Utah, a state in the western United States, is known for its high plateaus and mountains. Salt Lake City is the capital of Utah and is located in the northern-central region. It borders Idaho to the north and the Rocky Mountains to the south. It also borders Arizona and Nevada to its west. On January 4, 1896, the state was admitted to the union.
Utah’s natural landscapes appeal to outdoor enthusiasts as well as vacationers. The most popular attractions in Utah are found within the national parks.
The state is home to thousands of plants and animals. Mule deer is the state’s largest animal. However, other large animals such as timber wolves or bison have been exterminated. Rocky Mountain elk are found at higher elevations. The state also has bobcats and coyotes. The state also has many game birds, including quail, grouse, and pheasants. The foothills and mountains are home to pine and spruce trees. About one-third of the state is covered by timber.
If you’re planning a Utah vacation, Zion National Park should be on your list. It is easily accessible from Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cedar City, Cedar City & Saint George. You can either drive south on SR-9 or Interstate 15. The park is accessible throughout the year. However, summer is the most popular time to visit. In winter, you’ll find solitude here and fewer tourists. Keep in mind that winter temperatures can drop below freezing, and that snow might fall.
You’ll love the canyon country that makes up Zion National Park. This 232-square-mile park features sandstone canyons, high plateaus, and coniferous woodlands. It has an elevation change of more than five thousand feet, making it a perfect place for hikers and rock climbers alike. The park is celebrating its 96th birthday this year. Get there soon.
If you want to get more exercise while you’re at Zion National Park, consider taking the Emerald Pools Trail. It’s an easy hike that has some stunning scenery. The trail is paved, so you can bring strollers or wheelchairs. The trail gradually becomes more challenging after the lower pool. You’ll pass by three distinct pools on the way to the upper one.
The park has an abundant amount of protected wildlife. You can view rare species such as the Mojave desert tortoise, which lives in a burrow. The park also has 2,000-foot-high sandstone cliffs that are perfect for climbing. Climbers and hikers flock to the park each year. Whether you’re looking for a challenging or easy hike, Zion is a must-see.
The Narrows is the most popular canyon in Zion. If you’re a beginner, you can book a tour into the lower part of the Narrows, while experienced canyoners can head to Subway and Orderville Canyons. Canyoneering in Zion is possible all year round but is best done during the warmer months. Permits are required in advance, so plan accordingly.
Zion can be found on the Colorado Plateau’s western edge. This is where the Colorado River joined the sea approximately 4.5 million years back. Rapid erosion is responsible for the formation of high cliffs as well as narrow slot canyons. These landslides have also created many dams within the canyons.
You can also take part in ranger-led hikes and stargazing opportunities. Or you can explore the park on your own. There are plenty of viewpoints and hiking trails to explore in Zion National Park. Check out Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, Kolob Canyons Viewpoint, and Pa’rus Trail to name a few. You can even book a reservation for the Angels Landing hike.
The most iconic feature of the park is the scenic drive, which winds through a beautiful Utah landscape. It passes through the main canyon and Mount Carmel, crosses the Virgin River, and crosses the Court of the Patriarchs and the Twin Brothers. It even has a mile-long tunnel built into the side of the mountain. Despite its age, the road is still one of the most impressive manmade landmarks in Utah.
The best place to view the sunset in Zion National Park is from the Canyon Junction Bridge. It’s easy to reach from shuttle bus stop #3. The views from the bridge are beautiful, with a backdrop of Watchman Mountain, a 6,545-foot sandstone mountain. The golden tint of the sunset bounces off the red sandstone to create an awesome vista. The sunset lasts about half an hour.
Weeping Rock is another popular spot in Zion. This area is home to springs that are open all year and eventually join the Virgin River. The rock is covered with a thick layer of the water-loving plant. Although the Weeping Rock Trail is short and easy to follow, there are longer hikes available. Echo Canyon and Observation Point are also worth a visit.
Learn more about the next attraction in Utah here.