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21 Amazing Facts About Zion National Park

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There are many interesting facts about Zion National Park. But what makes this park so interesting and what should you know before you go? Read on to find out…

Facts About Zion National Park 

Located in southwest Utah, Zion National Park is one of the five splendid national parks in the region. 

Zion National Park is specifically known for its rock formations and archaeological significance. Due to its increasing popularity, the park also receives millions of visitors every year! 

So, if you’re feeling curious, here are some amazing facts about Zion National Park that you need to know. 

1. Zion National Park Has One of the Most Dangerous Hikes in the World 

21 Amazing Facts About Zion National Park

Let’s start this list with one of the most dangerous yet adventurous facts about Zion National Park.

Angels Landing, a 1,488-foot tall rock formation, is located in Zion National Park. It has one of the deadliest hiking trails out there! 

According to many hikers, the first half of this four-kilometre hike is pretty easy to navigate. However, the real adventure starts in the final mile of the hike. 

As you reach the end of the trail, the ridge keeps getting narrower, and there are scary drop-offs on both sides. Due to this reason, Angels Landing isn’t recommended for children or even adults with weak physical health. 

So, would you dare go there? 

2. Zion National Park Is Home to Endangered Species

If you visit any national park, you’ll get to see unique and uncommon species there. Similarly, Zion National Park also houses many beautiful species, including certain endangered species. 

The endangered or threatened species that you’ll get to see in Zion are Desert Tortoise, Mexican Spotted Owl, and Southwest Willow Flycatcher. There are also special concern species living in the park such as Virgin Spinedace, Peregrine Falcon, and  Zion Snail.

3. Millions of People Visit Zion National Park Every Year

Zion National Park has a lot to offer to the visitors. 

Right from the breathtaking views of the natural terrain to the historical evidence of the early humans, this park has something for everybody. Hence, these tourism facts about Zion National Park aren’t surprising.

Every year, the park receives millions of visitors. In 2021 itself, the park welcomed five million visitors! In 2022, the numbers decreased by a little as 4.5 million visitors visited the park.

Now, here comes the surprising part  – the number of visitors visiting Zion National Park has almost doubled since 2010!

4. Temperature in Zion National Park Keeps Fluctuating 

As Utah is practically a desert state, the temperatures here can go a bit extreme. Hence, the temperature in Zion National Park also keeps fluctuating drastically. 

During the summer months, the temperature of Zion remains at an all-time high of 90°F to 100°F (32°C to 38°C). 

In the winter months, it can easily drop to 40°F to 60°F (5°C to 15°C). On some days, it might even reach 0°C or 30°F!

Most people consider late spring or early autumn as the best time to visit Zion, as the temperature isn’t too extreme to handle. 

5. The Horse Ranch Mountain is the Highest Peak in Zion

Zion National Park has many different terrains, such as rock formations and cliffs. 

The largest mountain in Zion National Park is Horse Ranch Mountain, as it has a height of 8,726 feet or 2,660 metres. This peak is located towards the eastern side of Zion National Park.

If the visitors want to explore Zion National Park from the top, they can choose to hike on Horse Ranch Mountain. 

6. Zion National Park Had a Different Name

21 Amazing Facts About Zion National Park

Let’s talk about the naming history and related facts about Zion National Park. 

Initially, Zion National Park was named Mukuntuweap National Monument by President William Howard Taft, in 1909. 

But just ten years later, in 1919, the park’s name was officially changed to Zion National Park. 

7. The Word Zion Is Ancient Hebrew

Since you already know the naming history, let’s talk about the origin of the word “Zion”. 

The word “Zion” has Hebrew roots, as it translates to “sanctuary or refuge”. This name was given to the region, by the first Anglo-European settlers, Mormon pioneers, who explored this area in the late 1800s. 

The name “Zion” also has Biblical origin and significance, as it represents the “dwelling place of God”

8. Zion National Park Has One of the World’s Largest Arches

Although Zion National Park doesn’t have many arches, the few ones that it does are magnificent. 

For instance, the park has the Kolob Arch, which is one of the world’s largest arches. This arch has a height of 287 feet and is located in the remote region of the Kolob Canyons District.

The Kolob Arch is generally not visited by many visitors, as there’s a complicated and time-consuming trek involved to reach the region where it is located. 

9. More Than 68 Different Mammals Live in Zion National Park

Here are some other impressive facts about Zion National Park and its fauna. 

The park is known to have more than 68 different types of mammals. Some of the most common mammals in Zion National Park include foxes, bats, mule deer, and rock squirrels. Visitors might also get to spot the bighorn sheep! 

Apart from the usual mammals, the park also has other mammals such as mountain lions, black bears, skunks, and bobcats.

This national park is undoubtedly a must-visit for most animal lovers!

10. Zion National Park Has a Unique Subway 

21 Amazing Facts About Zion National Park

By Subway, I’m not talking about the food chain or the underground train! 

Instead, Zion National Park features a different subway. The Subway is a challenging hiking trail in the national park. 

It has been given such a name because, through the entire trail, you can see the tubular shape of the canyon, which resembles a subway.

These facts about Zion National Park surprised you, didn’t they?

