Zion National Park in Utah - Monolithic Domed Splendor - Pictures!

Kolob Canyons in Zion National Park

Kolob Canyons in Zion National Park
Kolob Canyons in Zion National Park | Source

Kolob Canyons in Zion National Park

Driving through Kolob Canyons
Driving through Kolob Canyons | Source
Kolob Canyons
Kolob Canyons | Source

Zion


This article will introduce you to the wondrous sights that are to be found in Zion National Park in Utah. Monolithic domed splendor will be discovered there as well as meadows, waterfalls, hiking trails and more. Many pictures will be presented as well. Hope that you enjoy this scenic portrayal a fraction as much as we did while there in person.

In an earlier plane ride my mother, niece and I had seen Kolob Canyons from the air. Now, from Cedar City we explored it by car.

Kolob Canyons is a part of Zion National Park and is located in the Northwest portion of the park.

If one has the time and energy, there is a 14 mile round trip hike to Kolob Arch which happens to be the largest arch in the world.

My mother is not much of a hiker, and our time allotment for this trip would not have allowed this in any case as our desire was to see all 5 of the national parks in Utah on our two week trip.



Kolob Canyon
Kolob Canyon

Such spectacular scenery!

 

Kolob Canyons

Kolob Canyons is primarily composed of a deep red hue of Navajo sandstone and is less frequently visited than the southern part of Zion National Park.

All of the many box canyons in Kolob were easily viewed from the perspective of seeing it from the air. One would have to do some significant hiking to get the same impression on foot.

Springdale...a gateway place to stay if visiting Zion

Flanagan's Inn in Springdale

Flanagan's Inn in Springdale - South side of Zion National Park
Flanagan's Inn in Springdale - South side of Zion National Park | Source
Swimming pool & view from Flanagan's Inn
Swimming pool & view from Flanagan's Inn | Source

Springdale, Utah


In order to more easily see more of Zion National Park, we changed locations and rented a room in Springdale.

We had been staying in Cedar City which was more convenient for seeing Kolob Canyons.

Staying at Flanagan's Inn while in Springdale was most enjoyable.


I still remember the first lunch that we enjoyed in their dining room. My mother and I ordered the same sandwich which was composed of smoked trout with havarti cheese and red onions. Delicious combination!


Springdale is located at the southern entrance into Zion and the views from our motel were already stunning.


Zion National Park

Zion National Park was first called Mukuntuweap National Monument. It was changed to Zion National Monument and finally Zion National Park in 1919.

The Kolob section became part of the National Park in 1956.

Approaching Zion from the south

Approaching Zion from the south
Approaching Zion from the south | Source

The Virgin River in Zion National Park

The Virgin River running through Zion National Park
The Virgin River running through Zion National Park | Source

Zion National Park scenery

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Zion National Park scenery Cooling off in the Virgin River in Zion Floating on inner tubes down the Virgin River in Zion - Looks like fun!
Zion National Park scenery
Zion National Park scenery | Source
Cooling off in the Virgin River in Zion
Cooling off in the Virgin River in Zion | Source
Floating on inner tubes down the Virgin River in Zion - Looks like fun!
Floating on inner tubes down the Virgin River in Zion - Looks like fun! | Source

Geology in Zion

The geology of the area is interesting.

Approximately 10,000 feet of accumulated sediment originating as long ago as 240 million years has formed the basis for what we see parts of today in Zion National Park.

This area used to be a fairly flat basin that was almost at sea level. Deposits of sand, mud and gravel from nearby mountains was carried to this area by streams that meandered through the adjacent meadows and desert lands.

Winds whipped up giant sand dunes. Over time, all of this solidified and the weight caused the sediments to compress and subside.

An inland shallow sea helped to carry and deposit minerals into these layers of sediment which eventually cemented the layers into stone.

Over the course of about 10 million years this area was uplifted due to a shifting deep within the earth and areas that used to be sea level are now as high as 10,000 feet above sea level.

The Virgin River that runs through what was to eventually be called Zion began its carving and sculpting of the majestic walls of the mountains and canyons that we view today.

Rain, wind and erosion make this an ever changing landscape.

Zion is so awe inspiring and viewing the monumental walls, cliffs and overlooks in the light of early dawn to dusk makes this an ever changing palate of colors and moods.

Obviously one could spend weeks or months exploring just this one park.

Offered are a variety of trails from short and easy hiking to long and arduous.

Much of this beauty can also be viewed from the road, but to enjoy it more intimately, some hiking would be my recommendation if possible.


