My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tropic Canyon and Mossy Cave Visit

 Dateline: November 3

There is only one canyon in Bryce Canyon National Park and it isn't in the main part of the park. It's  Tropic Canyon, a kind of artificial canyon because it exists due to  of a hand-build ditch. When the Mormons settled in the area, then didn't have reliable water.  So they spent two years digging a ditch with hand tools. It carries water from the East Fork of the Sevier River, through the Paunsaugunt Plateau, into this canyon.


Part of Tropic Ditch
 The hoodoos are made by ice forming in cracks and spreading them, and making smaller bits of rock that can wash or blow off.   But in this canyon, water is smoothing the canyon out, making it V-shaped, and making it impossible for other hoodoos to form. Eventually, hoodoos will disappear from this area.
Four windows in one bank

A little waterfall in a small ditch

Almost dry waterway showing the smooth sides

Lucy admiring the cave face.  Fence keeps people from damaging the dripping part of the cave

View inside cave

Another cave view

Another cave view

Closeup of outside of cave

A different kind of structure


Right now, there are still lots of hoodoos around and the hike to the cave is really easy. The cave is  a different experience. It's always cool, moist and dark.  Many people visit it to see ice stalactites and stalagmites. Sometimes ice lasts until July. But we got to enjoy a dripping cave and a different landscape while learning interesting history.

While looking up information about this area I came across a blog that shows the area when water is running.  Wish we could be there for that and also for the ice stalactites in the cave.

For more pictures of this area, including some from Red Canyon see my album.  

I'm in Galveston, Texas, house sitting,  unpacking, and gardening.  I am also enjoying Zootie, a small springer spaniel with a great zest for life. As soon as I catch up on blogs from my travels, I'll show you some of Galveston.  Tomorrow I'm going to volunteer to help replant an area owned by Audubon. Ike killed all the vegetation there and volunteers are trying to kill off invasives and replant desirable plants.  Then I have to pick up pansies for Natalie before going to the Houston Area Sea Kayakers to see lots of my friends and listen to an interesting program.

Our next stop was Zion National Park where we got shrunk.  It's only 80 miles away from Bryce, but of course it took us several hours to get there.