Wildlife In Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon is known for its incredible geology and sweeping vistas, but equally impressive are the plants and animals that make the uplifted plateaus of Utah such a unique environment. Surrounded by deserts, these highlands get much more rain than the lowlands below and stay cooler during hot summers. The relatively lush ecosystems that result are like fertile islands towering above a vast arid landscape.
To see animals of the Bryce Canyon Area, Click Here!
What is a mammal? Webster’s Dictionary defines a mammal as…”any of a class of higher vertebrates comprising man and all other animals that nourish their young with milk secreted by the mammary glands and have the skin usually more or less covered with hair.”
What mammals can be seen in Bryce Canyon National Park? We have chipmunks, squirrels, prairie dogs, mountain lions, pronghorn sheep, coyotes, gray foxes, bats, mice, and many more animals classified as mammals.
The three most common birds found in the park are the Peregrine Falcon, California Condor and the Clark’s Nutcracker.
Ants are some of the most fascinating creatures on the planet. Something like ten thousand trillion ants control vast stretches of territory on planet earth. Their success lies in cooperation. They are a social insect, living in often enormous colonies, coordinating their activities to an exceptional degree to achieve domination.
These are aggressive and capable critters, ones whose existence is characterized by continuous work and conflict. In many places they are the dominate insect, and usually displace solitary insects (those that live and forage alone and not in social groups) to less favorable habitat or eat them.
Trees – Conifers
What are conifers?…The name “conifer” is derived from the Latin word which means “to bear cones.” Cones, the fruiting body which produces the seeds of the tree, are common features of most conifers, with the exception of junipers and yews which produce berry-like fruit.
How do I identify a conifer?…The best way is to look at the leaves. Does the tree have linear, needle-like or scale-like leaves? Conifers are usually evergreens although they still shed their older foliage on various annual cycles. The larch and cypress are deciduous, shedding their leaves annually in the fall.
Are there many conifer species (types)?…More than 500 conifer species have been identified worldwide.
Do all conifers look about the same? Are they the same size and color?…Among the conifers can be found some of the largest, smallest and oldest living woody plants known to mankind. There is an astounding amount of diversity in the conifer world. Some conifers grow into huge forests which are harvested for their timber and others are admired for their adaptability and color variations for the household garden. Overall, they vary in textures from soft and fluffy to rigid or majestic. The wide range of greens, blues and golden yellows paint a colorful landscape wherever conifers grow.
What are the names of the different conifers found in Bryce Canyon National Park?…In the Park you can find pines, junipers, firs, spruces, cedars and Douglas fir.
Biological soil crusts, or more commonly called Cryptobiotic soil or Cryptogamic soil, occur on every continent and in nearly every environment. However, they are most commonly found in arid or desert environments. In the high deserts of the Colorado plateau (i.e. the Four Corners region), biological soil crusts can cover up to 70-80% of the ground cover.
Health & Safety
Every time you go to a National Park, you probably hear the same thing: “Don’t feed the animals.” Why do we say that? What harm could a pretzel or apple slice do to a deer or a chipmunk? Too often, it is not an apple slice, but salted peanuts or chips whose high sodium content is poisonous to an animal’s system. Those kinds of food are not healthy for people, how much less for an animal whose diet is supposed to consist of berries, flowers, and insects? Also, the animals become dependent on people as a food source and lose their ability to successfully forage when they have been raised begging for human food.
Although human food can and does harm the animals for a variety of reasons, the reason we ask you not to feed them is for the safety of humans as much as of the animals. In Bryce Canyon, there are two major hazards to humans associated with feeding the animals, specifically ground squirrels, chipmunks, and prairie dogs. First, the animals frequently bite people when they are hand feeding them, or especially when they try to touch the animal without food in their hand. Hantavirus is a disease which has received considerable publicity in southern Utah because several people have died from it recently. One of the ways it is transmitted is through the infected animal’s saliva–by being bitten. It is also transmitted by inhaling or touching dust in which infected animals have urinated or defecated, as the virus is viable in that matter for about three days. Since that dust could be on the animal’s fur, touching the animal is another potential way to obtain the disease. Currently there is no cure for Hantavirus, but if extreme flu like symptoms develop after association with these animals, contact a physician for the available treatment.
