Here in the United States, we are blessed with a wealth of staggeringly beautiful outdoor locations.
Some of the most stunning of these are located within the boundaries of our National Park System.
Here are a few interesting facts about Zion National park, one of the most unique and eye-popping National parks of them all.
1. It was a Monument Before it Was a Park
President Taft established the Mukuntuweap National Monument using the 1906 Antiquities Act, giving it its first official protection.
Ten years after that, it was brought into the national park system when the national parks were expanded to protect even more of the continent’s natural splendor.
Today you can still visit the Mukuntuweap National Monument, and you’ve really got to see it in person because it is so grand and dreamlike- it’s truly unforgettable.
2. It Contains a Modern Engineering Marvel
There is a roadway through Zion that was made in 1909.
The project caused the park to be shut down for a few years because millions of tons of rock had to be blasted away with dynamite.
While it is rather sad that we chose to deface the rock, it is an important connector, and it was done in such a way that it really doesn’t spoil the natural beauty.
In fact, the roadway is kind of beautiful.
3. It is an Archaeological Hot Spot
Human beings have lived in and around this location for more than 10,000 years.
There are cave paintings, stone tools, and even marvelous structures carved right into the rock faces.
The evidence experts have found reveals that the people who have lived here were true masters of their environment.
With highways, granaries, and living spaces that were invulnerable to the elements, the former civilizations of Zion would have been a marvel to behold.
4. Its Best Views are the Most Dangerous
Angel’s Landing is one of the most sought-after spots for spectacular photo opportunities.
It’s about 1,500 feet up though, and sometimes those dizzying heights prove deadly.
What’s more, it takes a few hours to hike the steep 2.2 miles to the spot, and the trail is a bit treacherous.
The park has made the trail safer, but it’s easy to let your guard down at the top.
So, keep your wits about you.
5. It’s a Work in Progress
The canyon is the way it is because of millions upon millions of years of water erosion.
It’s made the canyon deep, winding, and gorgeous. But, it’s still getting deeper and more wonderful by the year!
It is believed that the Virgin River pushes out about one million tons of sediment each year.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could come back in 10,000 years and see the changes?
6. It’s Rock-Climbing Heaven
If you’re into rock climbing, you would be hard-pressed to find a better location.
There are rock faces of every height, character, and difficulty level.
So, if you’re a beginner, hire a guide and start at a comfortable spot.
If you’re advanced or intermediate, you can find a spot that suits our skill level- no problem.
7. Ever Wonder What a Natural Subway Would Look Like?
There are water-eroded channels at the base of the canyon in some spots that look like natural subway tunnels.
They are naturally formed stone tubes that almost look like they were carved by machines.
But no, this is the work of water, gravity, and time.
If this isn’t marked as one of the wonders of the world, it should be.
8. The Golden Arches Have Got Nothing on These
The mid-west is one of the world’s top hot spots for stone arches, and Zion has the lion’s share of them.
They are beautiful and will stagger your sense of natural beauty.
The Kolob Arch is more than 287 feet long and is one of the longest natural arches in the world.
If you visit, challenge yourself and see if you can spot it without the help of a guide.
If you’re looking for a world-class vacation consisting of a plethora of different types of outdoor adventures, look no further than Zion National Park.
Visit www.nps.gov to make arrangements today.