Hoodoo that Voodoo so well? It’s Bryce Canyon, of course, and the hoodoos are magnificent! But what exactly are hoodoos, and what makes them so magnificent?

What is a Hoodoo?

The definition of the word hoodoo is ‘to bewitch,’ and there are few things more enchanting than the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. Hoodoos are tall, thin shafts of rock that protrude from the bottom of an arid basin. 

You most often see them in the High Plateau region of the Colorado Plateau, but you can also find them in the Badlands of the Northern Great Plains. Though they are found in other places of the world, Bryce Canyon National Park has the most. 

Bryce Canyon amphitheater

How Were the Hoodoos Formed?

There are basically three steps to forming a hoodoo like those found in Bryce Canyon. Let’s look at each step. 

  • Rock Deposition

The first step in forming a hoodoo is the deposition of flat-lying rocks in an ancient floodplain system. The floodplain system in Bryce Canyon appeared approximately 50 million years ago.

  • Uplifting of the Land

The next step in hoodoo formation is the uplifting of the land as the Earth’s plates move around. In Bryce Canyon, the collision of the Farallon Plate with the North American Plate is what brought the region to its current maximum elevation of 9,115 ft (2,778 meters) above sea level in the last several million years. It is these plate tectonic interactions that brought Bryce Canyon to the so-called ‘Goldilocks zone,’ which is the perfect elevation for the formation of hoodoos. 

  • Weathering and Erosion

Once the land was uplifted, weathering and erosion took over to sculpt the hoodoo formations. The balance between above and below-freezing temperatures is a crucial part of the process. As water seeps into the cracks in the rocks, it freezes to expand the crack and cause tremendous pressure in the surrounding rocks. That expansion of the ice, known as ice wedging, literally breaks the rock apart. First, the rock breaks down into walls, then windows, and then individual hoodoos. 

How Did Bryce Canyon Get Its Colors?

Bryce Canyon in winter

Aside from the spectacular formations you’ll see in Bryce Canyon, you’ll also see amazing colors. It’s the iron content in the rock that, when exposed to oxygen, creates striking reds, oranges, pinks, and browns. 

When set against the vivid blue Utah sky and the green pine trees, those colors pop! And in the winter, it’s the snow that provides yet another layer of color. You’ll be enchanted by the changing shades you’ll see at sunset, sunrise, and midday. 

Where is Bryce Canyon?

Bryce Canyon is located in southern Utah. It is one of several natural wonders in southern Utah, including the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Capitol Reef National Park, and Dixie National Forest. 

If you’re looking for a great place to vacation, you’ll have to work hard to find anything with more natural wonders than this area in southern Utah, but where can you stay?

Where Should You Stay When Visiting Bryce Canyon?

Bryce Canyon - Escalante Yurts

When visiting the grandeur of southern Utah’s natural wonders, you’ll want a unique and fun place to stay. You need look no further than Escalante Yurts. Each yurt offers clean linens, heating and cooling, comfortable beds, and kitchen facilities. 

The yurts come in various sizes to accommodate a couple on a cozy romantic retreat or a large family eager to explore. What’s even better, you get a hearty breakfast to fuel your busy day of sightseeing! Make your reservations today!

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