Weeping Rock in Zion National Park

Weeping Rock in Zion NP

Weeping Rock in Zion NP
Weeping Rock in Zion NP | Source

On the Weeping Rock trail in Zion National Park

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On the Weeping Rock trail Weeping Rock trail Weeping rocksMy niece chose to get wet
On the Weeping Rock trail
On the Weeping Rock trail | Source
Weeping Rock trail
Weeping Rock trail | Source
Weeping rocks
Weeping rocks | Source
My niece chose to get wet
My niece chose to get wet | Source

Weeping Rock Trail in Zion



Weeping Rock is an easy half mile trail that my niece and I enjoyed.



The water comes right out of the rock supporting ferns and other plant life.



One could stay fairly dry under the overhang or choose to let the water drip on you and cool you off as my niece ultimately chose to do.


Lower & Upper Emerald Pools in Zion

Lower Emerald Pool in Zion National Park

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Starting the trail to the Lower Emerald Pool Beautiful scenery along the wayLower Emerald Pool in Zion My niece using the refreshingly cool water...
Starting the trail to the Lower Emerald Pool
Starting the trail to the Lower Emerald Pool | Source
Beautiful scenery along the way
Beautiful scenery along the way | Source
Lower Emerald Pool in Zion
Lower Emerald Pool in Zion | Source
My niece using the refreshingly cool water...
My niece using the refreshingly cool water... | Source

Lower and Upper Emerald Pools


While my mother waited by the scenic resting place by the Virgin River below, enjoying the sight of people floating by in rented inner tubes, my niece and I hiked to the Lower and Upper Emerald Pools.



It is quite strenuous hiking to get up to the Upper Emerald Pool. Most people that made it that far were happy to cool off in the water.



The scenery at every twist and turn in the trail was gorgeous.


Emerald Pools, Zion National Park

Upper Emerald Pool in Zion National Park

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People were cooling off in the Upper Emerald Pool after the arduous hike getting there. View looking up from the Upper Emerald Pool Refreshingly cool water
People were cooling off in the Upper Emerald Pool after the arduous hike getting there.
People were cooling off in the Upper Emerald Pool after the arduous hike getting there. | Source
View looking up from the Upper Emerald Pool
View looking up from the Upper Emerald Pool | Source
Refreshingly cool water
Refreshingly cool water | Source

Zion Narrows

Zion Narrows

Temple of Sinawava

Temple of Sinawava photos

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In the parking lot at the Temple of Sinawava
In the parking lot at the Temple of Sinawava
In the parking lot at the Temple of Sinawava | Source
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Temple of Sinawava


After hiking back down from visiting the Lower and Upper Emerald Pools we rejoined my mother who was patiently waiting.


Next we drove to the area called the Temple of Sinawava.


It is a ceremonial place that aboriginal Indians used for their special ceremonies.


There is a great profusion of colors in the rocks and the trail takes one alongside the river.


One can hike alongside and then into the river to see more fantastic scenery. While we did not do this, a video will show one what can be seen...

The Great White Throne

The GREAT WHITE THRONE in Zion

The GREAT WHITE THRONE
The GREAT WHITE THRONE | Source

The Great White Throne in Zion


Towering 2,447 feet above the canyon floor, the Great White Throne in Zion National Park is the largest monolith in the world.

It rises 2,447 feet above the canyon floor.

Through the years many people have been awed by this site and feelings of reverence have been attached to the beauty and grandeur of this striking location.

We felt like sensory overload this day.

There is such striking beauty at each and every turn of one's head in this park whether on a trail or on the road!

Zion - Mount Carmel Tunnel

Mt. Carmel tunnel in Zion

Mt. Carmel tunnel in Zion
Mt. Carmel tunnel in Zion | Source

Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel



The east end of Zion National Park has an entirely different character.


One goes through the 1.1 mile Zion-Mount-Carmel tunnel which was blasted out of solid rock to get there.



The tunnel was built in 1930 and has 6 "windows" that were broken out at various intervals.

Checkerboard Mesa

Rocks in the east end of Zion National Park have a totally different character

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Notice how the rocks look entirely different? Checkerboard Mesa
Notice how the rocks look entirely different?
Notice how the rocks look entirely different? | Source
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Checkerboard Mesa
Checkerboard Mesa | Source

The rocks in the east end of Zion park are entirely different looking.


It is hard to believe that the differences are so dramatic!


Ancient sand dunes that were sculpted by wind and rain have formed these striated rocks of various colors and shapes.


Many were flat and were fun to walk on and explore.


Canyon Overlook Trail

Canyon Overlook Trail, Zion National Park

Canyon Overlook Trail

Amazingly, my niece was getting tired and decided to keep my mother company while I took the one hour Canyon Overlook Trail by myself.

This trail is just east of the Zion - Mt. Carmel highway.

It is considered to be an easy and self guided trail that ends with spectacular views of the lower Zion Canyon and Pine Creek Canyon.

