Arches National Park

Zion National Park - Refuge for Wildlife

The name Zion suggests a place of peace and refuge. This is true not only for visitors but for wildlife as well. The park is a sanctuary for roadrunners and golden eagles, mule deer and mountain lions, cactus and cottonwood. Some of the best opportunities for encountering wildlife are along park trails.

You may surprise lizards or Gambel"s quail on a hike along a wooded wash on the desert"s edge. Or hear echoes of the clear gushing song of the canyon wren in a pygmy forest of pinyon and juniper. Watch for tracks; they may be the closest you get to rarely seen species like the mountain lion or the nocturnal ringtailed cat.

Wildflowers are common throughout the park, particularly in spring and fall. Even where there is nothing more than a tiniy pocket of soil in a rock crack, plants manage to take root and grow. Some cliffs, like those at Weeping Rock, are thick with golden and western columbine, scarlet monkey-flower, and maidenhair fern. Springwater seeping through the pourous rock walls nourishes these lush hanging gardens.