Zion National Park

The United States has a lot of national parks but one of the most popular is the Zion National Park. It is located in Southwestern United States close to Springdale, Utah.

Brief History of the Zion National Park

In 1909, President William Howard Taft declared the location a national monument to guard the canyon. The Zion National Park was then named Munkuntuweap National Monument. It was only in 1918 that the National Park Service's acting director altered the name of the park to Zion. The alternation occurred largely because original name was not well-known and neither was it easy to remember.

"Zion" is an ancient Hebrew term signifying an area of sanctuary or refuge. The new name for the national park gained a positive response from all locals and tourists. It was in 1919 that the United States Congress named the monument as Zion National Park. An interesting tidbit in 1917 the Kolob division was declared an individual Zion National Monument but later was included in the park during in 1956.

Attractions at Zion National Park

Probably the most famous feature of the park is the Zion Canyon. The canyon divide through the tan and reddish shaded Navajo Sandstone by North Fork of Virgin River. It is seen at the intersection of Great Basin, Colorado Plateau, and Mojave regions. This exceptional geography and diversity of life areas permits for extraordinary plants and animal varieties.

There is a sum of 289 bird species, 32 reptiles and, 75 mammals including 19 classes of bat, and a number of plant species occupy the four life zones which are the coniferous forest, woodland, riparian, and desert. Notable fauna include mountain lions, golden eagles, mule deer, with re-established bighorn sheep and California condors. The usual plant species in the park are several willows, yucca, sagebrush, boxelder, pine, juniper, datura, cactus, and cottonwood.

Human occupancy of the Zion National Park began 8,000 years ago. Some of the first occupants include family clusters of Native Americans, and Basketmaker Anasazi branched out from these clusters. The Virgin Anasazi civilization was established as the Basketmakers and inhabited in the location too. Both clusters left the area during 1300 and were substituted by Parrusits and various added Southern Paiute sub tribes. The canyon was discovered by Mormons during 1858 and was established by the equal cluster during early 1860's.

It is situated on Kolob and Markagunt plateaus at the junction of 3 Northern American geographic districts: Mojave Desert, Great Basin and The Colorado Plateaus. The Kolob Canyons division is where you can find the northern section of the park. You can come to the area by taking Interstate 15 exit 40.

If you intend to visit Zion National Park, you need to take note of the weather. Spring climate is random, having stormy and wet days combined with regular warm and sunny climate. Rainfall is at its peak during March. The spring wildflowers blossom during April until June so be sure to catch it.