Rabies is another disease which is transmitted through an animal bite, which many more animals than just small rodents could carry. Beware of any ringtail cat, rodents, foxes, or other animals who appear extremely sluggish or have strange secretions from their mouth or eyes. Report any abnormal behavior to a ranger.
Secondly, there is a threat of disease to people who are obeying the rules and not feeding the animals when other people have fed them. Bubonic Plague, or as some know it, the Black Plague, has been known to infect our prairie dog population from time to time. A type of flea that lives on small rodents (i.e. prairie dogs, ground squirrels, chipmunks) transmits this disease. When people have fed the animals and taught them that people are their food source, that it is all right to crawl on a person’s leg because they will be rewarded with food, those people might actually be responsible for killing another person down the road. It is common for people to be mobbed by ground squirrels hoping to be fed when they go to a view point, even if the person has no intention of feeding them. If those animals have the fleas infected with Bubonic Plague, the fleas could potentially jump on the person and give them the disease. Fortunately, Bubonic Plague can be cured if caught soon enough, but it is a painful experience.
Even with the potential for all these diseases, you can still come to Bryce Canyon and enjoy a safe visit. The old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” should be remembered. You can prevent coming in contact with diseases if you do not feed or touch the animals, and make sure that your children stay away from them also. If the animals approach you begging for food, simply ignore them, or chase them off if they get too close. Remember, the animals would never beg for people food if people did not teach them to. So please do your part to ensure the health of the animals, yourself, and other visitors down the road by not feeding the animals.
VISITOR CENTER In Bryce Canyon
Open All Year 8am – 8pm (seasonally variable)
Phone – 435/834-5322
Closures – Only on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
Special Programs – Short informational Video shown on the 1/2 hour and on the hour. Short Geology talks are also available in the Visitor Center Museum during the winter months.
Exhibits – A museum with displays on local Geology, Wildlife, Star Gazing, Historic and Prehistoric Culture.
Available Facilities – Restrooms, Bookstore, and a Ranger staffed Information Desk. Obtain Backcountry Permits at this desk.
Also see Maps for Bryce Canyon
Things To Do In Bryce Canyon
First ask yourself this, am I looking to be entertained or am I looking for things to do in Bryce Canyon national Park? In Bryce Canyon country you have to realize the possibilities and activities are almost endless!
If you are planning a trip in the area of Bryce Canyon National Park and you are looking for entertainment, you are in the right spot to make some decisions. South Western Utah holds some nationally recognized entertainment options like the Ruby’s Inn Rodeo days & the esteemed Tuachan Amphitheater in St. George Utah.
Bryce Canyon in specific has several options that are very entertaining to all, and hard to choose from. If you are looking for something a little off the beaten path please look no further that all of the activities pages on this very website. You will find everything from scenic drive and overlooks, horseback rides, shopping, four wheeling, ATV tours, biking trails, hiking trails, fishing, golf, rodeo, museums, and many more options!
Remember that on some vacations and trips you look for things to entertain you, and then there are those, where you seek out your own idea of entertainment. This just might be that trip. Either way you will find so many things to do in Bryce Canyon that we hope that you can fit it all in. From places to see, and things to do there is something for everyone, and every age, in Bryce Canyon.
Here are a few of the aforementioned activities!
Things To Do In Bryce Canyon National Park & the Surrounding Areas.
All of us who are looking for a unique adventure in Bryce Canyon will have no trouble finding something to do. No matter what visitors would like to do, they will be able to find it in the Bryce area. There are a variety of activities, both indoor and outdoor, that are sure to give every visitor an unforgettable vacation. Each exciting activity is made better by being surrounded by the gorgeous Bryce Canyon landscape. Whether you want to enjoy some time indoors, test your limits with a thrilling activity, or practice your favorite hobby, enjoy the time of your life during a visit to Bryce Canyon National Park.
