Bryce Canyon Geology

Bryce Canyon is a small national park in southwestern Utah. Named after the Mormon Pioneer Ebenezer Bryce, Bryce Canyon became a national park in 1928.

The park is not a canyon. Rather, it is a spectacular series of more than a dozen amphitheaters, each of which is carved at least 1,000 feet into the chromatic limestone of the Paunsaugunt Plateau

This area of the Colorado Plateau at one time was a great basin. Although water could flow in there were no rivers to carry the water out. Instead, sediment formed at the bottom of the lake kept building up. The orange colors are from iron that was carried in and deposited into the limestone layers.

Eventually the Colorado Plateau began to rise. So as the land rose, the water drained out and what was once the bottom of a lake became a Plateau. The beauty of Bryce Canyon is actually born from the destruction of this limestone. Erosion in the form of water, wind, but mainly ice (frost wedges) are what have formed the famous Hoodoos.