When visiting Bryce Canyon we spent our first day hitting all the overlooks, like regular tourons.
At the same place we started the Bristlecone Loop Trail is Rainbow Point which offers an expansive view of southern Utah.
About 60 million years ago, a large freshwater lake began to fill the low basin that covered most of southern Utah. Over a period of millions of years, rivers and streams from surrounding mountains gradually filled this lake with clays, silts and sands. Calcium carbonate cemented these sediments together, forming the limestone layer from which the canyon has been carved.
About 16 million years ago the land in southern Utah began to rise. A series of plateaus were uplifted along large faults and rose from near sea level to 8000 to 10000 feet (2438 m to 3048 m).
As the plateaus rose erosion wore them away leaving the many colored hoodoos. The limestone is white yet stained red, yellow, orange and brown by iron, and blue and purple by manganese.