Bryce Canyon National Park Challenges Visitors to Hike The Hoodoos

Friday, September 14 2012 09:01   Adventure Seekers
To encourage visitors to stay active while having fun, Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah has developed a new get-healthy challenge called "Hike the Hoodoos!"

Part hike, part scavenger hunt, visitors must hike at least three miles on specially-marked trails and find "Hike the Hoodoos" benchmark survey markers along the way.
hikethehoodoosVisitors may either obtain rubbings of the benchmarks, or take pictures of themselves with the benchmarks, to prove they hiked the required distance. Upon showing their rubbings or photos to the visitor center ranger, they are then presented with a special reward.

There are nine "Hike the Hoodoos!" benchmarks located along eight different hiking trails in the park. Although only three miles of hiking (and finding benchmarks) are required to earn a reward, some visitors are opting to attain rubbings/photos of all nine benchmarks for a total of 18.4 miles of hiking.

Bryce Canyon, famous for its worldly unique geology, consists of a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters carved from the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau.

The erosional force of frost-wedging and the dissolving power of rainwater have shaped the colorful limestone rock of the Claron Formation into bizarre shapes, including slot canyons, windows, fins, and spires called "hoodoos".

So what's a hoodoo? A hoodoo is a pinnacle, spire or odd-shaped rock left standing by the forces of erosion.

Hoodoos are most commonly found in the High Plateaus region of the Colorado Plateau and in the Badlands regions of the Northern Great Plains.

While hoodoos are scattered throughout these areas, nowhere in the world are they as abundant as in the northern section of Bryce Canyon National Park.

In common usage, the difference between hoodoos and pinnacles or spires is that hoodoos have a variable thickness often described as having a "totem pole-shaped body." A spire, on the other hand, has a smoother profile or uniform thickness that tapers from the ground upward.

Not only is the "Hike the Hoodoos!" program proving to be wildly popular, but this activity complements First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!"

The initiative is dedicated to solving the problem of childhood obesity by encouraging kids and their families to eat healthier and exercise more.

As part of the - Let's Move!" Initiative, the Department of Interior has created "Let's Move Outside!" which encourages kids and their families to take advantage of America's Great Outdoors by engaging in outdoor activity that gets hearts pumping and bodies moving.

Said National Park Service Director, Jon Jarvis: "National parks are amazing places where exercise is disguised as adventure, and we sneak in some learning, too."

The "Hike the Hoodoos!" program was made possible, in part, by a grant from the National Park Foundation through the generous support of the Coca-Cola Foundation.

Park elevations reach 9,100 feet (2778 meters), so visitors with heart or respiratory problems should be especially careful not to overexert themselves while visiting Bryce Canyon.

For more information, visit the park's Website t or call the visitor center at (435) 834-5322.


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