Stretching across Garfield County and Kane County in the southwestern section of the state of Utah, Bryce Canyon National Park is a stunning natural site that attracts millions of visitors each year. Despite its name, Bryce Canyon isn't technically a canyon but a group of natural amphitheaters on the side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Bryce Canyon is well-known for its hoodoos, thin towering rock formations formed by weathering and erosion over the years. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon
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Archaeologists have found traces of human habitation in the Bryce Canyon area going back thousands of years, with various Native American peoples and tribes inhabiting the area before European settlers arrived in the 18th century. Followers of the Mormon Church decided to settle in the area, with Ebenezer Bryce being the most notable. Bryce created his own little homestead in the canyon and built a road and canal. His work didn't go unnoticed and the canyon was named in his honor. In the years that followed, Bryce Canyon was given national monument status and became a popular tourist area, becoming a national park in 1928.

Nowadays, the park attracts more than 2 million annual visitors and is home to a visitor center and bookstore, with a scenic drive route offering great views of key locations around the park. Other ways to tour the park and activities to enjoy around Bryce Canyon include horseback riding, hiking, and skiing. The red and white rocks of Bryce Canyon provide incredible views in every direction and the area is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including deer, foxes, badgers, snakes, lizards, black bears, bobcats, prairie dogs, dozens of species of birds, and more.

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2.Elevation of Bryce Canyon

Elevation of Bryce Canyon
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Elevation is a key geographical term that denotes how high or low a location is in relation to sea level. It is often used when referring to towns or cities, but can also be an important factor when observing natural monuments like mountains and canyons too. Due to its multi-layered structure, Bryce Canyon's elevation can vary greatly from one point to the next, but even the lowest parts of the park are still situated at very high elevations. The elevation of Bryce Canyon leads to different temperatures in different parts of the park and results in different wildlife being spotted in each area.

The highest point in the park, Rainbow Point, is situated at an elevation of 9,105 feet (2,775 m) and is located at the end of the Bryce Canyon scenic drive. The lowest point in all of Bryce Canyon is part of Yellow Creek in the northeastern section of the park, which sits at an elevation of 6,620 feet (2,020 m). This means that there's a difference of around 2,500 feet (762 m) between the park's highest and lowest points, so visitors can experience major elevations drops and gains during their trip to Bryce Canyon. The elevation of Bryce Canyon's rim ranges between 8,000 feet (2,400 m) and 9,000 feet (2,700 m).

The elevation of Bryce Canyon has a huge effect on the park's ecology, with three distinct 'zones' being observed. The lowest elevation points of the park feature unique trees like pine and juniper, and many of the park's animals will migrate to these areas in winter due to the slightly warmer temperatures and more hospitable conditions. Mid-tier elevation areas in Bryce Canyon play home to spruce and Douglas fir trees, while the highest elevation points feature limber pine and bristlecone pine trees. It’s also important to note that the high elevation of Bryce Canyon can trigger altitude sickness in some visitors.

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3.Bryce Canyon Elevation Compared to Utah

Bryce Canyon Elevation Compared to Utah
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The mean elevation of Utah is 6,100 feet (1,860 m), which is only lower than Colorado and Wyoming, meaning that Utah is the third highest state in America. The elevation of Bryce Canyon is therefore above the state average. Even the lowest point of Bryce Canyon is higher than Utah’s average. The highest point in Utah is Kings Peak, one of the Uinta Mountains, which has an elevation of 13,534 feet (4,125 m), while the state’s lowest point is Beaver Dam Wash at the Utah-Arizona border with an elevation of 2,180 feet (664 m).

The major cities of Utah include the state capital Salt Lake City, which has an elevation of 4,226 feet (1,288 m), West Valley City, which is situated at an elevation of 4,304 feet (1,312 m), Provo, which has an elevation of 4,551 feet (1,387 m), and West Jordan, which has an elevation of 4,373 feet (1,333 m).

