Zion National Park   4 comments

Zion NP 00Where Is It: 150 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

The Birth: From wikipedia:

The Powell Geographic Expedition entered the area in 1869 after their first trip through the Grand Canyon. John Wesley Powell visited Zion Canyon in 1872 and named it Mukuntuweap, under the impression that that was the Paiute name. Powell Survey photographers John K Hillers and James Fennemore first visited the Zion Canyon and Kolob Plateau region in the spring of 1872. Hillers returned in April 1873 to add more photographs to the “Virgin River Series” of photographs and stereographs. Hillers described wading the canyon for four days and nearly freezing to death to take his photographs.

Paintings of the canyon by Frederick S Dellenbaugh were exhibited at the St Louis World’s Fair in 1904, followed by a glowing article in Scribner’s Magazine the next year. That, along with previously created photographs, paintings, and reports, led to U.S. President William Howard Taft’s proclamation on July 31, 1909 that created Mukuntuweap National Monument. In 1917, the acting director of the newly created National Park Service visited the canyon and proposed changing its name to Zion from the locally unpopular Mukuntuweap. The United States Congress added more land and established Zion National Park on November 19, 1919. A separate Zion National Monument, the Kolob Canyons area, was proclaimed on January 22, 1937, and was incorporated into the park on July 11, 1956.

Painting of Zion Canyon by Frederick Dellenbaugh (1903)

Painting of Zion Canyon by Frederick Dellenbaugh (1903)

It Happened Here: Zion hatched its first California condor chick in the wild this year. Read the story, here.

Size: 146,597 acres

# Visitors: 2,807,387 in  2013. Attendance peaked in June/July, and at its lowest in January/February.

Plants: From the Park’s website:

Visitors are often surprised by the relative lushness found in Zion Canyon. The riparian area of the Virgin River supports enormous cottonwood trees and a diversity of herbaceous plants and grasses. Nearby, saturated wetlands make nice habitat for cattails, willows, aquatic plants, and rushes. Water seeping out of the Navajo sandstone creates tranquil springs and the unique “hanging gardens” for which Zion is famous, full of ferns, wildflowers, and mosses.

Animals: From the Park’s website:

Zion is home to over 78 species of mammals, 291 species of birds, 44 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 8 species of fish. Masters in the art of desert heat evasion, many animals take to burrows or dens in the heat of the day, or choose to be nocturnal and use our hours of slumber to live upon the landscape in cooler temperatures.

Though all the animals in Zion are protected by its National Park designation, some animals are of special note. Zion is critical habitat for the Mexican spotted owl, a species classified as threatened on the federal level. A small population of Mojave Desert tortoises is being monitored, along with the endangered Southwestern willow flycatcher.

Fees: A 7-day pass for a private vehicle is $25.

Staying There: Three campgrounds are within the Park. One of them is free!

Contact Info:

Zion National Park
Springdale, UT 84767-1099

Visitor Information 1-435-772-3256

Current Issues: Three BASE jumpers have been killed in the Park this year. The canyon walls are very pretty … and totally dangerous, too. Read about it, here.



National Park Service: Zion National Park

Honey Did You See That: Don’t Judge Me By My Hair Color Or Else

KimberlyJumps.com: Welcome To Zion

Posted June 19, 2014 by henrymowry in National Parks

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