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Zion Canyon Park – One of the Lesser Known Great Canyons of America

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Photo used with permission. Photo Credit: Leshaines123 Some Rights Reserved. 

When people say “canyon”, they automatically think of the Grand Canyon. However, the USA is home to a number of other fantastic canyon parks, one of them being Zion National Park. Hidden in the heart of southwestern Utah, what is often described as the most awe-inspiring part of our entire planet is Zion National Park. It is a small park in comparison to others, but the terrain is diverse, the hiking opportunities are many and the natural beauty is truly out of this world. There are lush forests, arid desert and claustrophobic slot sections. The beauty is truly endless.

An Introduction to Zion National Park

The park itself borders Utah, Arizona and Nevada. It is located on the Colorado Plateau’s edge, the spot where the low dry desert and the lush high country meat. You can reach Zion in a three hour drive from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Zion National Park is certainly not the largest national park in the country. However, many would feel it is the most impressive because it is so remote and so diverse. The Zion Canyon, which is the main canyon, is absolutely not to be missed. However, if you also have access to a vehicle, you would be able to venture further in to the park to see some sights that may not be as popular due to their remoteness, but that are actually far more breathtaking.

The Main Canyon

You’ll find the Visitor Center in the Zion Canyon. Nearby, you’ll also find the Zion Lodge and the Zion Human History Museum. You may also enter Springdale, the small town near the park from here. From here  you can also visit Angels Landing, Emerald Pools, Great White Throne and Weeping Rock. You’ll find plenty of information about these at the Visitor Center.

Other Interesting Areas

  • The Upper East Canyon is a true wonder of nature. This is filled with random, naturally formed drainage systems and more. Made from slickrock, it will be hard to forget this site. The main feature in this area is the Checkerboard Mesa, named because of its natural checkerboard look.
  • The Zion Narrows is not for those who suffer from claustrophobia. You can follow the river through a labyrinth of side canyons, which at times will come incredibly close together.
  • The Kolob Terrace offers the most beautiful view of the entire park.
  • The Kolob Canyons, which are incredibly remote and you will need to arrange transport to get there but the Double Arch Alcove is worth the effort and a true marvel of nature.
  • The Desert Lowlands are hot and dry but absolutely stunning.
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