History & Culture

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Paiute tribe and J.W. Powell

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Ebenezer and Mary Bryce

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Bryce Canyon National Park lies on the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in south central Utah. Bryce Canyon National Monument (administered by the U.S. Forest Service) was originally established on June 8, 1923 to preserve the “unusual scenic beauty, scientific interest, and importance.” On June 7, 1924, the monument’s name was changed to Utah National Park and it was transferred to the National Park Service. On February 25, 1928 Utah National Park was changed to Bryce Canyon National Park. Subsequent legislation enlarged the park to its current size of 35,835 acres.

Bryce is famous for its unique geology, consisting of a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters carved from the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in southern Utah. The erosional force of frost-wedging and the dissolving power of rainwater have shaped the colorful calcium-rich mudstone of the Claron Formation into bizarre shapes including slot canyons, windows, fins, and spires called "hoodoos." Tinted with colors too numerous and subtle to name, these whimsically arranged rocks create a wondrous landscape of mazes, offering some of the most exciting and memorable walks and hikes imaginable.

Ponderosa pines, high elevation meadows, and fir-spruce forests border the rim of the plateau and abound with wildlife. This area boasts some of the world's best air quality, offering panoramic views of three states and approaching 200 miles of visibility. This, coupled with the lack of nearby large light sources, creates unparalleled opportunities for stargazing.

 
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One of the first questions people ask when visiting the rugged wilds of southern Utah is, "Who would live here?" The answer is, "Many different cultures over thousands of years have foraged, hunted and survived in this wilderness."

 
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Historic Resource Study
Introduction: Small by National Park standards, the 56.2 square miles of Bryce Canyon National Park occupy the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in south-central Utah. The park is not a canyon. Rather, it is a spectacular series of more than a dozen amphitheaters, each of which is carved at least 1,000 feet into the chromatic limestone of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. ...

Follow this link to read Bryce Canyon's Historic Resource Study in its entirety.

 
History and Culture visitors and the lodge
Bryce Canyon trails being created and visitors visiting the viewpoints and the Lodge.

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Last updated: June 18, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O Box 640201
Bryce, UT 84764

Phone:

(435) 834-5322

Contact Us