurmountable challenges and devastation as a people. Their long struggle to preserve the Paiute way and flourish continues. But they will not give up. Instead, they celebrate their achievements, promising that while “[t]he struggle is long and difficult… the Paiute will survive.” Native American man in ceremonial dress with orange cliffs in the background. California Condor Reintroduction & Recovery A tagged California condor flies free. NPS Photo/ Don Sutherland A wing-tagged California condor flying in the blue sky. Rainbow Point Fuels Reduction Project at Bryce Canyon National Park This "Success Story" video highlights the Rainbow Point Fuels Reduction Project at Bryce Canyon National Park and the successful utilization of that treatment to stop the Riggs/Lonely Fires in 2018. Park Air Profiles - Bryce Canyon National Park Air quality profile for Bryce Canyon National Park. Gives park-specific information about air quality and air pollution impacts for Bryce Canyon NP as well as the studies and monitoring conducted for Bryce Canyon NP. Thor’s Hammer at sunrise The Sounds of Spring When the weather warms, national parks across the country rouse from winter’s sleep. The sounds you hear in parks reflect this seasonal change. They contribute to the unique soundscape of these special places, and are among the resources that the National Park Service protects. Sandhill cranes dance in a courtship ritual in flooded grasslands at Great Sand Dunes NP. Wildland Fire in Douglas Fir: Western United States Douglas fir is widely distributed throughout the western United States, as well as southern British Columbia and northern Mexico. Douglas fir is able to survive without fire, its abundantly-produced seeds are lightweight and winged, allowing the wind to carry them to new locations where seedlings can be established. Close-up of Douglas fir bark and needles. Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Northern Colorado Plateau Park Waters Pesticides, antibiotics, and personal care products are all being found in streams and rivers. But would you expect to find them in a national park? On the northern Colorado Plateau, scientists found that even in isolated areas, these "contaminants of emerging concern" are not uncommon. Find out what we found where--and how you can help. Ripples in cave water Wildland Fire in Ponderosa Pine: Western United States This forest community generally exists in areas with annual rainfall of 25 inches or less. Extensive pure stands of this forest type are found in the southwestern U.S., central Washington and Oregon, southern Idaho and the Black Hills of South Dakota. Recently burned ponderosa pine forest. 2020 WORLDFEST FILM FESTIVAL WINNERS In 2020 Harpers Ferry Center (HFC) won eight awards at WorldFest Houston. Many of these can be viewed over the summer through our upcoming film festival in celebration of HFC’s 50th Anniversary. (Note: The Special Jury REMI Award is given for a ranking of A+ and recognizes the top films in each category.) Green trees grow in red dirt canyons unde a cloudy sky. Hummingbird Monitoring in Southwestern National Parks Hummingbirds are beautiful and charismatic, but not as well studied as many other birds. Some hummingbird species in the U.S. might be in decline, so monitoring them to estimate their abundance and detect trends in their populations is an important step towards developing a conservation strategy. Releasing a hummingbird after banding. What We’re Learning and Why it Matters: Long-Term Monitoring on the Northern Colorado Plateau Knowing which key natural resources are found in the national parks, and whether they're stable or changing, helps decisionmakers make sound choices. The Northern Colorado Plateau Network is building that knowledge. After more than ten years of monitoring, we've learned a lot about park ecosystems, how they're changing, and what they may look like in the days to come. Find out what we’ve learned and how it’s being used to help managers plan for the future. Man stands in a stream, looking down at a handheld gauge. Landbird Population Trends in the Northern Colorado Plateau Network, 2019 Because birds can be sensitive to habitat change, they are good indicators of ecosystem integrity. The Northern Colorado Plateau Network partners with the University of Delaware to assess breeding-bird species trends in three different habitats: low-elevation riparian, pinyon-juniper, and sage shrubland. Find out which species were increasing and declining at network parks as of 2019. Bald eagle Water Quality in the Northern Colorado Plateau Network: Water Years 2016–2018 Once a month, ecologists collect water samples at dozens of monitoring sites in and near ten National Park Service units across Utah and Colorado. This consistent, long-term monitoring helps alert managers to existing and potential problems. Find out the results for 2016-2018 in this brief from the Northern Colorado Plateau Network. A monitoring crew of three samples a clear river flowing over brown rock and sand Series: Geologic Time Periods in the Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display at a visitor center Series: NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Since 2002, the National Park Service (NPS) has awarded Environmental Achievement (EA) Awards to recognize staff and partners in the area of environmental preservation, protection and stewardship. A vehicle charges at an Electric Vehicle charging station at Thomas Edison National Historical Park Series: Park Air Profiles Clean air matters for national parks around the country. Photo of clouds above the Grand Canyon, AZ Quaternary Period—2.58 MYA to Today Massive ice sheets advanced and retreated across North America during much of the Quaternary, carving landscapes in many parks. