Things You Didn't Know About Bryce Canyon National Park But Should

Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah is many photographs' favorite. Its wilderness and otherworldly rock spires lure more than a million visitors every year. This is where hoodoos and forest are mixed together.

But most people may not be familiar with this national treasure's secrets. Knowing them may help you decide when to go on a trip there and plan a list of adventures to explore.

The Bryce Canyon is actually not a canyon

The park is not a canyon, according to the National Parks Service. 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.

The park is perfect for stargazing

Explore the Navajo Trail – start at Sunset Point and travel down the stunning canyons of Utah. Watch the bright stars shine among the hoodoos rock formations. This is the ultimate place to enjoy the glory of the night sky. Far from the light pollution of civilization, Bryce Canyon is the last grand sanctuary of natural darkness, according to NPS. While you can see about 2,500 starts in most rural places in the country, at Bryce Canyon you get to witness around 7,500.

It's one of the best places to enjoy the wilderness

According to Intrepid Travel, Bryce Canyon has often been described as a "forest of stone" and a "cave without a roof." Hoodoos are pillars of rock that have been left standing due to erosion. You may have seen something similar in Turkey's Cappadocia region, or Australia's Pinnacles Desert, but nowhere have you seen them like this. This is rocky scenery at its best (see the world's best places for rock climbing). 

Sunrises don't get much more beautiful than here

Travel to the famous Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon for an incredible view of the sunrise. Watch as the rock formations glisten and the park lights up in mind-blowing colors.

The park's beauty in the winter is unbeatable

With the stunning contrast of red rock among white snow and bright blue skies, it is a surreal experience. Enjoy a snowshoe planet walk or try some cross-country skiing on the Red Canyon Bike Path. Bryce Canyon National Park gets plenty of snow. It is a very popular cross-country ski area. Put on your winter clothes and go on a snowshoe hike or take a winter astronomy session. Wake up and go outside on your sun deck and admire the view of the Bryce Canyon.

Bryce Canyon is part of the "Perfect American Road Trip"

Discovery News partnered with Michigan State University doctoral student Randy Olson, who works on algorithms for travel routes. There were only three rules in the study:  There must be at least one stop in each of the 48 states in the continental U.S., each stop would need to be at National Natural Landmark, National Historic Site, National Park, or National Monument and the trip would have to be done by car (and not leave the U.S.).Bryce Canyon National Parks is No. 2 on the list.

The park is named after a rancher

Ebenezer Bryce was a rancher who started working the area in 1875. According to National Geographic, he used to say that "It's a hell of a place to lose a cow" when he showed it to visitors.

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Bats, Volcanos, Crocs: 15 Hair-Raising National Park Adventures

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The Most Dangerous Places in National Parks