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Bryce Canyon National Park - General Park Information

Bryce Canyon National Park is located in southwestern Utah. One of the smaller national parks, it was named after famed Mormon explorer Ebenezer Bryce. The park is composed of a dozen natural amphitheaters carved into the Paunsaugunt Plateau formation to a depth of 1,000 feet deep.

Paleo-Indian hunted the large mammals that inhabited the area at the end of the Ice Age. Later, Pueblo and Paiute Indians hunted the forestlands and harvested pine nuts from the trees. Ebenezer Bryce, Mormon pioneer, brought his family to nearby Clifton in 1875, ranched on the land and oversaw the building of a road to the canyon rim. This unique geological area was designated a national park in 1924. The Union Pacific Railroad and Civilian Conservation Corps enabled travel to the park area.

The park offers a panoramic view of three states with 200 miles of visibility. Bryce Canyon National Park is part of the Grand Staircase of layered sedimentary rock that rises from the Grand Canyon in the south, through Zion National Park and northward to Bryce Canyon. The "hoodoos," tall, thin rock spires, are abundant in the northern area of the Bryce Canyon.

The park has a number of hiking trails, ranging from easy to strenuous. Guided horse and mule rides are also available in the park. A number of ranger-led activities are conducted, including a rim walk, geology talk, full moon hike, snowshoe hike and astronomy program. Winter activities include hiking, snowshoeing and sledding.

Bryce Canyon National Park has a visitor's center with information about the park. A bookstore and museum are also located within the park. Two campgrounds offer relaxing sites amid Ponderosa pines that offer shade for part of the day. North campground located in the park has 13 RV sites that are available by reservation. In addition, North campground has 86 RV and tent sites on a first-come, first-served system. Sunset campground has 80 RV and tent site on a first-come, first-served system. Twenty sites are available at this campground by reservation. Group sites are also available. Campgrounds do not offer hook-ups. Flush toilets and drinking water are available at campgrounds. The nearby general store has shower and laundry facilities.