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve contains geologic evidence of lower sea level during glacial periods, facilitating the prehistoric peopling of the Americas. The youngest rocks in the NPS include the lava of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the travertine at Yellowstone National Park, which can be just a few hours old. fossil bone bed and murals of mammoths Paleogene Period—66.0 to 23.0 MYA Colorful Paleogene rocks are exposed in the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park and the badlands of Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt national parks. Extraordinary Paleogene fossils are found in Fossil Butte and John Day Fossil Beds national monuments, among other parks. fossil skull with teeth expsoed Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display in a visitor center Ponderosa Canyon Viewpoint Repair For years, a few of the columns at Ponderosa Canyon have been tilting towards the canyon creating an unsafe area for visitors. Most parks have amazing maintenance crews that easily deal with day to day issues, but not all have crews that perform construction work that is typically contracted out to repair issues like this. A little over a year ago, Floyd Winder, formerly working at Zion National Park, arrived at Bryce and hit the ground running. A brown wooden sign labeled Ponderosa Point Elevation 8904 with stone barriers connected by logs Landbird Population Trends in the Northern Colorado Plateau Network, 2020 Because birds can be sensitive to habitat change, they are good indicators of ecosystem integrity. The Northern Colorado Plateau Network partners with the University of Delaware to assess breeding-bird species trends in three different habitats: low-elevation riparian, pinyon-juniper, and sage shrubland. Find out which species were increasing and declining at network parks as of 2020. Small beige bird with black beak and feet, brown back. Monitoring From Space: Using Satellite Imagery to Measure Landscape Conditions on the Ground Scientists from the Northern Colorado Plateau Network travel thousands of miles each year to collect data on plants, soils, and water across network parks. But it would be impossible to cover every square inch of the Northern Colorado Plateau with boots on the ground. Instead, we simultaneously monitor the parks with boots in space—satellite data that provide information at a much broader scale. Satellite and Earth in space Localized Drought Impacts on Northern Colorado Plateau Landbirds Birds of the desert southwest, a climate-change hotspot, are among the most vulnerable groups in the US. To help park managers plan for those changes, scientists evaluated the influence of water deficit on landbird communities at 11 national parks in Utah and Colorado. The results will help land managers to focus conservation efforts on places where certain species are most vulnerable to projected climate changes. A man wearing a clipboard looks through binoculars at dawn in field of sagebrush Changing Patterns of Water Availability May Change Vegetation Composition in US National Parks Across the US, changes in water availability are altering which plants grow where. These changes are evident at a broad scale. But not all areas experience the same climate in the same way, even within the boundaries of a single national park. A new dataset gives park managers a valuable tool for understanding why vegetation has changed and how it might change in the future under different climate-change scenarios. Green, orange, and dead grey junipers in red soil, mountains in background The Road to Rainbow: Snow Removal at Bryce Canyon National Park Every winter, Bryce Canyon's Roads and Trails crew is responsible for keeping the park accessible no matter the weather. From plowing the park's most popular viewpoints in the Bryce Amphitheater, to making sure staff can get to work, to finally clearing the Southern Scenic Drive to Rainbow Point, we invite you to ride along for a behind-the-scenes look. A small tractor uses a snow blower to remove snow from a parking lot. Water Resources on the Colorado Plateau Describes the origin, uses, threats to, and conservation of water on the Colorado Plateau. Dark green body of water winding through red rock formations with brilliant sun overhead. Pauline Mead Pauline "Polly" Mead fell in love with the Grand Canyon as a botany student. Her knowledge of the plants at the canyon, together with a connection to National Park Service (NPS) Director Stephen T. Mather, got her a job as the first woman ranger-naturalist at Grand Canyon National Park in 1930. Mead's formal NPS career was short because she married the park's assistant superintendent in 1931. As a "park wife" she continued to live and research in parks for another 25 years. Polly Mead in her NPS uniform examining a plant. We Don’t Know What Will Happen to Bryce Canyon’s Hoodoos Only one scientific study about the effect of temperature on these iconic rock spires has ever been done. Without knowing more, the effect of a warming climate is anyone’s guess. A woman in an NPS uniform and hat looks over a vast landscape of red rock formations Landbird Population Trends in the Northern Colorado Plateau Network, 2021 Because birds can be sensitive to habitat change, they are good indicators of ecosystem integrity. The Northern Colorado Plateau Network partners with the University of Delaware to assess breeding-bird species trends in three different habitats: low-elevation riparian, pinyon-juniper, and sage shrubland. Find out which species were increasing and declining at network parks as of 2021. Small dove with black spots on back of wings, long tail, and brownish-gray body. Trends in Water Quality at Bryce Canyon National Park, Water Years 2006–2021 About once a month, ecologists collect water samples at three monitoring sites in Bryce Canyon National Park. This consistent, long-term monitoring helps alert managers to existing and potential problems. Find out what trends we’ve seen from 2006 to 2021 in this article from the Northern Colorado Plateau Network. A man bends over in a sandy stream with weir. National Parks in Southern Utah Plan your visits to Southern Utah National Parks. Get details about permits, shuttles, and other information so that you know before you go! Series: Geologic Time—Major Divisions and NPS Fossils The National Park System contains a magnificent record of geologic time because rocks from each period of the geologic time scale are preserved in park landscapes. The geologic time scale is divided into four large periods of time—the Cenozoic Era, Mesozoic Era, Paleozoic Era, and The Precambrian. photo of desert landscape with a petrified wood log on the surface Guide to the Henry G. Peabody Photograph Collection Finding aid for the Henry G. Peabody Collection Guide to the Thomas J. Allen Photograph Collection Finding aid for the Thomas J. Allen Photographs in the NPS History Collection. 