Some other exciting things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park include:
Spectacular outdoor musical with a backdrop of red sandstone cliffs reaching 1500 high.
- Peter Pan
- South Pacific
Ruby’s Inn Rodeo
Wednesday through Saturday, Memorial Day – End of August, Ruby’s Inn hosts the Bryce Canyon Country Rodeo every summer. Join the fun and excitement at the Bryce Canyon Country Rodeo. Watch the bronco busters and cowboys display their skills as they perform in this western competition. This is one event you won’t want to miss! The rodeo is held nightly, Wednesday – Saturday, through the summer at Ruby’s Inn Rodeo Grounds.
For all of us who prefer less strenuous activities, or those who need a break from the action, there are many different shows and performances for visitors to enjoy. One of the most popular events in Bryce Canyon, the Ruby’s Inn Rodeo, provides fantastic entertainment for the whole family. You can watch real cowboys on bucking broncos and bulls, while more adventurous visitors can get in on the action and ride a bull, as well. A few hours away, the Tuacahn Amphitheater hosts a variety of musicals, concerts, and shows for guests to enjoy. The whole family will find incredible entertainment and culture during their stay in Bryce Canyon.
VISIT BRYCE CANYON
Visitor Information for Bryce Canyon National Park
With roughly, 1.5 million people visiting Bryce Canyon National Park each year, it has easily become of the favorite national parks in Utah. The unique scenery and the endless recreational activity options keep visitors coming back for more of Bryce. Popular activities which can be found year round in the Bryce Canyon area include Hiking, Horseback Riding, Biking and ATV Tours.
We’re dedicated to helping you access the best that Bryce Canyon and it’s surrounding areas has to offer. Find the best options for Dining, Lodging, Hiking Trail and Guided Tours with ease and create a trip tailored to fit your travel needs. Bryce Canyon National Park has activities for those traveling solo or with family and friends. Experience this one of a kind geological spectacular for a trip that you’ll never forget.
Explore Bryce Canyon
Let Us Help You Plan Your Next Trip To Explore Bryce Canyon
Come visit Bryce Canyon!
The vast and unique landscape of Bryce Canyon allows for a variety of activities for you to enjoy during their stay. Each of you can find something exciting to do during a stay in Bryce Canyon. From pulse-pounding adventures to quiet nights in town, Bryce Canyon has an incredible variety of things to do throughout the year. You can play outdoors and do things like– hiking, biking, enjoy scenery for days, dining, and great hotels.
Wildlife such as mule deer, golden eagles, and mountain lions, also inhabit the Park.
To get the most out of a trip to Bryce Canyon National Park, you should thoroughly investigate all the options available before traveling to the area. Adventurers may enjoy a strenuous climb along the canyon, while less adventurous you may enjoy a leisurely horseback ride or a trip to the theater. Whether you try every activity available or focus on just a few, you will leave Bryce Canyon with a lifetime of great memories.
Bryce Canyon is near Zion National Park and also near St. George, Utah, Cedar City, and more. If you plan on visiting the area, make sure the weather is going to be good by checking updated listings at UtahWeather.net. Feel free to explore the site. We have provided information about getting here, weather, and outdoor activities, as well as continually providing tips and activities on our blog!
Need More Information?
Find out more about the Southern Utah Area and get detailed information regarding Lodging around Bryce Canyon National Park.
Adventure Awaits in Bryce Canyon
There is no shortage of exciting adventures in the Bryce Canyon area. Every journey in Bryce Canyon will be an unforgettable one. From exploring the red rock canyons to fishing for a trophy catch, Bryce Canyon is the perfect place for every guest. This makes Bryce Canyon a perfect place to bring large groups and families because everyone can find their own favorite activity or get introduced to a new one. Visiting Bryce Canyon National Park, and partaking in the many exciting activities, should be on everyone’s bucket list. Visitors will find themselves coming back to the area year after year to enjoy the many wonderful things to do in Bryce Canyon National Park.
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