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Bryce Canyon Elevation



Attraction Spotlight: Lagoon Amusement Park

Lagoon Amusement Park in Farmington, Utah offers a variety of rides for all ages and level of thrill. Over ten Kiddie rides include boats, cars, jeeps and helicopters. Puff the Little Fire Dragon is a Kiddie coaster that circles around a small track three times.

The park’s carousel was built in the late 1800’s with 45 hand-carved horses, installed in 1906, and is still in operation today. Family rides include the Ladybug Bop and Dinosaur Drop, two gently spinning rides that lift and lower from a 40-foot tower. The Tilt-A-Whirl, Tipsea Tea Cups and Skyscraper are classic park favorites. Dracula’s Castle is a dark, twisting and turning ride through Dracula’s Tower, the ride has operated at the park since 1973. Jumping Dragon is a newer, family-friendly roller coaster ride that takes guests over a 40-foot tall Chinese pagoda.

Lagoon Amusement Park offers nine different roller coaster thrill rides. The Lagoon Roller Coaster, built in 1921, is almost 100 years old and is the park’s pride. The wooden giant was designed by John Miller, who also designed a number of coasters for Coney Island. One of the few remaining wooden roller coasters in the western United States, the Roller Coaster was nearly destroyed in a fire in 1953, but rebuilt and reopened just one year later. Colossus: The Fire Dragon was built in the 1980’s and has been named one of America’s top ten roller coasters by People magazine. The Fire Dragon send guests to heights of 88 feet, through 65-foot diameter loops, and reaches speeds of up to 55 miles per hour. The $22 million Cannibal opened in 2015. The coaster ride takes guests over 200 feet into the air for a vertical drop of 116 degrees into an underground tunnel. The mega-coaster reaches speeds of over 75 miles per hour, and maximum G-forces of 4.2.

Additional thrill rides include the Centennial Screamer, the Paratrooper and the Samurai, all of which incorporate extreme height, spinning and turning upside down. The Rocket is made of three steel towers, each over 200 feet tall, and offers two different thrill rides, a Rocket Blast Off that sends guests straight upwards at a G-force of 4.5 and the Rocket Re-Entry, which offers a slow lift combined with a thrilling high speed drop.

Lagoon-A-Beach is a 6-acre water park offering slides and tubes, waterfalls and swimming pools. A Pioneer Village at the park takes guests back 100-years to the Wild West with a recreation of a typical frontier town. A Carriage Hall at the village serves as a museum of transportation, displaying examples of turn-of-the-century vehicles. The village’s Rock Chapel was first built in 1853 as a fort in Coalville, Utah and has also served as a schoolhouse and courthouse.

Campsites and RV lodging are available on site at the park. Facilities include WiFi, laundry rooms, restrooms and showers, as well as a hiking and biking trail open to campers.

History: The origins of Lagoon Amusement Park date back to 1886, with a resort on the shores of Utah’s Great Salt Lake named Lake Park. The resort offered a mule-drawn merry-go-round, dance pavilion, roller-skating rink and bowling alley. In 1899, the resort moved to Farmington, Utah adjacent to a pond, and changed its name to Lagoon Park to reflect the new location. Shoot-the-Chutes, the precursor to today’s log flume rides, was the park’s first thrill ride at the new site.

In 1953 a fire nearly destroyed Lagoon Park. The park’s manager at the time, Robert Freed, vowed to rebuild and open a bigger and better Lagoon Amusement Park. True to his word, one year later the Roller Coaster was back in action, and new attractions were being added, including Mother Goose Land. Throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s the park became well known as a live entertainment venue, with performers such as Ella Fitzgerald and the Rolling Stones. The Pioneer Village was built in the 1970’s. The 1980’s introduced bigger thrill rides and the creation of the Lagoon-A-Beach water park at the site of the park’s original swimming pool, built in 1927.

