Bryce Canyon National Park


In badlands topography, erosion acts so fast that a thick layer of soil never forms. The slopes are steep, so that even plants have little chance. Exotic creations of nature abound, and as you wander such areas you may imagine yourself in another world. Regain your perspective by visiting Bryce Canyon's second world, its forests. As elevation rises from the park boundary out to Yovimpa and Rainbow Points, the forests change from a dwarf forest of Utah juniper and pinyon pine on the lower slopes to ponderosa pine forests on the plateau surface. Higher up toward Rainbow Point begins a spruce, aspen, and fir forest. Elevation and precipitation determine forest cover, and although you gain more than 300 meters (1,000 feet) elevation from the park entrance to Rainbow Point, you will hardly notice it, except for this forest change. Watch for it. Watch too, everywhere, for flowers: sego lilies, penstemons, asters, clematis, evening primrose, skyrocket gilias, indian paintbrush, and wild iris. Spring and early summer offer the best display of flowers.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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