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Early Tourism at Bryce Canyon National Park: No Color in This Film, But Hot and Cold Running Water in the Cabins!


Here's a dose of Bryce Canyon color to accompany the black-and-white video. NPS photo by Ray Mathis.

Today practically all you need to say is "Bryce Canyon" to create a colorful mental picture of this Southwestern gem of the National Park System. But back in the early 1900s when a travelogue of the park was filmed, the color had to be in the narrative.

The following 7:36-minute video sadly is in black-and-white, which fails to capture the stunningly colorful geology that justified Bryce Canyon's addition to the park system. But the interesting narration, which includes mention of "hot and cold running water" in the park's cabins as well as "elaborate house cars" used by campers back then, make this video worth watching.

"Walking, man's oldest form of locomotion, is a popular sport here," he says at one point. At another he tosses out the colors he sees in the cliffs and hoodoos.

Note the attire of the park visitors -- ties and dress trousers on many of the men, long skirts on many of the women.

After running out of words to shower on Bryce Canyon, the narrator leads us of to nearby Capitol Reef "National Monument." Listen closely as he describes the peaches in the orchard here, and take note of the "modern highways and modern automobiles."

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