50 Nifty Finds #18: Portable Posters Many visitors to national parks today collect passport stamps, magnets, or other items to recall their trip and to show others where they’ve been. In the 1920s and 1930s the “must have” souvenirs weren’t created to be collected. National Park Service (NPS) windshield stickers served a practical administrative purpose; they were evidence that the automobile license fee drivers paid at some parks had been paid. Even so, Americans embraced their colorful, artistic designs. Four colorful Rocky Mountain National Park windshield stickers. Series: Park Paleontology News - Vol. 15, No. 1, Spring 2023 All across the park system, scientists, rangers, and interpreters are engaged in the important work of studying, protecting, and sharing our rich fossil heritage. <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossils/newsletters.htm">Park Paleontology news</a> provides a close up look at the important work of caring for these irreplaceable resources. <ul><li>Contribute to Park Paleontology News by contacting the <a href="https://www.nps.gov/common/utilities/sendmail/sendemail.cfm?o=5D8CD5B898DDBB8387BA1DBBFD02A8AE4FBD489F4FF88B9049&r=/subjects/geoscientistsinparks/photo-galleries.htm">newsletter editor</a></li><li>Learn more about <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossils/">Fossils & Paleontology</a> </li><li>Celebrate <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossilday/">National Fossil Day</a> with events across the nation</li></ul> three people working in a fossil quarry One Hundred Years of Bryce Canyon–Over Fifty Million Years of Fossils Paleontologist Tut Tran began working at Bryce Canyon National Park to help document the park’s Late Cretaceous paleontological resources. A number of important fossil discoveries were made at the park during Tut’s tenure leading to some partnerships with other paleontologists in Utah. a person standing on a rock outcrop Making an Impact: Long-Term Monitoring of Natural Resources at Intermountain Region National Parks, 2021 Across the Intermountain Region, Inventory & Monitoring Division ecologists are helping to track the effects of climate change, provide baseline information for resource management, evaluate new technologies, and inspire the next generation of park stewards. This article highlights accomplishments achieved during fiscal year 2021. A man looks through binoculars at sunrise. Intern Spotlight: Estrella Sainburg Meet Estrella, a former Trails Planning and GIS Assistant with the Latino Heritage Internship Program! A young latina woman smiling, wearing a blue shirt with a statue behind her. Landbird Population Trends in the Northern Colorado Plateau Network, 2022 Because birds can be sensitive to habitat change, they are good indicators of ecosystem integrity. The Northern Colorado Plateau Network partners with the University of Delaware to assess breeding-bird species trends in three different habitats: low-elevation riparian, pinyon-juniper, and sage shrubland. Find out which species were increasing and declining at network parks as of 2022. Hairy woodpecker clings to the underside of a tree branch. A Changing Bimodal Climate Zone Means Changing Vegetation in Western National Parks When the climate changes enough, the vegetation communities growing in any given place will also change. Under an expanded bimodal climate zone, some plant communities in western national parks are more likely to change than others. National Park Service ecologists and partners investigated the future conditions that may force some of this change. Having this information can help park managers decide whether to resist, direct, or accept the change. Dark storm clouds and rainbow over mountains and saguaros. 50 Nifty Finds #35: On the Same Track In 1915 Stephen T. Mather was hired by Secretary of Interior Franklin K. Lane to build public and political support for a new bureau for national parks. To implement his vision, Mather called on an industry with a track record in publicizing western national parks—the nation’s railroad companies. Brochure cover for Glacier National Park hotels and tours featuring a large inn Research suggests most visitors welcome actions to preserve night sky quality Parks and other protected areas are some of the last places on Earth with dark night skies. But even they have outdoor lighting at night. Scientists surveyed park visitors in Utah to gauge their support for changing outdoor lighting to improve night sky quality. The researchers’ work suggests that such management actions would have broad public support. stargazers look up to a brilliant night sky and point green lasers to point out constellations 50 Nifty Finds #38: A Germ of an Idea A lot of articles have been written about the history of the National Park Service (NPS) arrowhead emblem. Many recycle the same content and outdated information that has largely come from the NPS itself. Challenging the traditional story has revealed new sources of information—and two previously overlooked arrowhead designs—that rewrite the arrowhead origin story. Wooden arrowhead plaque on stand 23 in 2023: An Explore Nature Year in Review As we reflect on 2023, we offer you a list of 23 interesting and exciting science and nature events from parks of the national park system. From a dazzling “ring of fire” annular eclipse to celebrating conservation wins with the help of funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, 2023 was filled with amazing moments. the ring of fire as seen during an annular eclipse Strong Visitor Support for Steps to Limit Light Pollution In a world where excess light is wiping out our views of the stars at a startling pace, parks can protect natural darkness. But do nighttime visitors support the changes parks must make to bring back dark night skies? We didn’t know until we asked them. A group of people with red lights and telescopes under a starry night sky with the Milky Way visible
Bryce Canyon National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Centennial Newspaper A Century of Wonder 1923 - 2023 LEWIS A. RAMSEY, The Eternal City, View of Bryce Canyon View of Bryce Canyon, 1926, oil on canvas, Courtesy of the Orton Geological Library, Ohio State “ Yo u c a n p e r h a p s i m a g i n e m Y s u r p r i s e a t t h e i n de s c r i b a b l e b e au t Y t h at g r e e t e d us , a n d i t wa s s u n d o w n b e f o r e i c o u l d b e d r a g g e d f r o m t h e c a n Y o n v i e w .” - J .w. h u m p h r e Y What will you remember about the first time you saw Bryce Canyon? Rangers like to call a person’s first view their Bryce Moment: when the forested plateau rim suddenly gives way to a vast, sublime and chromatic expanse. Some have described it as “a cave without a ceiling”, others “a forest of stone.” What do you see in this landscape? What words could ever do it justice? The earliest story we know of this land comes from the Southern Paiute, who have lived here since time immemorial and for whom this remains a sacred place. In these rock formations the Southern Paiute recognized terrible consequences: the Legend People, To-when-an-unga-wa, turned to