100 Years of Bryce Canyon, over 50 Million Years of Fossils
Explore deep time and ancient life at Bryce Canyon’s annual Geology Festival
BRYCE, UT – Bryce Canyon’s centennial Geology Festival is scheduled for Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15 and will include guided hikes, geology programs and interactive family-friendly booths. This year’s festival will also feature special evening programs from author and geologist Christa Sadler and park paleontology fellow Tut Tran exploring fossil discoveries within and around Bryce Canyon National Park. As always, the annual Geology Festival is free with park admission, though some programs may require free tickets to attend. Visitors can learn more at go.nps.gov/BryceGeoFest.
Both days of the festival will begin at 10 a.m. with a geologist-guided hike that will last around 90 minutes. These family-friendly hikes require free tickets that can be picked up the day of the hike at the Visitor Center beginning at 8 a.m.
At 12 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday, interactive geology and paleontology booths will open to the public in the Visitor Center plaza until 4 p.m. Booths will feature local public lands and educational institutions, including Dixie National Forest Lake Powell District, Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Southern Utah University’s Geology Club, St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site, USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum, Utah Geological Survey and Zion National Park.
Bryce Canyon’s daily 11 a.m. geology talks and 2 p.m. rim walks exploring natural and cultural history will continue to be offered throughout the festival. These programs both begin at Sunset Point and are open to the public.
At 8 p.m., special evening programs will be offered at the North Campground Outdoor Theater. On Friday night, paleontology fellow Tut Tran will present on paleontological work he and fellow researchers have been spearheading in the park since last summer. After a nearly ten-year hiatus in research, their findings have underscored Bryce Canyon’s potential to produce scientifically significant fossils, from snails and clams to crocodilians, mammals and even dinosaurs.
Saturday night will feature renowned geologist, educator, writer and naturalist Christa Sadler. With research and field experience in places ranging from the Grand Canyon to the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, her work has kept her outdoors in one form or another for more than twenty years. She has authored multiple books, including “Life in Stone: Fossils of the Colorado Plateau” and “Where Dinosaurs Roamed: Lost Worlds of Utah’s Grand Staircase”. Her talk will cover the paleontology of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Bryce Canyon’s immediate neighbor to the east, which in recent years has produced many new dinosaur species.
These special evening programs are open to the public, unless inclement weather requires a relocation to the Bryce Canyon Lodge. If inclement weather requires the program to be moved to the lodge, seats will be reserved for ticket holders. Free tickets can be picked up the day of the program at the Visitor Center beginning at 8 a.m.
As your next visit to Bryce Canyon approaches, we recommend visiting www.nps.gov/BryceCanyon for conditions, alerts and other important information. Those planning a visit are also welcome to contact the park via social media, or by calling the park at (435) 834-5322.
For other fun events happening in Bryce Canyon, visit our events page!