ZION NATIONAL PARK (USA)

INTRODUCTION

Zion National Park is located in Southwestern United States, near Springdale, Utah. A prominent feature of the park is Zion Canyon, cut through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River. Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert regions, this unique geography and variety of life zones allow for unusual plant and animal diversity.

KEY ATTRACTIONS

Temple of Sinawava - For many, the highlight of Zion is a trip up the main canyon to the Temple of Sinawava, via the park-run propane-powered free shuttle buses or by your own vehicle. Spectacular, colorful sandstone cliffs soar into the sky above a flat-bottomed, forested valley floor.

Ordeville Canyon – Ordeville Canyon, a narrower slot canyon, is also a favorite
Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. The 6 mile road through Zion Canyon leads past some of the most fantastic rock formations in the world, with colorful sandstone cliffs rising 2,000 to 3,000 feet from the canyon floor.

The Narrows: This hike is accessible from Zion Canyon, but the full hike begins in East Zion and ends in Zion Canyon. It is an extremely popular off-trail hike.

Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway: A 10-mile road that connects the east and south entrances. One of the highlights of the drive is a mile-long tunnel, the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel, which was completed in 1930. East of the tunnel is Checkerboard Mesa, a sandstone mountain that is etched with fantastic cross-bedding of lines and shapes.

Kolob Canyons: Located in the parks northwestern corner, Kolob Canyons is a less-crowded area of the park that contains beautiful red-rock canyons, incredible overlooks, and lush scenery.

Rock climbing - Zion is a center for Rock climbing, with short walls like Touchstone, Moonlight Buttress, Spaceshot and Prodigal Son being very popular.

Canyoneering - Zion is the USA’s most concentrated center for Canyoneering. Zion has a concentration of about 50 technical canyons, characterized by downclimbing and rappels in beautiful sandstone canyons.

GETTING AROUND

From April to October, Zion National Park operates a mandatory shuttle system. The ride up the entire length of the canyon’s scenic drive takes approximately 45 minutes, allowing passengers to take in the canyon’s scenery and listen to informative narration about the park’s history, geology, flora and fauna provided by the bus drivers before debarking. As part of the transportation system, a voluntary shuttle also runs in the town of Springdale, the park’s gateway community. Its terminus is the parking lot of the Zion Canyon Giant Screen Theater, where visitors must debark and walk across a footbridge to the visitor center to access the Zion Canyon Shuttle.