Ongoing Programs and Education: Frightmares run from September through October each year and offer over seven Halloween themed attractions, including Haunted Houses, live performances, and Halloween-themed rides and games.

Live entertainment continues to play a large role at the Lagoon, as it has since the early 1900’s. Events and shows are included with park admission. The high-energy performances include singing, dancing and choreography within elaborately produced vignettes.

375 North Lagoon Drive Farmington, Utah 84025, Phone: 801-451-8000

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Hotel Spotlight: Slot Canyons Inn

Nestled in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument region of Utah, the Slot Canyons Inn and North Creek Grill is a charming bed and breakfast and on-site restaurant that offers an inviting, family-friendly retreat. Located in Escalante between the Capitol Reef National Parks and the magnificent Bryce Canyon, the bed and breakfast inn offers comfortable lodging and modern amenities on a beautifully preserved 160-acre property surrounding by breathtaking natural scenery.

The Escalante River and North Creek converge on the property to form a two-tiered waterfall and a placid, cool pond of fresh mountain water. In addition to deluxe accommodations with private bathrooms and upscale amenities, the Inn offers an array of activities to enjoy from hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and climbing to visiting one of the many national parks in the area, exploring the spectacular canyons, and wildlife watching. The Inn is just five miles from the town of Escalante, which is home to several restaurants, bars, shops and other entertainment.

Guest Accommodations

The Slot Canyons Inn features comfortable lodgings in the form of two well-appointed and fully equipped log cabins with open-plan living spaces, private bathrooms, full kitchens and modern amenities.

The Isaac Riddle Historic Log Cabin is a lovely three-story cabin with 1600 square feet of living space and gorgeous views of the surrounding landscapes. The main level of the cabin features a fully equipped kitchen with dining area and all the appliances and amenities necessary for self-catering, a spacious living area with arm chairs and sofas and a gas log fireplace, a bedroom with a queen-sized bed and a bathroom with a shower and bathtub. This level opens onto a covered deck with outdoor furniture, a barbecue, and beautiful views. The lower level of the cabin features two queen-size beds, a futon for additional guests, and a private bathroom with a shower and soaking tub. There is a television with a VCR/DVD player for movies and games, but there is no connection for television channels. There is also a neat laundry with a washer/dryer on this level. The upper level has one bedroom with a queen-size bed and a small bathroom with a toilet and sink.

The White’s Cove Lodge is a beautifully appointed lodge that overlooks the North Creek and the lands of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Located 1/2 mile from the Inn’s main building and restaurant, this incredible lodge is perfect for a few couples traveling together with three floors of ample living areas, a fully equipped kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances, and private decks and balconies with spectacular views.

The lodge boasts 3,540 square feet of living space across three levels. The main level features a fully equipped kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances and a separate dining area for up to 12 guests and an open-plan living room with a fireplace that opens onto a large wraparound deck with outdoor furniture and a barbecue. This level also houses a bedroom with one king-size bed and two queen or twin bunk beds, a bathroom with a shower, and a flat-screen television. The lower level features a bedroom with an outside entrance, a king-size bed, and an additional roll-out bed for extra guests, a bathroom with a shower and a large flat-screen television. The upper level of the cabin features a bedroom with a king-size bed, fireplace and a private balcony, and a bathroom with a clawfoot soaking tub and walk-in shower.

Dining

The cabins feature fully equipped kitchens with state-of-the-art appliances and cookware for self-catering breakfasts. The on-site North Creek Grill at Slot Canyons Inn is open seasonally for dinner and offers a menu of hearty all-American cuisine prepared with fresh locally sourced ingredients and served in a beautiful outdoor setting with breathtaking views, a one-of-a-kind atmosphere, and relaxing ambiance.

