Hoo Doos Cast Their Spell

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November 13th 2019
Published: October 30th 2019
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What is a hoodoo? It is a pillar of rock, usually of fantastic shape, left by erosion. A hoodoo can also cast a spell. Our visit to Bryce Canyon National Park was highlighted by the hoodoos surrounded by the beauty of southern Utah. About ten million years ago, forces within the Earth created then moved large blocks known as the Table Cliffs and Paunsaugunt plateaus. Rock layers on the Table Cliffs now tower 2000 feet above corresponding layers on the Paunsaugunt. Ancient rivers carved the tops and exposed the edges of these blocks, removing some layers and sculpting formations in others. The Paria River and its tributaries still carve the plateau edges and steep slopes of the Paunsaugunt Plateau, on which lies the national park.

Any photos you have ever seen, do not portray the hoodoos as mysteriously and beautifully as reality. They are much darker, reddish orange, and almost neon is appearance.

In plain English, the hoodoos are a breathtaking and fascinating natural wonder of Bryce. Each year, about 1.7 million people visit Bryce Canyon. It was President Warren Harding who proclaimed this area to be Bryce Canyon National Monument in 1923. Whoever said he did nothing as President was wrong. This was his best contribution!

Bryce Point and Sunset Point were the two most spectacular vantage points. We could see for tens of miles on a cold, crisp, and clear winter day. It snowed last night up here, so the red hoodoos dusted with snow were extra spectacular.
We also stopped at Ruby's General Store on the way. Ruby's has a little of everything, from gasoline, groceries, hunting and fishing equipment, guided tours, backpacking gear, and souvenirs. Ruby, now deceased, was a man, whose kids still own and operate the store, and general retail complex.

Though Bryce is a two hour drive from St. George, it was worth the time. It rivals any national parks we have seen, including Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. Make sure you visit both Zion and Bryce on your next trip here.

Fast forward to today: the weather should be better than my last visit, when we encountered ice and snow on the ground, making hiking through the hoodoos rather dangerous. Bryce is one of my favorite National Parks. Thank you Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir, the Sierra Club, and all who love nature.

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