Zion National Park

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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 Arizona area.

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. 
Entrance at Zion Park Headquarters In 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<.

The 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. 

The 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.

If 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.
The Virgin River in Zion National ParkZion 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 past.

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.

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