Amenities and Recreation

The Slot Canyons Inn has an on-site restaurant that is open seasonally for dinner and offers an array of recreational activities and attractions in the surrounding area to enjoy. The Inn is located within the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument region of Utah and is within driving distance of the Bryce Canyon National Park, the Capitol Reef National Park, and the GlenCanyon National Recreation area on Lake Powell. The Inn is surrounded by spectacular natural landscapes of mountains, canyons, rivers, and lakes which provide a plethora of outdoor activities, from hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and horseback riding to fishing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing, canyoneering, four-wheel-drive adventures and ATV tours, and scenic drives.

3680 W State Highway 12, Escalante, UT, 84726, hone: 435-826-4901

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Spotlight: Monument Valley Safari

Located in Monument Valley, Utah, the Monument Valley Safari is a group of local Natives who provide visitors with world-class tours of the Utah desert. Visitors can expect to find a variety of tours, safaris, and hikes for all ages and abilities. The Monument Valley is in the Navajo Tribal Park along the southern border of Utah and sits at an elevation of more than 5,000 feet.

History

The Valley is known for its iconic sandstone mesas and buttes that have been the setting for many movies in its day. The main stretch of desert road surrounded by the picturesque cliffs is featured in Forrest Gump when he is running across the country.

The area also features a Navajo Tribal Park where generations have been preserving and caring for the land for hundreds of years. Now, they provide visitors with educational and breathtaking tours of the Monumental Valley.

Safari Options

Lower Monument Valley: This safari offers a 1.5-hour scenic express of about 17 miles through the lower Monument Valley. Guests will be taken to three major iconic locations. There is also a 2.5-hour version consisting of 28 miles where guests will stop at more iconic locations as well as various monuments including petroglyphs, and will even be able to stop for a traditional Navajo hair braiding with their knowledgeable Native guide.

Mystery Valley: This safari offers either a 3-hour (27 miles) or 4-hour (38 miles) long scenic and cultural safari excursion. This excursion will take guests to an untouched location known as Mystery Valley. This part of Monument Valley is known for its labyrinth-like canyons and its large abundance of petroglyphs, pictographs, and Anasazi ruins. These tours vary based on the season, so be sure to check the website for more information.

Combination Safaris: These safaris offer 6-hour excursions to a combination of locations, the first option is to visit the Lower Monument Valley and the Mystery Valley together, while the second option is to visit the Tear Drop Arch and the Mystery Valley together. Since these excursions last all day, be sure to come prepared.

Hunts Mesa: This safari offers two options, a 7-hour photographic tour or an 18-hour overnight tour with a campout. This tour is recommended for amateur photographers since they will be able to experience a rich landscape at various times of the day and lighting. Guests must be willing to “rough it” on either of these excursions as there is a lot of walking and the overnight tour includes camping. However, the Safari crew provides everything else guests may need for comfort and safety including toiletries, sleeping bags, tents, and meals.

Starlight: This safari offers an excursion at one of the most beautiful and picturesque times of the day in Monument Valley – starlight. This excursion is 3-hours long and takes guests out at either sunrise or sunset for a chance to capture some once-in-a-lifetime photography. These excursions vary based on weather and clarity.

Full Moon: This safari offers a 3-hour excursion where guests can see the stars and the moon at the ideal lighting. Visitors will see the moon like they never have before – hung in between large red cliffs in the Monumental Valley. This safari varies based on weather and the current phases of the moon.

Accommodations

There are a variety of accommodation options at the Monument Valley Safari, including studios, tents, and even tipis. The studio apartments contain 3 beds and accommodates 6 guests comfortably. There is also free parking and even a fireplace for those cozy nights in. Guests are also encouraged to use Airbnb when booking accommodations nearby.

For those visitors interested in the immersive experience, tents sites and tipis are available as accommodations. The tent sites require guests to bring their own equipment but there is some available for renting if they do not have the proper equipment. Each tent site has a wooden gondola with benches and tables.

Visitors will soon be able to stay in historical accurate tipis right in the monument valley!

Additional Information:

Monument Valley Safari, P.O. Box 360418, Monument Valley, Utah 84536, Phone: 928-209-1364

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