stone by the trickster god Coyote for their bad deeds. As recounted by Kaibab Paiute elder Indian Dick in 1936, “You can see their faces, with paint on them just as they were before they became rocks. The name of that place is Angka-ku-wass-a-wits (red painted faces).” Though the plateau provided the Southern Paiute a generous bounty of food and shelter along their seasonal migrations, the canyon itself was avoided. Euro-American contact would later see their word for feelings of fear, “oo’doo”, mistranslated as a word for the rocks themselves, “hoodoo”. In 1874 families from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints began arriving in the valley east of the plateau. Among them was Ebenezer Bryce, his wife Mary, and their 10 children. It’s doubtful that a man as devout as Ebenezer actually described the canyon as “a hell of a place to lose a cow”, though perhaps “a poor place to loose (set free) a cow.” Either way, one can discern a truth in these words: though they may have appreciated its beauty, they were also fully occupied with survival in a landscape whose consequences could be severe. Government surveyors also arrived in the 1870s and added their first impressions to the record. On the 1872 Sunset Point remains the heart of visitor experience in the park, in part thanks to its proximity to iconic hoodoos like Thor’s Hammer. Wheeler survey, Grove Karl Gilbert would glimpse “a perfect wilderness of red pinnacles, the stunningest thing out of a picture.” Four years later U.S. Deputy Surveyor T.C. Bailey would stand at the rim and write of “thousands of red, white, purple, and vermilion colored rocks, of all sizes, resembling sentinels on the walls of castles, monks and priests in their robes, attendants, cathedrals and congregations […] presenting the wildest and most wonderful scene that the eye of man ever beheld, in fact, it is one of the wonders of the world.” Perhaps one of the most consequential experiences of this landscape would come some 40 years later in 1915. At the urging of one of his employees, U.S. Forest Service Supervisor J.W. Humphrey would ride 25 miles from his new office in Panguitch to a place we now call Sunset Point. The encounter completely changed his life. For years to come he would dedicate himself to writing the first articles, inviting the first photographers, and overseeing the construction of the first improved roads and trails that would one day bring the rest of us to our own Bryce Moment. (continued on back) “...to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” National Park Service Organic Act 1916 Welcoming the World to Bryce Canyon That same summer, seeds planted by Humphrey and others began to take root as representatives from the Union Pacific Railroad began scouting the area for possible development. The establishment of Zion National Park and Grand Canyon National Park in 1919 brought attention to the beauty of the area, as well as the economic value in creating a southwestern tourist loop that would link rail travel with overland tours and upscale lodging along the way. By the time Bryce Canyon National Monument was established in June 1923 the Union Pacific Railroad was in active negotiations over the land the Syretts had developed, recognizing it as a key location for future plans to accommodate their guests. National Park Service Director Stephen Mather encouraged the Union Pacific’s development of nearby Zion National Park, but was sensitive to the appearance of a monopoly and insisted they form a subsidiary of “Utah people”—what would become The Utah Parks Company (UPC)—to oversee touris
U.S. Department of Interior National Park Service Bryce Canyon Visitor Guide East To King Creek NATIONAL U N T HO A T E A 6.4 km M ES il Tra Rim Cr e ek C Bryce Amphitheater (Enlarged) 8100 ft 2469m 0.7 mi (1. Queen Victoria 1 ) km Ho r se i Tra ls L Peekaboo Loop Trail CAN Tower Bridge Fairyland Loop Trail YO N ) CA ( 1 . 8 km ) A B EL 1.3 m i( 2. 7758 ft 2365 m ) 1.8 mi (2 .9 km .1 mi Bry ce 1 North C 2.0 m i( k ree 3 .8 km) Fairyland Point MP 1.5 0 . 8 m i ( 1 . 3 km The Cathedral The Alligator 8 ) Chinese Wall Bryce Point 8296 ft 2529 m m A (Open in Summer) m ON k 1.5 ) NY ( 2 .7 .9 m km M ES mi 1.7 ( Tower Bridge Trail m) m Wall of W ind ow s 2.5 mi 0 0.5 Kilometer 0.1 0 0 4. 0.1 (6 mi .4 km ) LA ND Tr ai Rim i (2 .4 km ) 8176 ft 2492 m 833I ft 2539m 8017 ft 2444m 0 Paria View Road closed to vehicles in winter Thor’s Hammer Queen’s Garden Trail k 2 mi 3 km Wall Street Sunrise Point Showers Laundry Food High Plateaus Institute 2. 4 i( Horse / hiking trail Rim Tr ai l (closed in winter) 13 Horse corral ( 0 .8 k m) Navajo Loop Two Bridges Trail 1 l 0.5 mi IR Y Horse trail 1 mi 2 km General Store 11 Sunset Silent Point City 8000 ft 2438m Inspiration Point (Closed in winter) Backcountry campsite ) km km ) Trail closed in winter 2 ( 1. 0 Public WiFi (1. mi Trail 9 mi a il Outdoor Theater 4. 0 Theater 0 .7 (Only Loop A in winter) 12 10 Road closed to vehicles in winter North Campground Bike Rentals th 0.6 Shared-use path -Use Pa ) Picnic area 7 Shared km Unpaved road Bryce Canyon Lodge 63 0 Fee stations RV dump station Ho r se ails Tr No trailers beyond this point Overlook 1 (Closed in winter) (closed in winter) Mile 2 3.2 km Distance indicator Museum Road may be closed here during snow storms 14 C 3 mi 5 km Additional Parking Sunset Motel Shared-Use Path 2 mi 3 km Tr Rim Horse Rides Mile marker Park entrance sign 6 4 k m) 4.8 km 2 Campground (closed in winter) Mile 3 Shuttle bus stop Bike Rentals Valhalla Pizzeria (closed in winter) Drinking water 7894 ft 2406m (Spring - Fall) Bryce Amphitheater Shuttle i (1 . Restrooms To Shuttle Station Visitor Center Sunset Campground Br To Tropic 2 mi 3km DIXIE NATIONAL FOREST See Viewpoint Information Below Check out Trip Planning ideas on opposite page. st ore ark P al F ion tional t a Na ie N Dix nyon Ca yce 63 private property LEY River Creek VAL Paria PI st ore nt al F nume ion Nat al Mo ion Nat w O private property Ranger station LEY JOL Sinking Ship 7405 ft 2257 m Shakespear Point 7842 ft 2390 m 6832 ft 2082 m LOW H OL AT eep Sh BO AT Cave TR I 3 mi 21 km C ce private property To Rainbow Point To Antimony 36 mi 58 km Mossy waterfall Cave Mossy Trail Bristlecone Point Right Fork Yellow Creek N 7758 ft 2365 m AMPHITHEATER Hat Shop Yellow Creek Group site 6800 f t 2073 m Fairyland Point See Bryce Amphitheater Map Y ell o SHEEP CREEK FLAT Fairyland Loop Trail 22 ANYON 8296 ft 2529 m Under-the-Rim Trail (Bryce Point to Rainbow Point) st ore ent al F ion onum t a M N nal atio 1 mi 2 km BRYCE Bryce Point Park Shuttle Station WA T E R Sunrise Point Sunset Point