Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Unique Forces Created Bryce Hoodoos

©Bert Gildart: According to the several geology books I have been reading and to the naturalists with whom I’ve spoken, Bryce Canyon National Park contains the world’s most spectacular formations of “Hoodoos.”  Obviously, then, the conditions that exist here must be unique, and as we’ve poked around, essentially hiking some of the trails, we’re starting to realize that all this hyperbola really is true.

Peekaboo (20 of 14)

Descending trail linking with Peekaboo


Yesterday, Janie and I hiked from a trailhead at Bryce Overlook along a spur that connected a loop trail known as the Peekaboo Trail.  In all of our years of exploring the nation’s national parks, we both agreed that this trail exposed some of the nation’s most unusual formations: towering spires, pinnacles, huge knife-like extensions of rocks; castles, arches, tunnels and more. And not just isolated but spreading over an area of miles.  The three-mile long Peekaboo trail provides little more than an introduction to the vastness of all these “Hoodoos,” for they extend over acres and acres.

How did they come to exist? And how all the unusual shapes and vast sizes?

Peekaboo (21 of 14) Peekaboo (25 of 14) Peekaboo (22 of 14)

L TO R: Descending from Bryce Point, spires along Hoodoo Trail, Janie about to enter tunnel descending to Bryce Canyon and continuation of 5-mile hike.

According to interpreters, there are several reasons, and all are unique – found no where else in the world.


Millions of years ago, two forces began to act on what was then bedrock.  One of these forces exerting pressure upward but in a northwesterly fashion while the other force exerted its pressures in a northeasterly fashion.  These forces acted independent of one another, but the end result is that in concert they created vertical fracture, and if acted upon would assume elongated configurations. In other words, all of these lines of weakness were adequate for the next chapter in the saga of Hoodoo formation.


Bryce is situated at elevations that range between 7,000 and 9,500 feet, rendering it highly susceptible to continuous freezing and thawing. The area also receives a fair amount of precipitation, and all these conditions render the area ripe from erosion.  Add to that the differential sedimentation created when vast inland seas and huge lakes covered the area and now there is some understanding explaining why some rocks might erode more quickly than others.  These later conditions account for the numerous pinnacles that are more massive on top than on the bottom.

Peekaboo (24 of 14)

Hoodoo detail as only really appreciated by hiking trails in Bryce, such as Peekaboo.


The total story is a bit more complex and actually begins with thoughts about continental drift, a theory that takes what is now Utah to what is now the equator where colorful minerals were added long ago.  Today these incredible colors comprise the park’s Hoodoos, making them even more inspiring – and photogenic.




*Elk and CM Russell Wildlife Refuge







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