Zion Canyon come see and play
Museums, hikes and views all day
Three Patriarchs and rocks that weep
Campground and town to eat and sleep
Come discover how Utah Rocks
Or stay at home and obey clocks
Zion National Park was established as Utah's first National Park on November 19, 1919. Zion has amazingly diverse scenery from lowland dessert, to mountain meadows, to lush forest, all within just a few miles of each other.
Zion can be entered from the east or west. However, if you are entering from the east side, you will have the opportunity to travel through the infamous Zion tunnel, a mining miracle completed in 1930 and was for a time the longest tunnel in the United States. The 1.1 mile drive through the tunnel offers sneak peeks at Zion through several windows cut into the rock. Due to it's small size, over-sized vehicles must be escorted through at an added cost of $15.00 per vehicle. Entering and leaving through the west entrance avoids the tunnel and the added cost.
Like all National Parks, Zion has a Visitor Center where you can purchase souvenirs, watch informative videos and chat with rangers about the park. Zion's most famous sites are Weeping Rock, The Three Patriarchs and Emerald Pools, all which are accessible by a free shuttle ride to a moderate hiking trail.
Of the three famous sites, Weeping Rock is my favorite, where you can stand under 1,000 year old spring water. On a cliff 100 feet above Weeping Rock rain water collects and slowly travels through the porous sandstone until it reaches a layer of solid rock and is forced through the side of the rock "weeping" down onto tourists who stand, sometimes for hours, enjoying the cascade of raindrops. According to geologist, this process takes nearly 1,000 years.
Another bonus for us was the closeness of Springdale, the small town right outside the park. Once settled inside the campground, we could walk or take the shuttle into town for sightseeing, shopping or a visit to the local ostrich ranch.
Zion does not hold the beauty of Bryce or the amazement of Arches, but it does hold a dear place in my heart and will always be on our list of places to visit when we are in Utah.
Muse For Today: Now that you've traveled from A to Z with me. Where will you go next?