Zion Canyon which is also known as Little Zion, Mu-Loon’-Tu-Weap, Straight Canon, and Mukuntuweap, it is a narrow and deep canyon located in southwestern Utah, engraved by the Virgin River. Almost the entire Zion canyon is situated within the western-half of Zion National Park.
Expanding in Utah’s high flat terrain, carved the Virgin River leads to the desert lower through a canyon so deep and so narrow where the sunlight does not actually go through to the bottom. As the gorge expanded, the river runs through the palisade walls surrounded with hanging valleys and slick-rock peaks.
The continuous flow of water for a million of years has cut and carved the white and red beds of Navajo sandstone that outline the complete walls of Zion. The Zion Canyon geologic empathy has started millions of years ago as a huge desert, and the unremitting winds below the sand forming a sand dune on top of another till it reached 2,000 feet. You can still view the trail of these winds in the poised cross-bedded layers of Zion’s grand cliffs.
Zion Canyon is totally opposite to Grand Canyon. At Grand Canyon you can stand on the edge and look down, but at Zion Canyon you will look up from the bottom to view the beautiful sandstones. The vertical landscape margins over 2.5 million annual visitors of Zion between canyon-walls.
On the canyon coast grows thick set if Fremont cottonwood, willow, box elder and little further away you can find Utah juniper and cactus. Flora changes quickly as the land ascend a mile in altitude. The high terrains support ponderosa pine and Douglas fir.
You can see a beautiful landscape of narrow gorges within the park. Some of these canyons were not found by the early surveyors, over 20 miles of long canyons were hidden. Around 15 miles of smooth trails promote causal visits and around 100 miles crisscross wilderness trails are covered the area in the park.
Among the 3 different ecosystems, Zion has plenty of vegetation and different kinds of plants, and it is home to more than 900 species, which you cannot find anywhere else in Utah. The Kolob Arch that is 287.4 foot long suspended high on a park’s backcountry canyon wall is of the famous and largest self-supporting natural arches in the world. Around 3,692 people visited the Zion National Park in 1920 and in 1998 around 2.7 million people visited the park.
Right Time to Visit Zion:
The park is open all through the year, but the best time to visit is from mid March to October. The fall and mild spring temperatures are perfect for hiking. You can see splendid waterfalls and outstanding clouds during summer rains. The color of rocks looks radiant with winter snows, beautiful deep-blue sky, and summer foliage.
How to Reach:
To reach Kolob Canyons from Cedar City you must take I-15, about 17 miles south. To reach Zion Canyon you must take I-25 to Utah-17 and then Utah-9 to South entrance, it is about 60 miles. To reach east entrance from Kanab, take US89 to Utah 9 at Mt. Carmel junction. From St. George and Las Vegas take I-15 and Utah 9 to South Entrance.
How to Visit:
If you are planning for a day visit, then take Highway at Zion Mt. Carmel and take a free shuttle at Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, it is available till April to October. For longer stays, visit the site to get more information.
People who are scared of heights should avoid taking elevated trails. Summer temperatures are high they can exceed over 105°F. The best advice is checkout the weather before going to the park, visit the website to find the important and necessary information when you are planning to visit the Zion National Park.