I was happy that there were others on the trail as in places I would have wondered exactly where the trail was leading. Some people were climbing rocks in one place and others chose other rocks to navigate. Seeing people ahead of those of us on the trail at least gave us the general direction to pursue.


Zion National Park hiking

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Walking through a side canyon with an overhang Scenery viewed from the overhang Which way is the trail?
Walking through a side canyon with an overhang
Walking through a side canyon with an overhang | Source
Scenery viewed from the overhang
Scenery viewed from the overhang | Source
Which way is the trail?
Which way is the trail? | Source

Lichens

Zion National Park

Source

Lichens


In places the wet rocks have lichens clinging to the rock surfaces. Rocks are always beautiful when wet, and the plant life added to the beauty when viewed up close.

Lichens are formed out of millions of algae cells held together by fungal filaments.

They are a source of food for animals and have even provided the same for humans at times.

Some are used medicinally or as dyes in various parts of the world.

In heavily polluted areas lichens do not readily grow. Thus air quality can be determined by the presence or absence of lichens.

Fantastic video of Zion!

The spectacular scenery viewed while on the Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park was definitely worth the hike.

Most of the tourists on the trail with me that day were speaking foreign languages. Our national parks are enjoyed by people from all over the world.

If you have not yet visited Zion National Park, I hope that this inspires you to add this to your vacation "must" list.

We saw more of Utah's parks......and each of them has their own special kind of distinctive beauty. They are addressed in separate hubs.


On the Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion...

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Canyon Overlook Trail in ZionCanyon Overlook Trail in ZionThe Canyon Overlook
Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion
Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion | Source
Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion
Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion | Source
The Canyon Overlook
The Canyon Overlook | Source

Zion National Park


Suffice it to say, Zion National Park is one of many wonders in Utah awaiting your own personal discovery. If you are looking for monolithic domed splendor...you need look no further! Hopefully this will give you more of an idea of what you might find there.

Hiking up to Angels Landing in Zion

Would you like to see Zion National Park in person?

  • Already have and it is terrific!
  • Haven't yet, but would like to visit Zion National Park
  • Not on my list of places to visit
See results without voting
Moon Zion & Bryce: Including Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Grand Staircase-Escalante & Moab (Moon Handbooks)
Moon Zion & Bryce: Including Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Grand Staircase-Escalante & Moab (Moon Handbooks)

Wonderful way to plan a vacation with a book like this. We got to see all of these sites!

 

Where Zion National Park is located.

A markerZion National Park -
Zion National Park, Virgin, UT 84779, USA
[get directions]

If you enjoyed this HubPage article about Zion National Park, please take a moment to give it a star rating. Thank you!

5 out of 5 stars from 4 ratings of Zion National Park

© 2008 Peggy Woods

More by this Author


Comments are welcomed. Thanks! 14 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Au fait,

We only allowed a couple of days at most for each national park plus the time driving between them and seeing some state parks along the way. Altogether it was a fabulous Utah vacation trip and one that I will never forget.

Obviously one could spend much more time in every national park but we at least had a great introduction and overview. Thanks for the shares!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

5 national parks in 2 weeks; did you have time to sleep at all? These photos are truly incredible and gorgeous. I'm glad the name was changed from Mukuntuweap National Monument to Zion because I don't think I could ever pronounce that other name, though it is no doubt an Indian name and interesting. This park looks every bit as amazing as the Grand Canyon. I was at the opening once but it was around March I think, and it was snowed in. Never got back to that part of Utah, unfortunately. Excellent article and photos!

Gave you 5 more stars, pinned to my 'Travel' board, Voted up and BAUI, posted on FB, and sharing with my followers.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Mary,

Zion is so magnificent as are the other 4 national parks in Utah. I guess there are many canyons that could be included in a "canyon tour" with the Grand Canyon probably being the one most people would think of first. One of the national parks in Utah is actually called Canyonlands. Glad that you enjoyed the photos. Thanks for the vote and the share. Hope you write about your trip someday.


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

This is just a beautiful Hub in every way. I really learned a lot about the area, and your photos are spectacular! I noticed in your poll that I'm not the only one who has never been to Zion National Park but would like to go. In fact, I don't remember Utah being on my canyon tour I took several years ago.

Beautiful Hub. I voted it UP, etc. and will share so that others can see your work. I will also Pin it.

Bye for now...


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Vinaya,

We have numerous national parks in the United States and each is different. The state of Utah has 5 of them and this does not even include the national monuments and state parks. It is an amazing place! Most of our large national parks also have wildlife depending upon the location but no rhinos or tigers. We do have buffalo, elk and bobcats, etc. in some of them. NIce to know that you enjoyed this virtual visit. Thanks for your comment. Would be fun to see your national parks!


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