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Why is it called Bryce Canyon?

Last Update on March 13, 2024
by Marko Milin
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Bryce Canyon, a sprawling natural amphitheater known for its towering hoodoos and breathtaking vistas, often leaves visitors in awe of its natural beauty. However, one question that frequently arises among those enchanted by the park's landscapes is, "Why is it called Bryce Canyon?" Despite its name, Bryce Canyon is not a canyon in the traditional sense but rather a collection of giant natural amphitheaters. The story behind its name is as intriguing as the geological wonders it houses, rooted in the history of the American West and the people who called it home.

The name "Bryce Canyon" originates from Ebenezer Bryce, a Mormon pioneer who settled in the area in the late 19th century. Bryce, originally from Scotland, moved to the Bryce Canyon area in 1875 with his family to homestead. The area, with its unique rock formations and natural beauty, was referred to by Bryce as "a hell of a place to lose a cow." He built a road to the plateau to access timber and water, and his activities in the area led to the use of his name in association with the canyon. Over time, the name stuck, and Bryce Canyon became the official designation for this natural wonder.

Ebenezer Bryce and his family only lived in the area for a few years, but his legacy has endured through the name of the park. After the Bryce family moved on, the beauty of the area did not go unnoticed. By the early 20th century, visitors were drawn to the stunning rock formations, and efforts to preserve the land began. In 1928, Bryce Canyon was officially designated as a national park, ensuring the protection of its unique landscapes for future generations.

Exploring Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park offers visitors a chance to explore its famed hoodoos—tall, thin spires of rock that have been shaped by erosion. The park's high elevation results in significant temperature variations, which contribute to the freeze-thaw cycles that sculpt these unique formations. Hiking trails and scenic viewpoints throughout the park provide ample opportunities to admire the hoodoos up close and learn about the natural forces that created them.

Joining the Adventure with MaxTour

For those looking to delve deeper into the wonders of Bryce Canyon and the surrounding region, MaxTour offers a comprehensive 3-Day Tour that includes visits to Bryce Canyon, Zion, Antelope Canyon, the Grand Canyon, and Monument Valley. This tour is an excellent way to experience the beauty and geological diversity of the American Southwest, with knowledgeable guides providing insights into the history, culture, and natural processes that have shaped these landscapes.

Why Bryce Canyon is a Must-Visit Destination

Beyond its fascinating name and history, Bryce Canyon is a must-visit destination for its unparalleled natural beauty. The park's expansive vistas, which change colors with the rising and setting sun, offer a spectacle that is both serene and sublime. Whether you're an avid hiker, a photography enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the grandeur of nature, Bryce Canyon has something to offer.


Bryce Canyon's name may have originated from a pioneer's practical remark about the difficulty of navigating its terrain, but today, it stands as a testament to the awe-inspiring beauty of the natural world. The park's maze of hoodoos and amphitheaters continues to draw visitors from around the globe, offering a glimpse into the Earth's geological past and the human history intertwined with it. With tours like those offered by MaxTour, exploring Bryce Canyon and the wonders of the Southwest becomes an unforgettable journey into the heart of America's natural heritage.


Marko Milin

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