After spending a day touroning around all the overlooks (more posts coming) and looking down on the hoodoos, fins, windows, arches and bridges the next morning we took a trail into the canyon.
The Navajo Loop trail is only 1.3 miles (2 km) long with a 550 foot (167 m) drop in elevation.
The trail winds under arches of orange and yellow…
…past windows to a blue world…
…and below towering hoodoos full of faces.
Then down switchbacks between the fins and into a different world.
Almost eye level with this amazing geology. Hoodoo, a pillar of rock, or, to cast a spell, maybe both.
The oldest gray-brown rock at the bottom was deposited by repeated seaways during the Cretaceous Period between 144 to 65 million years ago.
For the next 25 million years, in the Tertiary Period, rivers and streams flowed into an ancient freshwater lake and deposited iron-rich, limy sediments that became reddish-pink rocks, the Claron Formation, from which the hoodoos are carved.
After uplift, the steep slopes along the plateau’s rim allow increased erosion scouring off softer rock, creating gullies with enough soil for pines and firs to reach for the sky.
…and leaving harder rock as fins…
…which continue to erode into hoodoos…
…of the most whimsical shapes.
Paiutes living in the area when settlers arrived from the east called hoodoos the “Legend People” whom Coyote had turned to stone.
Named after mormon Ebenezer Bryce who built his home and ranch in the Paria Valley in 1875 with the canyons in his back yard.
In 1923 President Harding proclaimed part of the area as Bryce Canyon National Monument and in 1928 legislation passed that changed it to a National Park.
After hiking down .7 miles (1.12 km) we began the assent into Wall Street. More to come.
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