Inspiration Point Bry MONUMENT 2 Trail TY UN CO TY ELD RFI UN CO NE KA SE - ESCALANTE 2 mi 3 km im GA Yellow Creek Paria View 63 private property 3 mi 5 km 0 R Nat Bryce Canyon Airport st ore al F ion Fee stations 1 No trailers beyond this point DIXIE NATIONAL FOREST 12 Bryce Canyon City Park entrance sign Bryce Canyon Lodge 3 BRYCE CANYON ON NATIONAL PARK NY k 7894 ft 2406 m Road may be closed here during snow storms Mile 4 Swamp Canyon Loop Trail -the -Rim der Tr a Un il CA ON ANY MUD C NO O N Cr ee 5 6 3 mi 5km 1 Mile h itc CANYO N 0.5 D Visitor Center 7998 ft 2438 m P private property st U Swamp Canyon SW AM FOREST L LO W CH 7 8 Right Fork Swamp Canyon FOREST U G 0 pic Tro T r a il S A 1 Kilometer 0.5 ore - t he - R i m DIXIE P L Whiteman Connecting Trail Swamp Canyon U N al F Un der T North 0 ion 9 HI 087 Na t W EM BEN AN R i v er 7 mi 11 km DAV ES P A Piracy Point Sevi A Tropic Reservoir 10 F o rk er River BO S e v i er F or k East To 89 11mi 18km paved bike path FA 0.5 Mile To Hat Shop To Tropic Under-the-Rim Trail (Bryce Point to Rainbow Point) INSPIRATION POINT Trailhead for Rim Trail. Bathroom in summer months. Great viewpoint for accessible stargazing. Turn located 1.5 miles (2.4 km) past Visitor Center (same turn as Bryce Point). SUNSET POINT Trailhead for Rim Trail, Navajo Loop (and combination loops). 24-hour restrooms and water. Typically park’s busiest parking lot. Turn located 1 mile (1.6 km) past Visitor Center. When’s the next bus? Tracker at brycecanyonshuttle.com Bryce Amphitheater Shuttle April - October BRYCE AMPH
Bryce Canyon National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Bryce Canyon National Park The Story in the Rocks The geology of Bryce Canyon is a story rich with change and the exciting interaction between nature’s forces. The creation of the unique landscape that makes Bryce Canyon famous began between 35 and 55 million years ago, when much of southern Utah was covered by braided rivers and streams, and later by a system of lakes. However, the story really begins millions of years before. The Top of the Stairs In the preface to Clarence E Dutton’s Report on the Geology of the High Plateaus of Utah (1880), John Wesley Powell wrote “These cliffs are bold escarpments hundreds and thousands of feet in altitude - grand steps by which the region is terraced.” Powell was describing a series of cliffs we now know as the Grand Staircase, visible from the Kaibab Plateau north of the Grand Canyon. Each of Powell’s steps represents a different period of geologic history, beginning 260 million years ago in the Permian. A low lying set of cliffs of Lower Triassic-aged marine sediments make up the first riser in the staircase, the Chocolate Cliffs. The Vermilion Cliffs are the second step and consist of Middle to Upper Triassic marine, river, and swamp sediments. The third step has its origins in a vast desert from the Lower Jurassic, larger than the present day Sahara, known as the White Cliffs and dominated by the Navajo Sandstone formation. The oldest rocks exposed at Bryce Canyon are from the Lower Cretaceous, when most of North America was under water. The Dakota Formation, Tropic Shale, and Straight Cliffs Formation are marine sediments associated with the Western Interior Seaway. These rock layers, along with the slightly younger Wahweap Formation, are the Gray Cliffs, covering a span of time from 100 to 75 million years ago, are the fourth step in the staircase. The Pink Cliffs of the Claron Formation are the fifth and final step. Setting the Scene One of the most significant factors in the creation of many of the landscapes seen in western North America is the subduction of the Pacific Oceanic Plate (originally the Kula and Farallon Plates) beneath the North American Continental Plate. For millions of years the western portion of the continent had been at or below sea level, and the forces of this ongoing collision between plates are responsible for the west’s higher elevations that exist today. Beginning in the middle to late Jurassic a mountain building event took place, the Sevier Orogeny, in what is now eastern Nevada and western Utah. As this period of uplift was winding down, interaction between the plates continued and the Laramide Orogeny began during the Cretaceous, uplifting the mountain chain we call the Rockies. Between these mountain ranges a large basin formed, creating a perfect place for snowmelt and rain runoff to collect. Watery Beginnings With well formed mountain ranges lying to the west and east, rivers and streams flowed into the basin below and, from what is now southern Utah up to Wyoming, a chain of lakes formed. The southernmost of these lakes has been named Lake Claron, the name having been derived from a mountain in western Utah - Mount Claron where the Claron Formation was first described (in geologic terms, the type locality). Water is one of the most powerful forces on Earth, and as rain fell and snow melted, it began to take apart those mountain ranges, grain by grain. These grains became the sediments that would collect on the lake’s bottom. Pink Cliffs Gray Cliffs White Cliffs Vermilion Cliffs Four of the Grand Staircase’s five steps Early on, as water first began to flow into the basin, what existed here was probably more marsh-like than an actual lake. Silts and muds were carried into the basin by the rivers and streams, along with minerals like iron and manganese. The roots of plants living in this marsh help to oxidize these minerals, contributing to the spectacular colors visible today. The Lower Pink Member of the Claron Formation gets its Watery Beginnings (continued) distinctive pink color from iron oxides, with veins of dark blue to purple caused by manganese oxides. In addition, the waters were also rich in calcium carbonate, which comes from dissolved limestone and, once the sediments dry out, becomes the glue that bonds the grains together, forming rock. Within the Pink Member there are also thin layers of gray rock that are not continuous, suggesting there were periods where this marshy landscape had dried and was instead dotted with many ponds. Indications are that these ponds were salty or highly mineralized, with nothing able to survive in them except cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). By enriching the sediments with magnesium the algae extracted from the water, they helped to create dolostone, an important piece of the puzzle in the formation of hoodoos. Utah region 50 million years ago. Sediment eroded from mountains in Northwestern Utah wa
