Zion National Park in Utah is the oldest park known for spectacular views of the canyon. This famous park is attracting large number of adventure hikers from across the globe. There are endless opportunities for the enthusiastic hikers. No wonder there are nearly three million visitors every year, Zion is the most heavily visited park in Utah. Angels Landing and The narrows are the most adventurous and strenuous hikes in the park.
About Zion National Park
The Zion national park, designated in 1919 is the oldest park popular for the incredible canyon, the park is spread over 590 square kilometer area and is located in the southwestern United States near Springdale, Utah. The Virgin River has cut through native sandstone to create the outstanding and beautiful scenery in Zion Canyon.
This river now has many easy and self-guiding trails along its path. There are also more challenging hikes a in the park at points where the river and its tributaries cut through the narrow canyons.
The prominent feature of the park is Zion Canyon which is 24 kilometer long and around 800 meters deep. The lowest elevation being at Coalpits Wash 3666 feet and the highest elevation is 8726 feet at Horse Ranch Mountain. The park has unique geography and four life zones that support widely diversified plants and animals. There are numerous plant species and large number of species of bird, mammals and reptiles that inhabit the park’s life zones. Human habitation began almost 8000 years ago with groups of Native Americans.
Image Credit @ Adam Schallau
In the year 1909 U.S. president named the area a National Monument to protect the canyon. United States Congress established the monument as a National Park on 19 November 1919. The Zion National Park includes mountains, canyons, buttes, slot canyons, natural arches formed by rocks and monoliths. The northern part of the park is known as the Kolob Canyons section. The geology of Zion and Kolob canyons include 9 formations representing 150million years of sedimentation.
The road into the Zion Canyon is 9.7 kilometer long and leading to the temple of Sinawara, at the temple the road narrows and leads to the mouth of Zion Narrows through foot trail, as narrow as 20feet wide and 2000 feet tall. The eastern side of the park is covered by the Zion-Mount Carmel highway that passes through the popular Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel ending at Mount Carmel junction at Utah. Eastern side of the park has notable features including the East Temple and the Checkerboard Mesa. Whereas the Kolob Terrace area lying at the west of Zion Canyon features ‘The Subway’. The Lava point offers panoramic view of the entire area. World’s second longest arch is situated at the Kolob Canyons section in the western part, known as Kolob Arch.
The notable features of the park are Virgin River Narrows, Emerald Pools, Hidden Canyons, The great White Throne along with the Angels Landing Kolob Arch and the Checkerboard Mesa. There is yet another worth visiting spot, the Three Patriarchs.
The Zion National Park is open throughout the year. The park has two visitor centers which are also open throughout to help the visitors with the info enabling them to minimize the impact to the vulnerable desert environment. Zion Canyon Visitor Center at the South entrance of the park and the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center at the western entrance of the park are open to guide the tourists. For the people intending to visit multiple parks within a span of one year there is a facility of National Parks and Federal Lands pass available, these are honored in the park and are also sold at the Arches at a cost of $ 80.