Bryce Canyon National Park

Trip Day Twenty-seven: Saturday, July 8, 2000

A hoodoo is a pillar of rock, usually of fantastic shape, left by erosion. Geologists say that 10 million years ago forces within the Earth created and then moved the massive blocks we know as the Table Cliffs and Panunsaugunt plateaus. Rock layers on the Table Cliffs now tower 2,000 feet above the same layers on the Paunsaugunt. Ancient rivers carved the tops and exposed edges of these blocks, removing some layers and sculpting intricate formations in others.

The Paria River and its many tributaries continue to carve the plateau edges. Rushing waters, carrying dirt and gravel, gully the edges and steep slopes of the Paunsaugunt Plateau on which Bryce Canyon National Park lies. With time, tall thin ridges called fins emerge. Fins further erode into pinnacles and spires called hoodoos. These in turn weaken and fall, adding teir bright colors to the hills below.

Page last updated August 21, 2000.