• Bryce Canyon Amphitheater

    Bryce Canyon

    National Park Utah

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • U.S. Highway 89 Bryce Canyon to Grand Canyon

    Road damage south of Page, Arizona will impact travel between Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon National Parks. Click for a travel advisory and link to a map with suggested alternate routes: More »

  • Sunset Campground Construction

    From April-July 2014, three new restroom facilities will be constructed in Sunset Campground. Visitors may experience construction noise and dust, as well as some campsite and restroom closures. 'Sunset Campground' webpage has additional information. More »

  • Bryce Point to Peekaboo Connector Trail Closure

    Due to a large rockslide, the connecting trail from Bryce Point to Peekaboo Loop is closed. Trail will be reopened once repairs are made. The Peekaboo Loop is open, but must be accessed from Sunset or Sunrise Point.

  • Wall Street Section of Navajo Loop Closed

    Due to dangerous conditions (falling rock and treacherous, icy switchbacks), the Wall Street section of the Navajo Loop Trail is CLOSED. It will reopen in Spring once freezing temperatures have subsided.

  • Backcountry Campsite Closures

    Due to bear activity at select campsites in Bryce Canyon's backcountry, two backcountry campsites have been closed until further notice: Sheep Creek and Iron Spring.

American Indian History

Paiute Indian Village
Paiute Indian Village
nps
 

Paiute Indians occupied the area around what is now Bryce Canyon starting around 1200 A.D. The Paunsaugunt Plateau was used for seasonal hunting and gathering activities, but there is no evidence of permanent settlements.

The legend of Bryce Canyon was explained to a park naturalist in 1936 by Indian Dick, a Paiute elder who then lived on the Kaibab Reservation:

"Before there were any Indians, the Legend People, To-when-an-ung-wa, lived in that place. There were many of them. They were of many kinds – birds, animals, lizards and such things, but they looked like people. They were not people. They had power to make themselves look that way. For some reason the Legend People in that place were bad; they did something that was not good, perhaps a fight, perhaps some stole something….the tale is not clear at this point. Because they were bad, Coyote turned them all into rocks. You can see them in that place now all turned into rocks; some standing in rows, some sitting down, some holding onto others. 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). This is the story the people tell."

Fremont and Anasazi people occupied the portion of the Colorado Plateau near Bryce Canyon from around 200 A.D. until 1200. The Fremont were more to the north and west, with the Anasazi more to the south and east. There is recently discovered evidence of the mixing of these two cultures on the Kaiparowits Plateau.

Native Americans first occupied the Colorado Plateau 12,000 years ago, but no evidence of their activities has yet been found on the Paunsaugunt Plateau.

Did You Know?

Hoodoos stand as sentinels with their magic

The geologic term, hoodoo, lives on at Bryce Canyon National Park as perpetuated by early geologists who thought the rock formations could cast a spell on you with their magical spires and towering arches. More...