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Top Attractions within Bryce Canyon
Zion National Park is located within Bryce Canyon on an area of 228 squared miles. In the park live an impressing number of 289 species of birds, 75 species of mammals and 32 species of reptiles, being great to visit due to its unique scenery.
Dixie National Forest is also very close to Bryce Canyon and has two million acres, being the largest forest in Utah and being located in more counties: Garfield, Washington, Iron, Kane, Wayne and Piute, with more than 55% lying on the area of Garfield County.
5 Things You Must Do While You Are in Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon National Park in southeast Utah is part of the must-see Southwest Red Rocks circuit that includes Arches, Canyonlands, Zion, and Grand Canyon national parks. Bryce is unique for its odd “hoodoos,” which are cliffs and spires of red, eroded sandstone visible down in an ancient river bed. Bryce is higher -- from 6, 500 to 9,100 feet elevation -- than the other area national parks, so you are in a much-cooler pine forest.
1. Scenic Drive on the RIm: Take a scenic drive along the canyon's rim: A drive along the 18 miles of the main park affords astounding views of it and the surrounding southern Utah scenery. On crisp winter days, you can see up to 100 miles distant. At pull-outs along the Rim Road, you can marvel at sandstone formations known as The Poodle, The Queen's Garden, The Sinking Ship, Silent City, The Cathedral, Wall of Windows, Mormon Temple, Wall Street, The Fairy Castle, and Thor's Hammer.
2. Hike the hoodoos: To best experience the rock formations, you need to hike the many trails down among them. Be prepared for the park's high elevation, hot summer temperatures, and steep ascents by being in good physical condition, wearing a hat and sunscreen, and bringing adequate water – a gallon a day in the summer. Dayhikers can take the Fairyland and Navajo loop trails, and backpacking permits are available for the 22-mile Under the Rim Trail.
3. Look for an endangered anima: Utah prairie dogs live only in southern Utah and are listed as “threatened” under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The rodents build “dogtowns” of extensive burrows in park meadows, where they harvest grasses and forbs for winter hibernation. As you hike or drive through Bryce, keep an eye out for other wildlife: mule deer, grey foxes, elk, pronghorn, coyotes, marmots, and more than 160 species of birds. If you are really lucky, you may see two of the U.S. deserts' most-feared predators: mountain lion and rattlesnake.
4. Parks and recreation: Look for Indian rock art and tour Anasazi ruins: Calf Creek Falls Recreation Area, on nearby Scenic Byway 12, is the trailhead for a 5 ½-mile hike to a waterfall, some stretches on sandstone slick rock. Along the way, you can see Fremont-style Indian petroglyphs and pictographs of geometric, human, and animal figures. The Anasazi were the ancestral people of the Colorado Plateau, and the ruins of their adobe buildings and cliff dwellings continue to fascinate. Anasazi Indian Village State Park is an archaeological site of one of the area's largest pre-contact communities from about 1100 A.D. You can take a self-guided trail through the site.
5. See petrified wood: Escalante Petrified Forest State Park is just west of Bryce. It features two trails to see vast deposits of petrified wood and some fossilized dinosaur bones. The park's Fremont Indian village ruins and petroglyphs are about 1,100 years old.