“Mr. Big Stuff, who do you think you are?”
Bill sang the chorus of this 1970 Jean Knight song repeatedly on our recent trip out west to Utah. Before heading out west, I had never heard of hoodoo’s.
Bryce Canyon National Park has an abundance of these gigantic rock formations, also known as spires or pinacles. Hoodoos are tall, thin spires of rock usually found in the desert in dry, hot areas.
Hoodoos are formed by weathering and erosion. As snow and ice melt, water seeps into the fractures of rock. As it re-freezes, it expands and cracks the rock, called frost-wedging. It happens with uncommon frequency at Bryce.
We began our adventure by watching the sunset at Inspiration Point and Paria View, an elevation of 8176 ft, near the front of the park.
Bryce vistas respond to light, looking remarkably different in the morning, bright daylight and evening shadows. Here the sun casts a golden cap and deepens the pink cliffs.
Noon sunlight brightens the clay cliffs, emphasizing the grey, white, yellow and coral limestone against the crystalline blue sky at Yovimpa Point.
Hoodoo formations sometimes resemble human figures, animals or buildings. We let our imagination run wild as we talked about what we saw before us.
This was a funny one, for sure! What do you see?
When frost-wedging enlarges cracks the wall, holes or windows are created. We went on a window hunt, spying our first at 8900 feet in Ponderosa Canyon.
As the windows continue to erode, their tops eventually collapse, leaving a column.
Rain further dissolves and sculpts these limestone pillars into the bulbous spires known as hoodoos.
Wind and rain also causes arches etched in stone, like this natural bridge below.
Wildlife at Bryce
Mountain lions and Great Basin rattlesnakes are secretive and not often seen (thank GOD!!!), however mountain lion warnings are posted at trail entrances. That really put me in a mood to walk a mountain trail.
We were blessed to spot pronghorn, mule deer, Utah prarie dogs, chipmonks, squirrels and violet-green swallows on this trip. While driving, we spied several pronghorn feeding and frolicking in a meadow on the national park grounds. I couldn’t snap a photo, but here are some stuffed replicas from a nearby wildlife museum. I’ll write about that amazing adventure in a future post, so check back next week!
I’ll leave you with a few more spectacular images that are Bryce. They don’t capture the earthy, pine forest fragrance or awe that rises inside as you absorb the grandeur of Bryce Canyon’s serene vistas described as poetry in stone, but they’ll have to do until you visit personally.
Did you see any special images in the rocks?
Check back next week to see photographs of Zion National Park, Red Canyon, Losee Canyon and Cedar Breaks National Monument, a/k/a more giant red rocks!