Explore Zion National Park
Zion national Park is one of the nature’s wondrous creations that bring millions to visit it each year. Zion National Park is located in the southwestern United States, near Springdale, Utah, and not too far from Kanab, Utah. The Park is filled with reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone in many types of rock formations. The parks unique geography gives a variety of diverse plants and animals. The park contains four life zones which are, desert, riparian, woodland and coniferous forest. Zion National Park includes mountains, canyons, buttes, mesas, monoliths, river, slot canyons, and natural arches. Zions’ popularity is due to not only it’s beauty, but to its offering of geology, hiking, backpacking and beautiful scenic drives. There is also a ton of wonderful hikes that take you near some wonderful streams and waterways.
The geology of the Zion and Kolob canyons area includes 9 formations that together represent 150 million years of mostly Mesozoic-aged sedimentation. Zions’ beauty leaves a breathtaking experience to those who visit, with its land filled with history and grandeur monuments. Zions’ spectacular view makes any vacation a pleasurable experience.
Zion National Park geographic statistics
The park is located in southwestern Utah in Washington, Iron, and Kane counties. It is located on the Markagunt and Kolob plateaus, at the intersection of three North American geographic provinces.
Evaluation – The 8,726 summit of Horse Ranch Mountain is the highest point in the park. The lowest point is the 3,666 foot elevation of Coal Pits Wash, creating a relief of about 5,100 feet.
Park size – The Area of Zion’s is 146,597 acres.
Visitors – 2,825,505 (in 2011)
Weather – Spring weather is unpredictable, with stormy, wet days being common, mixed with occasional warm, sunny weather. Precipitation is heaviest in March. Spring wildflowers bloom from April through June, peaking in May. Fall days are usually clear and mild and nights are often cool. Summer days are hot with degrees varying from 95-110 Fahrenheit. Summer nights are cool with degrees between 65-75 Fahrenheit. Afternoon thunderstorms are common from mid-July through mid-September. These thunderstorms can produce flash floods and waterfall. Autumn tree colors can be seen from September until late October. There is light snow in lower elevations and heavier snow in higher elevations during the winter time.
Features – Notable geographical features of the park include, Virgin River Narrows, Emerald Pools, Hidden Canyon, Angels Landing, The Great White Throne, Checkerboard Mesa, The Three Patriarchs and Kolob Arch.
Geology – The nine known geographical formations in Zion National Park are part of a super-sequence of rock units called the Grand Staircase. Together, these formations represent about 150 million years of mostly -aged sedimentation in that part of North America. The formations exposed in the Zion area were deposited as sediment in very different environments:
Things To Do In Zion National Park
Backpacking – There are several great trails for backpacking. Back packing is usually overnight hikes consisting of several days or more, and within Zion, permits are required that you can get at many local spots.
Bicycling – There are tons of biking opportunities within the park. The Pa’rus Trail and Zion Canyon Scenic Drive are great rides to look into doing. Just a little side note, shuttles in the park to have bike racks.
Birding – Zion is home to 207 species of birds. Bird checklists are available at the visitor centers.
Camping – There are three campgrounds inside Zions National Park. You can only make reservations from March – late November
Canyoneering – Canyoneering is a great activity for those of you that like to explore more. Learn more about this great activity and how to get a permit to do so.
Climbing – Since Zion National Park is mostly rock formations, there is a lot of great rock climbing opportunities here. Overnight climbing requires a permit.
Hiking – Zion National Park has lots of short day hikes that are perfect for the beginner of family. Hikes range from beginner to advanced and are short in distance.
Horseback Riding – There are guided horseback trips in Zion National Park from March through October. Visit CanyonRides.com for more info.
Kolob Canyons – Explore the wilderness and solitude of the northwest corner of Zion National Park. Kolob Canyons has something special for everyone to experience.
The Narrows – Learn about what to expect and how to prepare for hiking The Narrows.
Ranger-led activities – Join a park ranger and learn more about Zion. Check the Park Map and Guide for times, places, and subjects.
River Trips – Find out about boating in the Virgin River. Permits are issued when the flow rate is over 150 CFS
Stock Use – Learn about bringing your stock animals into Zion. Stock animals permitted are horses, mules, and burrows.
The Subway – Find out about obtaining a permit and hiking The Subway.
Places To Stay In Zion National Park