Bryce Canyon National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Bryce Canyon National Park Utah Prairie Dog (Cynomys parvidens) All photos by Kevin Doxstater Prairie Dogs are ground-dwelling members of the squirrel family found only in North America. There are five species within the genus and the Utah Prairie Dog is the smallest member of the group. Restricted to the southwestern corner of Utah, they are a threatened species that has suffered population declines due to habitat loss and other factors. Vital Statistics Utah Prairie Dogs range from 12 – 16 inches (30.5 – 40.6 cm) in length and weigh from 1 – 3 pounds (.45 – 1.4 kg). Color ranges from cinnamon to clay and they have a fairly distinct black eyebrow (or stripe) not seen in any of the other 4 prairie dog species. Their short tail is white tipped like that of their close relative the White-tailed Prairie Dog . Utah Prairie Dogs reach maturity in 1 year; females have a life span of about 8 years, males live approximately 5 years. Interestingly, they are the only nonfish vertebrate species endemic (found nowhere else in the world) to the State of Utah. Habitat and Diet Like the other members of the genus, Utah Prairie Dogs live in colonies or “towns” in meadows with short grasses. Individual colonies will be further divided into territories occupied by social groups or clans which are made up of (usually) 1 male, 1 or more females, and first-year offspring. The colonies can be occupied by as little as one clan to several. Burrows can be from 3 to 6 feet (.9 to 1.8 meters) deep and up to 15 feet (4.6 m) long with small chambers near the entrance to listen for activity above ground and larger, deeper chambers for sleeping and pup rearing. Mounds at the entrance to the burrows serve as lookout stations and to limit the amount of water entering the tunnels. for the remaining time. These include serving as a sentry looking for intruders or predators, play, mutual grooming, defense of territory or young, or burrow and nest construction. As noted above, there can be several territories within a colony and an intruder will be met with barking, chasing, or on occasion a fight may take place between adults. Pups will frequently cross over into other territories and play with neighboring pups, though sometimes an adult will chase the visitor away or even attack. As food sources become scarce in the late summer and early fall, neighboring clans begin to move into common feeding areas to forage. In most cases they are tolerant of others, though there are occasional fights between members of opposite clans in these common areas. Strictly diurnal (active during the day), Utah Prairie Dogs are rarely, if ever, seen outside their burrows before sunrise or after sunset. Approximately 60% of their time outside is spent foraging near the burrow, with other activities taking place Standing guard at the burrow’s entrance. Utah Prairie Dogs are primarily herbivores with a diet that consists of grasses, forbs, and seeds. When available they will also eat insects. They do not need to be near water as they glean most of their necessary intake from the plants they eat, though they will sometimes lick dew from plants in the morning. They return to their burrows during the middle portion of the day, especially on the hottest days of summer when moisture loss is greatest. Breeding Keystone Species The winters in southwestern Utah can be long, especially up on the plateaus, and, beginning in late October, Utah Prairie Dogs begin to retreat to their burrows to hibernate. In March, as Winter slowly gives way to Spring, they start to become active again and it is also the time to breed. Litter sizes range from 1 to 6 pups, with an average of 4, and are born in late April or early May following a 30–day gestation. The pups first emerge from the natal burrow some 6 weeks later and begin to explore the outside world. The pups spend the first week staying close to their mother, and studies indicate that knowing what foods to eat is learned during this period. As the weeks pass they quickly become more independent and are soon foraging with other members of the clan or in common areas with other dogs in All species of prairie dog are considered to be “keystone species” by biologists and the areas around prairie dog colonies support many diverse plant and animal species. Their burrows help to aerate the soil which, in turn, helps to promote plant growth. Grazing serves to “clip” plants, stimulating constant, healthy regrowth through the growing season. For example, here at Bryce Canyon, Mule Deer can frequently be seen during the summer months grazing in prairie dog colonies, seeking out this younger vegetation which is higher in nutritional content. Predator-prey relationships are part of all healthy ecosystems and prairie dogs are prey for a variety of species including hawks, eagles, weasels, badgers, owls, and rattlesnakes. In some cases, predators will then use the
Bryce Canyon National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Bryce Canyon National Park Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) Their scientific name, Antilocapra americana, means “American Antelope Goat,” but they are not closely related to the antelopes of Africa and Asia. They are the fastest land animals in the western hemisphere, and they are a link to the past as one of the few remaining survivors of the last Ice Age. Pronghorns evolved when the hemisphere was home to the American Cheetah as well as other large predators and, in order to survive, they had to be fast. Vital Statistics Named for the forward facing prong on the buck’s horns, they are often referred to as antelope or Pronghorn Antelope, however, the correct common name is simply Pronghorn. Their horns are unique in the animal kingdom and shared by no living other species. Antlers are bone and shed each year, while bovine horns are permanent and are bone covered with a keratin sheath (hair and nails are keratin). The Pronghorn is similar to the bovine family in that they have bone covered with a keratin sheath, but with one major exception: the keratin sheath is shed each year after the breeding season, the regrows each Spring. Not large animals, Pronghorn have eyes as large as a horse, are able to detect movement up to 4 miles/6.5 km away, and have a field of view of more than 300 degrees. A Lone Survivor Always on the alert, a Pronghorn Doe. The males average 3 ft. (0.9 m) tall, 60 in.