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Some of the Most Interesting Facts About the Zion National Park

Interesting Facts about Zion National Park
Massive sandstone monoliths, an extreme environment, and a deep gorge called the Narrows have made Utah's first national park globally famous. Here, we'll learn some interesting facts about the Zion National Park, and take a virtual tour through it.
Neha Joshi
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
Did You Know?
The name 'Zion' is of Hebrew origin, and translates to 'a place of peace and relaxation'.
Fast Facts
Location: Utah
Established: November 19, 1919
Size: 146,597 acres
Highest Point: Horse Ranch Mountain
Lowest Point: Coal Pits Wash
Hiking through 260 million years of geological history, driving on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, and camping under some of the best formation of stars is what you'll get in your trip to the Zion National Park. To welcome you, there are more than 250 species of birds, roughly 75 different mammals, and around 30 reptiles. Once inside, you will see gorgeous mountains, canyons, huge monoliths, natural arches, and slot canyons. Similar interesting facts about this park, which show its cultural and geographical importance, are elaborated below.
How Zion National Park Got its Name
Zion National Park
Zion national park entrance
The earliest inhabitants of the area were the Native Americans. Over time, other tribes, cultural groups, and ethnicity came to this area. Given its diversity in habitation and its geographical importance, the then U.S. President William Howard Taft named the area that is today known as Zion National Park, a National Monument. However, the primary intention always remained protection of the canyon. When it was designated a National Monument, in 1909, it was named Mukuntuweap National Monument. Nine years later, in 1918, under the recently formed 'National Park Service', Mukuntuweap National Monument was renamed Zion National Park.
The name change played to a prevalent bias of the time. Many believed that Spanish and Indian names would deter visitors who, if they could not pronounce the name of a place, might not bother to visit it. The new name, Zion, had greater appeal to an ethnocentric audience.
Historian Hal Rothman
Zion National Park Map
Zion national park map
Quick Facts about Zion National Park
Angel landing trail in Zion national park Utah
The final ascent to Angels Landing
The Zion National Park lies at the intersection of three diverse ecosystems―Colorado Plateau, the Great Basin, and the Mojave Desert.

Due to this, the national park has a variety of plants and wildlife. Several plants―as many as 900―are found only in Zion National Park and nowhere else in the world.

The California Condor, an endangered species of bird, is among the 288 bird species found in Zion National Park. This is why the park is considered a great place for bird watching.
The Kolob Arch in Zion National Park is 287.4 meters long; it is one of the largest freestanding natural arches globally, and also the world's second longest.
There is an area in the park where water has traveled for more than 1,000 years from its origin in a natural, underground spring. Called the 'Weeping Rock', today, it is a very big tourist spot in the park.
In 2009, during the centennial celebration of Zion National Park, the Virgin River was named Utah's first wild and scenic river. It is believed that the river was named La Virgen, in honor of the Virgin Mary, by Spanish Catholic Missionaries.
Upper Emerald falls
Upper Emerald Falls
According to a recent study, sand blowouts on the red cliffs were formed due to a Jurassic-period earthquake.

Surprisingly, more people have died at Emerald Pools than at Angels Landing.

En route to Salt Lake City, the Olympic Torch passed through Zion National Park for the Winter Olympics of 2002.

The famous Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel, located in this national park, was the longest tunnel of its type when it was dedicated in 1930.
The 1.1-mile Zion-Mount Carmel Highway also opened in 1930, and was constructed at a cost of USD 1,896,000.
The canyons in this national park are located in such remote areas that surveyors missed a few that were as long as 20 miles.
The 6-mile-long road into the Zion Canyon ends at the Temple of Sinawava. After this point, a foot trail continues to the Zion Narrows. The Narrows are as narrow as 6 m. Hiking the Narrows isn't easy; half the hike is through the waters of the river Virgin.
Hiking the Zion Narrows was featured in the National Geographic America's Best 100 Adventures.
This park saw the highest increase in tourists, ranging from 3,692 in 1920 to approximately 2.5 million in 1996.
The first visitor lodging in the park was established in 1917, and was called Wylie Camp.
The highly poisonous Sacred Datura is found in this park.
Facts You Need to Know while Visiting Zion National Park
√ The park is open on all days of the year and for 24 hours. Certain services/facilities/permission may close or reduce hours during a certain time of the year.
√ Zion National Park was home to three camps of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the 1930s. The work that these camps did at the park is displayed at the museum.
√ Pets are allowed on just one trail in the Zion National Park - the Pa'rus Trail, which begins at the entrance of the park. On the same trail, you are allowed bicycles.
√ Three trails in Zion National Park are wheelchair accessible―The Pa'rus Trail, the Riverside Walk, and the Lower Emerald Pools Trail.
√ You can visit the Zion Canyon with private vehicles only from November to March. During the other months, it is mandatory to use the free, shuttle bus.
Panorama of the Entire Range
Zion national park
Kolob Canyons
Kolob Canyons
Panorama of all the Peaks
Zion Canyon
Red Rocks of Zion
Red rocks in Zion national park, Utah
Sunrise over the Range
Sunrise over towers of Virgin, Zion
Angels Landing
Angels landing in Zion national park
The Narrows
The Narrows Zion national park
The Subway Trail
The Subway trail
Subway Zion national park
Scenes in Winter
Winter view of Virgin river in Zion Canyon
Star Trail (left) and the Milky Way (right)
Star trail and milky way
The Winding Route 9
Road into Zion national park
Lower Emerald Falls
Lower Emerald falls
Switchback Trail at Zion Canyon
Zion Canyon switchback trail
Zion Mount Carmel Tunnel
Zion tunnel
Aerial View of the Park
View down into river canyon
Pa'rus Trail
Pa'Rus Trail Zion national park
Temple of Sinawava (left) and Weeping Rock (right)
Waterfall at temple of Sinawava, Zion national park
This park is definitely a must-see place in the United States. You can use these interesting facts about Zion National Park as learning material before you actually visit the place. Only then will you understand the significance of what lies in front of you.