• Bryce Canyon Amphitheater

    Bryce Canyon

    National Park Utah

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  • 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.

Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge

nps

Though the name tends to be misleading, Natural Bridge is one of several natural arches in Bryce Canyon and creates a beautiful scene at this viewpoint. This arch, sculpted from some of the reddest rock of the Claron Formation (rich in iron oxide minerals), poses a stark contrast to the dark green of the Ponderosa forest that peeks through the arch from the canyon below.

Geology
Bridges form through the erosion of rock by streams or rivers. This window or arch formed from a combination of processes. Frost wedging, the expanding of cracks in rock as water turns to ice, weakened the rock. Dissolution, the chemical dissolving of rock by rainwater, chewed away at the top and sides of this wall of rock. Finally gravity pulled loose the weakened pockets of rock at the center creating the hole you see. Thus, Bryce Canyon's 'bridges', including Natural Bridge, are spectacular examples of arches that, like the hoodoos, are constantly at risk of destruction as the forces of erosion continue to wear the rock away.

Nature
In the southern corner of the parking lot you will notice a small stand of Quaking Aspen. Historic photographs suggest that aspen were much more common throughout the southern portion of the park prior to intense fire suppression efforts of the past 75 years. Aspen are easily shaded out by spruce and Douglas Fir. You will notice several areas of burned trees as you drive through the park. This is evidence of our prescribed fire program. By returning small and safe fires to the ecosystem we can slowly restore a natural mix of forest types, providing better habitat for a greater diversity of animals. Also near the parking lot you might find Markagunt Penstemon.

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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...