Zion National Park, Utah, USA

Zion National Park is located in the Southwestern United States, near Springdale, Utah. A prominent feature of the 229-square-mile (590 km2) park is Zion Canyon, which is 15 miles (24 km) long and up to half a mile (800 m) deep, cut through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River.

A million years of flowing water has cut through the red and white beds of Navajo sandstone that form the sheer walls of Zion. The geologic heart of the canyon began as a vast desert millions of years ago; almost incessant winds blew one dune on top of another until the sands reached a depth of more than 2,000 feet. You can still see the track of these ancient winds in the graceful crossbedded strata of Zion’s mighty cliffs.

Unlike the Grand Canyon where you stand on the rim and look out, Zion Canyon is usually viewed from the bottom looking up. The vertical topography confines most of Zion’s 2.5 million yearly visitors between canyon walls.

Streamside on the canyon floor grow thick stands of Fremont cottonwood, box elder, willow, and, a short distance away, cactus and Utah juniper. Vegetation changes rapidly as the terrain rises almost a mile in elevation. The high plateaus support Douglas fir and ponderosa pine.

Within the park’s 232 square miles lies a landscape of remote terraces and narrow gorges. A number of these canyons are so hidden that early surveyors overlooked some that are 20 miles long. More than 100 miles of wilderness trails crisscross the backcountry, while 15 miles of paved trails encourage casual visits.

Enjoy a selection of comfortable and spacious accommodations, a year-round restaurant serving local favorites and a wide variety of ways to keep you entertained during your stay in Zion National Park.

The park is located in southwestern Utah in Washington, Iron and Kane counties. Geomorphically, it is located on the Markagunt and Kolob plateaus, at the intersection of three North American geographic provinces: the Colorado Plateaus, the Great Basin, and the Mojave Desert.

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