Bryce Canyon: Rock City

Bryce Canyon: Rock City, originally uploaded by Shiny Things.

This is Bryce Canyon - the result of tens of millions of years of erosion of a gigantic slab of sandstone that once stretched from Wyoming to California.

Bryce Canyon is part of a larger formation - the Grand Staircase - that runs all the way down from Utah to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The bottom layer of rock in Bryce Canyon corresponds to the top layer of rock in Zion National Park; and the bottom layer of rock in Zion corresponds to the top layer of rock in the Grand Canyon.

The road that runs past Bryce Canyon NP is Utah State Route 12 - and it is one of the most sensational driving roads in the world. It starts off with long straight stretches and gentle curves through Dixie National Forest, then winds past Bryce through some of the most awesome scenery you’ve ever seen.

At one point, UT-12 runs along the top of a ridgeline, barely wide enough for two cars to pass each other, with thousand-foot drops on either side. There aren’t many places to pull over and take a snapshot, but I did manage to take this.