The photo above features Thor’s Hammer as observed in the morning light at Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah. Watching the sunrise over the Bryce Canyon formations is an indescribable experience. Photographer: John Stetson
Thor’s Hammer is a spectacular example of a hoodoo, which is sometimes referred to as a tent rock or fairy chimney.
They form because of erosion processes and may be found in badland areas whenever relatively hard rock overlays softer more erodible rock, such as sandstone. Here the sandstone is from the Claron Formation.The harder more resistant caprock protects the softer underlying layers from frost, wind, rain, freezing and thawing so that the rate of erosion is slower than elsewhere. A young Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) sitting at the base of the towering Thor’s Hammer (bottom right), approximately 150 ft (46 m) tall.