Zion National Park
excels in every way. Plan to spend at least one day in the area. At least,
because there is a lot to see at Zion and it is a great staging point for
visiting several other outstanding parks in the Southern Utah, Northern
Zion Canyon is located in Southern Utah in the area
called 'Utah's Canyon Country'. This includes places such as Arches
National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Lake
Powell, and many, many other places.
Zion is a great place to bring the family because it is filled with lush
green vegetation and surrounded by immense sandstone cliffs that are near vertical
for thousands of feet. The shuttle system at Zion is a must and is
possibly the best we have seen anywhere.
The shuttle is the best way to see Zion. A round trip on it
from the Visitor Center takes you along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. This
trip takes a minimum of 90 minutes. The shuttle schedule is different for
the summer and the spring and fall seasons to accommodate the difference
in daylight during those seasons. There is no shuttle in the winter.
the summer, during the middle of the day, the shuttles runs an average of
6 minutes apart. This is phenomenal. It allows you to get off at each of the 8
shuttle stops on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, take a few photos, and be
on the next shuttle. For more information about the Zion National Park
shuttle schedule for this year >click here<.
Zion Canyon Scenic Drive also has several outstanding trails. They
vary in time from 30 minutes at the Weeping Rock Trail to 7 and 12 hours
for the extended back country trails.
The difficulty of these trails vary quite a bit. Even trails that are
described as moderate aren't really that easy. A lot can be seen
very easily by sticking to the trails that follow the Virgin River.
trails are easy to see and navigate. Many of the trails remain level and
do not have much of a grade for a considerable distance at their start.
your time is limited and you want to see a lot, a good strategy would be
to take the shuttle to the places that are most interesting to you. Then
take the trail part of the way until it becomes difficult and go back to
catch the shuttle to the next stop. Several trails are very challenging.
|Zion is a
large canyon and it was created in part by the erosive action
of the Virgin River and its several tributaries.
The cliffs and mountains that surround the valley were created over a span
of 275 million years. The unique environment in Zion Canyon exposes
sandstone and shale cliffs clearly and dramatically revealing the areas
The largest visible strata is the deep Navaho formation. This is the 1,600
to 2,200 foot thick layer of light gray to red sandstone that is seen near
the top half of the mountains.