(1.5 m) in length, and weigh 120 pounds (55 kg). The females are approximately 10% smaller. The modern Pronghorn’s earliest ancestors appear in the fossil record from the Miocene Epoch, about 20 million years ago. The family continued to evolve and expand over the millennia and there are fossils representing at least 12 different species. Bones of the modern Pronghorn, dating to about 10,000 years ago, have been found in California’s La Brea Tar Pits. North America was a very different place and by late in the Pliocene Epoch, in addition to the pronghorns, North America was also home to several species we associate with modern Africa: lions, cheetahs, and hyenas. In addition, there were saber-toothed cats and short-faced bears that, combined with those mentioned earlier, made for some very formidable predators. For an even-toed ungulate living in such a dangerous time, speed was the only defense in the struggle for survival. When humans first arrived in North America 13,000 years ago there were five pronghorn species. By the end of the Pleistocene Epoch, about 11,000 years ago, the planet had entered the last Ice Age and North America seemed to be hardest hit. Mass extinctions during that period included mammoths, mastodons, the big cats, and all but this one surviving member of the pronghorn family. Lifestyles Pronghorn inhabit grasslands, deserts, and sagebrush flats of western North America from Canada’s prairies to northern Mexico at elevations from 4,000 to 8,000 feet (1220 to 2400 meters). Since they rely on vision and speed for predator avoidance, wide open spaces with low vegetation are critical for survival. Herds, depending on location, will migrate from just a few miles/kilometers to over 150 miles (240 km) between summer and winter forage. Pronghorn are a frequent sight in the meadows at Bryce Canyon from spring through fall, but retreat to lower elevations, where there is less snow, in the winter. Pronghorn are ruminants with fourchambered stomachs much like those of members of the deer and bovine families. Their diet consists chiefly of forbs, shrubs, and, especially in winter, sagebrush. They rarely eat grasses but will, in arid or desert environments, eat cactus. Herds tend to be larger during the winter months, then break up into smaller groups in spring and summer. Pregnant females leave the Conservation Twin fawns nursing while the doe maintains a constant vigil. herds in May or June to find a secluded location to give birth. Adults have no living natural predators except when old, sick, or injured. While vulnerable, the family heritage of speed is present even in the fawns. At the age of four days they can outrun the average human and, by three to four weeks, can already outrun a coyote or bobcat. Even with young Pronghorns, the only chance a predator has is surprise. Prior to westward expansion, the population of Pronghorns is estimated to have numbered over 40 million, and there were probably more Pronghorns than Bison. By the early 20th Century, however, their numbers had been reduced to less than 20,000. Market hunting during the last half of the 19th Century, when you could buy an entire Pronghorn for food in Denver, Colorado for 25 cents, was a major factor in their decline. In addition, as ranching grew and the “fencing of the west” began these animals, who are fast but poor jumpers, could not make their way to traditional wintering grounds. Fences left them more susceptible to predation and starvation. Conservat
Bryce Canyon National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Bryce Canyon National Park Humans at Bryce – A Brief History A raven’s call filters down from the deep blue sky of southern Utah’s high plateau country. The air is fresh and cool, but the sun warms your skin. The trail beneath your boots winds through a maze of rock walls, columns, and spires in colors hard to believe: red, orange, yellow, violet, and white. Gnarled pine trees, some thousands of years old, grow from secret places among the rocks. You may be following in the footsteps of a hunter who walked this trail thousands of years ago… Prehistory Located on the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau, Bryce Canyon National Park rises from about 6,600 feet above sea level to more than 9,100 feet at Rainbow Point. The plateau’s climate features short, mild summers and long, cold winters. The growing season is brief and water is scarce, making it difficult to live on top of the plateau. The earliest inhabitants in the area were Paleoindians, who used the area primarily for hunting grounds. Evidence of these people has been found near the park in the form of dart and spear points reliably dated to the end of the last Ice Age (between 9,000 and 12,000 years ago). While it is known from these finds that hunters were in the area, to date no archaeological evidence has been found to indicate that there were any permanent settlements on the plateau. Following the end of the Ice Age - and the extinction of the “megafauna” such as the mammoths - we enter the period known to archaeologists as the Archaic Period. This period ranges from 9,000 to 1,500 years before present, and numerous sites have yielded evidence of habitation both in Bryce The Southern Paiute About 1,000 years ago the Fremont and Puebloan Cultures seem to disappear and evidence of new human habitation appears with the arrival of Numicspeaking peoples from the southwest - the Southern Paiute. They were nomadic hunter-gatherers who also practiced limited agriculture, primarily maize (corn), and occupied the general area for over 800 years. Within the park and on the plateau there are numerous archaeological sites associated with the Southern Paiute, however these sites Canyon National Park and the surrounding area. Within the park this evidence is generally limited to dart and spear points, however, cave and rockshelter sites, as well as ruins of storage facilities of this age, are known in the region. The Formative Period began approximately 2,000 years ago and ended at around 1000 C.E. with the arrival of the Paiute in the area. This period saw the rise of two different cultures: the Fremont and Pueblo Cultures (aka Ancestral Puebloan or Anasazi). The aspects of their lifestyles separating them from their ancestors are the development of agriculture and evidence of a more sedentary lifestyle. While no Fremont Culture sites are known within park boundaries, there are sites just outside the park near the East Fork of the Sevier River in the Dixie National Forest which contain projectile points, Fremont pottery, and possible small structures.The Virgin Anasazi were neighbors to the south of the Fremont people, and within the park there are a few sites which contain ceramics. Other Virgin Anasazi sites have been found on the Skutumpah Terrace south of the park. are limited to what were probably seasonal hunting camps as opposed to long term