Artist and photographers have been drawn to Zion National Park for many years in an effort to capture its infinite variety of moods. The incredible landscape of Zion is a magnificent display of beauty that is a perpetual source of inspiration and renewal for all. Once you experience Zion, you will long to return again and again.
Another attraction we visit just outside the entrance to Zion National Park is the fascinating ghost town of Grafton where segments of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the 1969 Western movie starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, were filmed.
Zion National Park, located near Springdale, Utah, covers 229 square miles (590 km2). The primary feature of the park is Zion Canyon, which is 15 miles (24 km) long and up to half a mile (800 m) deep cut through the sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River.
The lowest elevation is 3,666 ft (1,117 m) at Coalpits Wash and the highest elevation is 8,726 ft (2,660 m) at Horse Ranch Mountain.
Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert regions, the park's unique geography and variety of life zones allow for unusual plant and animal diversity.
The park is home to 289 bird, 79 mammals, 28 reptiles, 7 fish, and 6 amphibian species.
Common daytime animals include mule deer, rock squirrels, pinyon jays, and whiptail and collared lizards. Desert cottontails, jackrabbits, and Merriam's kangaroo rats come out at night. Cougars, coyotes, gray foxes, and ring-tail cats are the top predators.
Golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, peregrine falcons, and white-throated swifts can be seen in the area. California condors and bighorn sheep were reintroduced in the 1990s. Nineteen species of bat also live in the area.
Zion National Park includes mountains, canyons, buttes, mesas, monoliths, rivers, slot canyons, and natural arches.
The geology of the Zion and Kolob canyons area includes nine formations that together represent 150 million years of mostly Mesozoic-aged sedimentation.
Notable geographical features of the park include the Virgin River Narrows, Emerald Pools, Hidden Canyon, Angels Landing, The Great White Throne, Checkerboard Mesa, The Three Patriarchs, and Kolob Arch.