Zion has become quickly a popular park for national park explorers. Zion is a wilderness preserved, full of the unexpected. It includes what might be the world's largest arch - Kolob Arch, spanning 310 feet. It also boasts some more simpler natural wonders such as; small waterfalls and clear backcountry pools. Zion is part of the Southwest's "Grand Circle" of national parks, monuments, historical areas, and recreation areas - one of the world's great concentrations of outstanding natural and cultural features.
The park is characterized by high plateaus, a maze of narrow, deep, sandstone canyons and striking rock towers and mesas. Zion Canyon is the largest and most visited canyon in the park. The North Fork of the Virgin River has carved a spectacular gorge here, with canyon walls in most places rising 2000-3000 feet above the canyon floor.
Massive canyon walls ascend toward a brilliant blue sky. To experience Zion, you need to walk among the towering cliffs, or challenge your courage in a small narrow canyon. These unique sandstone cliffs range in color from cream, to pink, to red. They could be described as sand castles crowning desert canyons.
Zion's unique geographic location and variety of life zones combine to create a variety of habitats for a surprising array of plant and animal species. Located on the Colorado Plateau, but bordering the Great Basin and Mojave Desert Provinces, Zion is home to plants from each region.
There are 3 primary scenic routes that enter into Zion National Park. Make sure to leave enough time to explore the landscape of Zion and drive each route as each offers a unique perspective to Zion.
Zion Canyon is home to many mammals and critters as well as many cactus and wildflowers. Keep your eyes peeled so to spot such wildlife as collared lizard, Gambel's quail or even a golden eagle! Always remember to respect wildlife by observing at a distance. Never feed the animals as they may become dependant on human food and don't disrupt them from their natural behaviors. Zion National Park is their home, we are the visitors.
The Narrows of Zion Canyon is one of the most popular, and most strenuous, offtrail hikes in the park. Hiking through the Narrows is a 16 mil trip requiring at least one full day. Much of the trip involves wading through the Virgin River. The Narrows may be closed due to the threat of floods.