11. Zion Is the First National Park in Utah

Here are some general facts about Zion National Park, and the other parks in Utah.

The entire region of Utah has five picturesque national parks, such as Zion National Park, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Bryce Canyon National Park. 

Among all the five parks, Zion is the first national park in Utah, as it was officially established on November 19, 1919.

12. Zion National Park Has More Than 1,000 Species of Plants

It’s impossible to not talk about plants while discussing the facts about Zion National Park! 

After all, Zion National Park has more than 1000 species of plants, ranging from small to large varieties. 

Moreover, the segregation of plants is also based on the terrain. For example, you’ll find many desert shrubs and cacti in the hot grassland. On the other hand, the elevated plateaus are full of conifers, aspen, and ponderosa pine trees.

Apart from the land plants, you’ll also find aquatic plants, like water lilies and cattails near the Virgin River.

13. Zion National Park Is Open Every Day All-Day

This is one of the facts about Zion National Park that excites me the most!

Most tourist attractions are closed on a specific day, or at a specific time. However, Zion National Park remains open on every day, and at all times. This gives an interesting opportunity to those who wish to go on night treks, camping, or even for stargazing at this beautiful national park!

14. President Warren G. Harding Loved the Wonders of Zion National Park

President Warren G. Harding, the 29th President of the United States, loved Zion National Park with all his heart!

In 1923, President Harding visited Zion National Park, while he was on a cross-country tour. He was left thoroughly impressed by the striking landscapes of this national park. 

After being in awe of Zion National Park, the President also went on to praise it in one of his speeches. He mentioned how he saw the greatest creations of the Almighty in the form of the majestic wonders of Zion National Park. 

Wasn’t this one of the most wholesome facts about Zion National Park?

15. Zion National Park Has an Engineering Marvel 

21 Amazing Facts About Zion National Park

Zion National Park isn’t all about nature. So, here are some architectural facts about Zion National Park.

The Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel is an important part of the national park. This tunnel was constructed to create a direct route between the two Utah parks – Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. 

The standout feature of this tunnel is its impressive construction and architecture. The tunnel extends for about 1.8 kilometres and was carved through the hard sandstone, which made its construction a challenging task. 

Yet, the tunnel was successfully constructed between 1927 and 1930!

16. Zion National Park Is Perfect for Stargazing! 

These facts about Zion National Park are one of my favourites, as I love stargazing. 

Zion National Park is one of the perfect areas for stargazing, as it is located in quite a remote area. So, there are fewer chances of air pollution disrupting the night sky’s view! The park also has a designation as an International Dark Sky Park. This designation is given only when the natural night skies of the parks are protected well.

There are many hilly areas in Zion National Park too, where you can hike, and get to observe the night sky from the top!

17. Zion Canyon Keeps Changing

These surprising facts about Zion National Park might prove you wrong if you believe that the canyon’s landscapes will remain the same.

The Virgin River flows continually through the narrow areas of Zion Canyon. While doing so, its water continues to remove almost a million tons of sediment formation! This causes the canyon to widen, and the river channel to get deeper. 

This way, after a few years, Zion Canyon might look way wider than how it was before.

18. Zion Has One of the Tallest Sandstone Monoliths in the World

If you go to Zion National Park, you’ll come across many beautiful sandstone monoliths. 

The beauty of these monoliths lies in their height, as many of them are more than 500 feet tall! Some of these monoliths also reach 2000 feet. 

Out of all these monoliths, some of the most popular ones include The Great White Throne and Checkerboard Mesa. 

The sandstones found in Zion National Park are white Navajo Sandstones.

19. Zion is in an Active Volcano Field

Here’s one of the most dangerous facts about Zion National Park. 

At a glance, nobody can guess that this national park is situated in an active volcanic field, Santa Clara. Volcanic fields are basically areas which have an increased probability of volcanic eruptions, and related activities. 

Thankfully, the eruptions that take place in the Santa Clara volcanic field are only around one in a few 10,000 years. The last one took place in Snow Canyon State Park 30,000 years ago!

20. There Are Important Archeological Sites in Zion National Park

21 Amazing Facts About Zion National Park

Zion National Park isn’t rich in just biodiversity, but also in history. So, here are some historical facts about Zion National Park.

Zion National Park has certain archaeological sites, like the Archaeological Site Complex. This area is full of ancient rock art and artefacts, which are proof of the early human settlements here. 

Another area with ancient remains includes the Court of the Patriarchs, a sandstone formation in Zion National Park. 

21. Zion Is Prone to Flash Floods

A flash flood is simply flooding that is caused due to excessive rains. 

This type of flood is quite common in Zion National Park and can happen at almost any time. However, generally, these floods happen in the monsoon months between July and September

Zion National Park showcases many signs of a flash flood, such as a loud water sound, a change in the water colour, and a sudden increase in the water level. 

Further Reading – Facts About Zion National Park

As President Warren G. Harding said, Zion National Park truly has many majestic natural wonders. The park offers different terrains, a huge variety of flora and fauna, and an inner sense of peace that we all crave! 

So, I hope these facts about Zion National Park awakened the feeling of wanderlust in you and made you want to hike around the park soon. 

Till then, here are some blog posts of other national parks that you can add to your travel bucket list!

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