ZIONS CANYON: ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR TOURIST SITES IN THE U.S.

Photos of the Week:  Zions Canyon:  Became one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the last 10 years.  See why:

 

 

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The Lava Point Campground has opened for the season. Situated at 7890 feet above sea level, the campground is off the Kolob Terrace Road, 25 miles (45 minutes) north of the town of Virgin.

 

 

OF ALL THE NATIONAL PARKS IN THE UNITED STATES, THERE ARE A FEW THAT COME TO THE TOP OF THE “MUST VISIT” LIST NOW.  YELLOWSTONE SEEMS TO BE AT THE TOP OF THE LIST, BUT, SOMEHOW, ZIONS NATIONAL PARK HAS GROWN TO THE TOP OF THE LIST VERY FAST.  PEOPLE VISIT YELLOWSTONE FOR THE UNIQUE GEYSERS, AND THE BEAUTY OF THE SCENERY, AND THE WILDLIFE.  BUT….. STOP, WAIT….. ZIONS NATIONAL PARK SEEMS TO HAVE SOMETHING THAT DRAWS PEOPLE TO IT AS WELL, AND IT HAS BROUGHT A BIG PROBLEM TO THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE:  TOO MANY PEOPLE, JUST LIKE YELLOWSTONE.  WHY ALL OF A SUDDEN HAS ZIONS NATIONAL PARK BECOME SO POPULAR ALL OF A SUDDEN?  WELL, IN PICTURES, MAYBE WE COULD SHOW YOU WHY:

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Typical canyon habitat for the bighorn sheep.  YES, here in Zions National Park, a whole new variety of animals to see, rather than what Yellowstone may have.

 

The scenery and the country compared to Yellowstone is totally shocking.  Yellowstone is green, high country with lots of mountain vistas, meadows and rivers and streams.  Zions National Park seems to be the opposite:  rugged canyons, red rocks and almost “Grand Canyon” feeling without the big canyon.  But, a whole different breed of animals living here as well.  Desert big horn sheep, deer, lizards, snakes, etc inhabit this country.  But, there is something majestic about the scenery at Zions National Park.  It is breathtaking.  It makes you want to be a part of God’s Creation here too.

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Kolob Canyon at Sunset

The mountains here just shoot up, making you think you are just puny.  You don’t climb these.  You adore these mountains.  They are for your admiration only.

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Majesty abounds, 
On this silent sacred ground, 
Sweet peace fills the soul
-Terry Glassman

 

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I see such beauty
Even when my eyes are closed
Thinking of Zion’s trails.
-Melanie Salas

 

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Into the Narrows
I did go four years ago
What an adventure!
-Gale McNomee Magann

Maybe you have heard of the “slot canyons” or the narrows.  If you look closely at the photo above, you can see a person standing at the base of that canyon.  This gives you an idea of the massiveness of this canyon.  There are times when a rainstorm, on a mountainside far away, will bring all the water down through these narrow canyons, and if you are in these narrow canyons, you could get caught up in a very dangerous downstream flood, that has taken many lives.  These canyon hikes are to be taken with great caution.

 

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The cold quiet wind;
A million years of whispers –
A night deep in stars.
-Andrew Frieder

Part of really enjoying Zions National Park is getting out and taking hikes to see the magnificence of these mountains.  Can you think of what you would say if you stood below these magnificent peaks?

 

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The main entrance into the park on a typical day during the summer is incredibly busy.  It can take hours some days to get around the park to see things in your car.  The recommendation, they say, is to park your car outside the park, and take the shuttle.  It will get you where you want to go, no waiting, and get you back to the car at the end of the day, with no hassle.

 

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One of the more famous mountains in the park.  And you stand right next to it.

