Bryce Canyon National Park offers year round majestic scenery to explore and appreciate. At Bryce Canyon National Park erosion forms a remarkable array of fantastic shapes we know as hoodoos.
What is a Hoodoo?
Hoodoo – a pillar of rock, usually of fantastic shape, carved and left by erosion.
Hoodoo – to cast a spell.
Surrounded by the beauty of southern Utah, these hoodoos cast their spell on all who visit. Geologists say that ten million years ago forces within the Earth created and then moved the massive blocks we know as the Aquarius and Paunsaugunt plateaus. Rock layers on the Aquarius now tower 2,000 feet above the same layers on the Paunsaugunt. Ancient rivers carved the tops and exposed edges of these blocks, removing some layers and sculpting intricate formations in others. The Paria Valley was created and later widened between the plateaus.
The Paria River and its many tributaries continue to carve the plateau edges. Rushing waters carrying dirt and gravel gully the edges and steep slopes of the Paunsaugunt Plateau on which Bryce Canyon National Park lies. With time, tall thin ridges called fins emerge. Fins further erode into pinnacles and spires called hoodoos. These in turn weaken and fall, adding their bright colors to the hills below.
Early Native Americans left little to tell us of their use of the plateaus. We know that people have been in the Colorado Plateau region for about 12,000 years, but only random fragments of worked stone tell of their presence near Bryce Canyon. Artifacts tell a more detailed story of use at lower elevations beyond the park’s boundary. Both Anasazi and Fremont influences are found near the park. The people of each culture left bits of a puzzle to be pieced together by present and future archaeologists. Paiutes lived in the region when Euro-Americans arrived in southern Utah. Paiutes explained the colorful hoodoos as “Legend People” who were turned to stone by Coyote.
For more information, contact Bryce Canyon National Park at 435-834-5322