Zion National Park in Utah, is a naturalist’s dream. Containing some 290 or so species of distinct animals it is an amazing place of sandstone red and deer tan contrasts sharply against the coniferous trees, cottonwood, Cacti, and willow. Its a diverse, and unique area of the world with an abundance of plant and animal diversity.
The plant and animal life in the park is partially due to the diverse merging distinctly different areas – the Great Basin, the Mojave desert, and the Colorado Plateau, its filled with close to 300 bird species, 20 types of bat, more than 30 reptiles and seventy five different mammals, including the Mountain Lion, The Golden Eagle and the recently reintroduced California Condors.
The most prominent feature, cut by the Virgin River, is the 15 mile long canyon, the Zion Canyon.
Inhabited for over 8000 years by Indian tribes of various kinds, it was settled by Mormons in the 1860’s it became a national park in the early 20th Century. The Zion Canyon and the Kobold arch (so named after the nearest star to God, according to Mormon religion) are two of the most stunning sites of the park, and are breathtaking and amazing and well worth the visit.
There are various hikes that you can take through the grounds ranging from gentle hikes that you can take in a morning, to all day walks that challenge your stamina and fitness and takes you through the best parts of the park.
Its name means ‘protection’ in Hebrew, and its peace and tranquility is evident whether you’re hiking, driving through on the shuttle bus or exploring within the bounds of the lower steppes.
Tourism is encouraged throughout the year, but from April to October, the roads are closed within the park to all but shuttle buses. In part, this is to protect the roads running through the park, but its also to keep an close reign on where the visitors go.