 

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The feature emerging from the mist in this photo is called the Altar of Sacrifice. Mormon pioneers gave it this name because of its flat looking top and red streaks running down the side. 
As you may have guessed, the red streaks are not blood. They are left by overlying layers of rock as they slowly erode. The Altar of Sacrifice is made mostly of Navajo Sandstone. On top of the Navajo Sandstone is the Sinawava Member of the Temple Cap Formation. Made of mudstone rich in iron oxide, the Sinawava Member leaves streaks of red on the layers below. 
Every rain storm and snow melt washes a little more of the red stone down the cliff. The Altar of Sacrifice will maintain its striking appearance until there are no longer any overlying layers. 
NPS Photo / Christina Adele Warburg

 

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Every November, twenty-four artists, remind park visitors of the transformational power Zion retains within its aquifers of sandstone. Through their art, they show all of us that the beauty of this landscape is right now, just as it was to Thomas Moran and Frederick Dellenbaugh more than one-hundred years ago.

 

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Flowers on a cactus

 

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One of God’s amazing creations.

 

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ANGELS LANDING TRAIL

THAT’S A TRAIL?

 

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“Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another.”
-John Muir
NPS Photo / Brian Whitehead
[Image description: sage brush and junipers with red and white sandstone peaks in the background, peaks from left to right: Mountain of the Sun, Twin Brothers, East Temple, and Mount Spry.]

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NPS Photos/Christina Adele Warburg
[Image description: Picture of Zion covered in snow from Canyon Overlook ]
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Zions in Winter is a photographer’s paradise

 

 

 

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From April to October you may see these large white flowers when you visit Zion. The flowers of the sacred datura bloom during the cooler hours of the morning and night, and close up during the day. On a cloudy day you may get lucky and see them all day long. While beautiful, these plants are poisonous and can be fatal if ingested by humans, livestock, or pets. So look, but don’t put them in your salad!
NPS Photo / Christina Adele Warburg

 

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It has been 100 years since the name Zion was first officially used for this canyon. 
When Zion Canyon received its first Federal protection in 1909, it was known as Mukuntuweap National Monument. Mukuntuweap is a Southern Paiute word that is sometimes translated as “straight canyon”. It is easy to see what might have been meant by this description. 
Mukuntuweap’s popularity grew, but the name was hard for westerners to say. President Woodrow Wilson issued an executive proclamation on March 18, 1918 enlarging the monument from 15,840 acres to 76,800 acres and changing its name to Zion National Monument. 
The following year, Senator Smoot introduced a Senate bill, which would transform Zion National Monument into a national park. On November 19, 1919, President Wilson signed the bill into law establishing Zion National Park as Utah’s first national park.
NPS Photo / Brian Whitehead
[Image description: almost vertical canyon walls of red and white sandstone extend into the distance as green trees and a river occupy the valley between.]

 

 

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[Image description: A sleepy mule deer lies in the dried grass of Zion Canyon with its eyes half closed.]  One of the local residents of Zion Canyon.

 

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There is quite a few people who take advantage of the big cliffs in Zions National park by repelling down those cliffs.  Some take it one step further by repelling down the waterfall.  Would you do this?

 

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Not for the faint of heart, but, there is a trail to the top of this: Angels Landing, another view.

 

 

HOPE YOU ENJOYED THIS PICTORIAL OF ZIONS NATIONAL PARK.  IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS OF THIS MAGNIFICENT PARK, PLEASE GO TO THEIR WEBSITE AT:   https://www.facebook.com/zionnps/

 

*  All photos courtesy of Zions National Park

 

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Coming soon:  after all these blogs about photography, learning how to do photography, the book is finally coming out, so that you can have a reference all the time.  How to do it all from the beginning, from the first desire of taking photos, going into the store and buying your first camera, what to do to buy the right camera, learning all the functions of your new DSLR, and making the most of it, and then learning all about composition.  And finally to the point of becoming an artist and really loving photography.  This book is all for you….. Coming soon on your Amazon Kindle.

 

 

 

3 Comments on “ZIONS CANYON: ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR TOURIST SITES IN THE U.S.

    • Thanks for checking it out. The only problem about these popular parks is how busy they are during the summer. My advice, is go in the spring or fall, when the crowds die down. And the colors are better anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

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