Hike the Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park

As part of an effort to get more people Up and Moving, people are being challenged to hike the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park.  What is a hoodoo, you may be asking yourself.  Well, it is a column of rock that has been eroded in an uneven fashion which leaves it looking more like a totem pole than a spire of rock.  This often occurs when part of the rock is softer than the other, which allows erosion at a more rapid rate. The biggest source of erosion at Bryce is something called frost wedging, where snow melts and the water gets in the cracks of the rocks.  Then at night, it freezes and expands.  There are over 200 freeze/thaw cycles per year at Bryce.

Hoodoos are sometimes about the same height as a person, but they can be as tall as a 10 story building!  Thor’s Hammer is the tallest hoodoo in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Hike the Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park

Thor’s Hammer at Bryce National Park. Photo by Luca Galuzzi – www.galuzzi.it – used under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 2.5 Generic license

Part hike, part scavenger hunt, visitors must hike at least three miles on specially-marked trails and find “Hike the Hoodoos” benchmark survey markers along the way.

Visitors may either obtain rubbings of the benchmarks, or take pictures of themselves with the benchmarks, to prove they hiked the required distance. Upon showing their rubbings or photos to the visitor center ranger, they are then presented with a special reward.

There are nine “Hike the Hoodoos!” benchmarks located along eight different hiking trails in the park. Although only three miles of hiking (and finding benchmarks) are required to earn a reward, some visitors are opting to attain rubbings/photos of all nine benchmarks for a total of 18.4 miles of hiking.

Bryce Canyon, famous for its worldly unique geology, consists of a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters carved from the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau.

The erosional force of frost-wedging and the dissolving power of rainwater have shaped the colorful limestone rock of the Claron Formation into bizarre shapes, including slot canyons, windows, fins, and spires called “hoodoos”.

Read the entire story here.

Bryce Canyon National Park, located in Utah,  is not actually a canyon – it is a series of natural amphitheaters. The altitude is fairly high at the rim, varying from about 8000 – 9000 ft. There are roughly 50 miles of trails in the park, most are suited for day trips, but there are a couple of longer trails that are suited for overnight trips, permit required. Whether you hike the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park, or you take one of the other trails, it is a beautiful place to hang out with nature.  Please share this post with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.  For more images by Luca Galuzzi, check the website www.galuzzi.it

If you will be visiting Bryce Canyon and are looking for a good guidebook, this one (which covers hikes in both Bryce and Zion) comes highly recommended, it gives good detailed descriptions of many routes, including some less well-known. If you are looking for lots of colorful pictures inside, though, this one isn’t for you.

Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, 2nd (Regional Hiking Series)
Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, 2nd (Regional Hiking Series)

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