Zion National Park is known for its magnificent scenery and overwhelming vistas. The 229 square mile canyon is the park’s principle feature. About 8,000 years ago, the basket making Anasazi Indian inhabited the area. The Mormons discovered the canyon in 1858, and settled the area in the 1860s. In 1904, paintings of the Canyon by Frederick S. Dellenbaugh were displayed at the St. Louis World’s Fair. One year later, Scribner Magazine published an appreciative article about the Canyon. This inspired President Howard Taft’s belief that the canyon was worth preserving. Thus, in 1909, it was established as the Mukuntuweap National Monument. In 1917, the director of the newly created National Park Service visited the Canyon, and suggested changing its name to Zion. It became Zion National Park in 1919. “Zion” is the Hebrew word for “sanctuary.” After visiting Zion National Park, many people believe that this title is quite suitable.
Today, an annual average of 2.5 million people journey to Zion National Park, Utah to view its high plateaus, mazes of sandstone canyons and unusual rock towers and mesas. As home to over 900 plant species, Zion National Park has the largest diversity of plants in Utah. The fauna at Zion National Park, Utah include 78 mammal species, 290 bird species, 44 reptile and amphibian species and eight fish species. Endangered species at Zion National Park, Utah include Mexican Spotted Owl, Southwest Willow Flycatcher and Desert Tortoise.
If you need to get oriented on your trip to Zion National Park, Utah, there are two visitor’s centers. The Zion Canyon Visitor’s Center is located at the South entrance of the park. Here, you will find exhibits that explain the natural and cultural history of the Zion area. Rangers can answer your questions and issue backcountry permits. Additionally, books, maps, and film are sold at the gift shop. The visitor’s center also marks the beginning of the park loop of the Zion Canyon Shuttle. The Kolob Canyons Visitor’s Center is located off Interstate 15 at Exit 40, 45 miles north of Springdale and 17 miles south of Cedar City. Rangers are also available at this location, as well as a gift shop that sells books and maps.
If you plan to stay in the area, there are a number of Zion National Park lodging locations. The Zion Lodge is located inside the park. Its historic cabins feature two double beds, full bath, gas log fireplace and private porch. Motel rooms at this Zion National Park lodging location are also available. Most of the motel rooms come with queen-size beds, full bath and private porch or balcony. All rooms feature air conditioning, phones, radio alarm clocks and hairdryers. Some of the room have king sized beds.
There is also Zion National Park lodging outside of the park itself. For example, the Zion canyon Bed and Breakfast is located one half mile form the park’s entrance. The master suite is their largest and most elegant room. It features a chaise lounge chair and a private porch. The marble bathroom has a separate double headed steam shower, a garden Jacuzzi tub, two sinks, and a second TV. The bedroom has a 4-posted bed and 3-way fireplace. The Hidden Canyon Room has two queen-size beds and a private balcony. The Narrows Room has a king size sleigh bed. The Angel’s Landing Room features an intimate Jacuzzi for two.