Why Bryce Canyon is Basically Mars on Earth (Without the Long Commute)

Have you ever fantasized about visiting Mars, but then you remember you’re not a billionaire with a space company? Well, fret not, my galactic wanderer! Pack up your hiking boots and a wide-brimmed hat because I’m about to take you to the next best thing that’s only a car ride away (give or take a few hours): Bryce Canyon National Park in the glorious state of Utah, USA. Spoiler alert: It’s like stepping onto the set of a sci-fi movie, minus the alien invaders (as far as we know).

First off, let’s talk about the hoodoos. No, that’s not a term I made up after too many s’mores. These are tall, skinny spires of rock that look straight-up otherworldly. Walking among them, you might catch yourself checking your phone for service, just to make sure you didn’t accidentally teleport to a distant planet. The amphitheaters filled with these reddish-orange natural skyscrapers are a sight to behold at sunrise or sunset when the light plays tricks and turns the landscape into a fiery spectacle.

Then there’s the star-gazing. With minimal light pollution, Bryce Canyon is like a VIP lounge for celestial events. On a clear night, you can see thousands of stars, constellations you forgot existed since your fourth-grade science quiz, and if you’re lucky, a shooting star or two to make wishes on (free of charge, because nature is awesome like that).

For the adventurers among you, Bryce offers endless trails that range from easy-peasy to ‘I-need-an-energy-bar-stat’. The Navajo Loop Trail is a must-do for beginners and pros alike, sending you on a journey through narrow passages and past towering Douglas Firs that seem to defy logic and gravity by growing out of sheer rock.

Did I mention the wildlife? It’s like the residents got the memo that they’re living in a natural masterpiece and decided to match the vibe. You’ve got prairie dogs standing like sentinels on the lookout, majestic mule deer prancing about, and if you’re really lucky, you might even spot the elusive Utah prairie dog, which is way cuter than it has any right to be.

In conclusion, if you’re craving an adventure that’s literally out of this world but you’re working with an Earthling’s budget, Bryce Canyon is your spot. It’s Mars, minus the need for a space suit and a 300-million-mile commute. And the best part? The only thing you risk encountering is breathtaking beauty and possibly a new profile picture that will make all your friends jealous. Pack your bags, and don’t forget your curiosity. Bryce Canyon is waiting to blow your mind, no rocket ship required.