Park History

Park History

Transport Yourself Back in Time, Marveling at the Ancient Hoodoos

The ancient history of Bryce Canyon paired with the breathtaking beauty of the park will greet you as it did to the Native Americans hundreds of years ago.

Native Americans of the Paiute tribe explored and hunted in the Paunsaugunt Plateau over 800 years ago. Experience the same untouched beauty, stillness of nature, and truly magnificent geological structures that welcome the Native Americans.

The first non-native settlers established living in Bryce Canyon during the 1870s by pioneers. As news spread of the geologic marvels within Bryce Canyon, scientists and other travelers started their journey out West.

In 1910, a U.S. Forest Service Supervisor helped bring his vision of Bryce Canyon National Park to life and accessible to the public. Soon visitors from across America traveled to explore the newly accessible National Park, a spark of exploration that still burns today.


With the increase of travelers and settlers to Bryce Canyon, conservationists and U.S. Park Service helped bring preservation and protection. President Warren G. Harding established Bryce Canyon as a national monument in 1923, later becoming a national park in 1928.

Today’s efforts include the Night Skies to help preserve and protect the nocturnal habit and wildlife within the park. Light pollution can impact the clarity of the sky at night as well as the natural habitats.

The Lodge at Bryce Canyon

Around the same time as the park became protected and preserved for public access, The Lodge at Bryce Canyon was built by Utah Parks Company as a part of a Union Pacific railroad project to bring lodging to national parks.

The lodge opened in summer of 1925 for travelers as they explored the newly established national park. Using only local materials available at the time, the Lodge at Bryce Canyon is known for its rustic, original structure still intact today. In 1987, the Lodge at Bryce Canyon was declared a National Historic Landmark.

Geological Wonders

Bryce Canyon National Park is home to the famous, geologic wonders, Hoodoos. These are pillars of rock left by erosion. The national park is also home to ancient rock formations from over 144 million years ago. Visitors can explore these wonders along with the diverse wildlife that claims the park as home by hiking or riding horseback.