settlements. Arrow and spear points, pottery shards, stripped bark on pines, and fire pits are the types of evidence found here. Many place names within the park and the surrounding region can be attributed to the Southern Paiute: Paunsaugunt means “home of the beavers”; Paria means “muddy water” or “elk water”; Yovimpa is a derivative of a word meaning “pine tree ridge”; Panguitch means “water” or “fish”; Podunk Creek was named after a Paiute, Po Dunk, who was lost in the area; and Skutumpah is a combination of two words which mean, respectively, “creek where the squirrels live” and “creek where the rabbitbrush grows”. Exploration & Settlement The Dominguez-Escalante Expedition of 1776 was the earliest presence of EuroAmericans in southwestern Utah, though their route took them some 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Bryce Canyon. The purpose of this journey, which ultimately failed, was to find a route to connect Santa Fe with the missions of California. Later, a trail established by Mexican traders in the 1820’s passed within 44 miles (70 kilometers) of the park. This same trail would later be used by frontiersmen and explorers such as Jedediah Smith (late 1820’s) and Captain John C. Fremont (1840’s). The first Mormon scouts entered the area along this trail during the late 1840’s, their travels taking them near the site of present day Panguitch, from where they almost certainly had views of the western escarpment, known as the Sunset Cliffs, of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Settlement of the region began in the 1850’s but was initially restr
Bryce Canyon National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Bryce Canyon National Park From Curiosity to National Park It is a place that was known to the ancient hunters who wandered this part of North America thousands of years ago. To the Southern Paiute it was known as “Agka-ku-wass-a-wits,” which means red painted faces, and the rock formations were the Legend People, turned to stone by Coyote. For the Mormon Pioneers the canyon they named for Ebenezer Bryce was little more than a curiosity – and a place you wouldn’t want to lose a cow. By the early 20th Century, however, the word began to spread and people today come by the millions to marvel at the wonder and timeless beauty that is Bryce Canyon. . Beginnings The Syretts J.W. Humphrey was transferred to the town of Panguitch in 1915 as the new Forest Supervisor of the Sevier National Forest. At the urging of Forest Service Ranger Elias Smith, Humphrey first visited the eastern escarpment of the Paunsaugunt Plateau and, surprised at the “indescribable beauty” of the canyon, almost immediately began developing plans to publicize what he had seen. Humphrey designated Mark Anderson, foreman of the forest’s grazing crew, to take on this task. Anderson had yet to see “Bryce’s Canyon” himself, and would not until the spring of 1916. Returning to Panguitch, Anderson immediately telegraphed a request for Forest Service photographer George Coshen to be sent down with still and movie cameras. Coshen arrived the following day and, upon completion, the photographs and movie were sent to Forest Service officials in Washington, D.C. as well as to Union Pacific Railroad officials in Omaha, Nebraska. In either the late spring or early summer of that year, Humphrey, with the help of Anderson and James T. Jardine, secured an appropriation of $50 to build bridges over the East Fork of the Sevier River and complete a dry weather road to the plateau’s rim (which ended near the site of the present Bryce Canyon Lodge). By late 1916, two articles were written about the canyon, one by Arthur Stevens, a member of the grazing crew, which was published in a Union Pacific publication, Outdoor Life, and the other by Humphrey, under the pen name J.J. Drew, published in Red Book, a periodical published by the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad. As the Forest service was first beginning to publicize the canyon in 1916, Reuben “Ruby” and Minnie Syrett were living in Panguitch but looking for a place to homestead. Settling on a location about 3-1/2 miles from what is now Sunset Point, they moved to the area in early May of 1916. By the end of the summer, Ruby and Minnie were inviting friends from Panguitch to come up and see the area’s scenery. the ranch and returned with several beds. Ruby and Minnie would spend the rest of that summer accommodating visitors. In the spring of 1920 the Syretts built a permanent lodge, along with several cabins, that would soon be named Tourist’s Rest. The years from 1916 to 1919 saw the Syrett’s adding to their homestead and splitting time between there, Escalante, and Tropic. As word began to spread and visitors arrived in ever increasing numbers, one Sunday in the spring or early summer of 1919 found a large group arriving from Salt Lake. The Syretts erected a large tent, served a noon meal, and later that afternoon, Ruby went back to The years 1917 and 1918 brought more visitors to see Bryce’s Canyon, one of the most significant being Salt Lake Tribune photographer Oliver J. Grimes. A full page article, “Utah’s New Wonderland,” appeared in the Tribune in August of 1918, and, along with many photographs, included directions. Grimes would soon become State Secretary to Governor Bamberger and, apparently, had some influence on the state legislature passing a Joint Memorial on March 13, 1919 urging the U.S. Congress to set aside Bryce’s Canyon as a national monument. Tourist’s Rest in the 1920’s. National Monument Senator Reed Smoot of Utah introduced a bill in November of 1919 to establish Bryce as Utah National Park but the Department of the Interior’s position was establishment of a national monument was a better idea. Senator Smoot would try again in 1921 however, by late 1922, he finally conceded that obtaining monument status would be the best way to proceed. Following meetings in December of 1922 and recommendations from both the Departments of Interior and Agriculture, on June 8, 1923 President Warren G. Harding issued a proclamation establishing Bryce Canyon National Monument. Senator Smoot continued his pursuit of national park status for Bryce and his bill establishing Utah National Park was finally passed June 7, 1924. There was a stipulation, however, that it remain a national monument until such time as all lands within the boundaries became property of the U.S. Government. It would be four more years before this came to pass and from 1923 to 1928 the monument was managed by the forest service. Union Pacific Mean

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