Zion National Park: A Beautiful Refuge
Located in the southwester part of the United States, near Springdale Utah, Zion National Park prominently features Zion Canyon, a half mile deep canyon of Navajo Sandstone by the Virgin River. With the Great Basin, Colorado Plateau and Mojave Desert converging at the park, a unique and varied topography is offered as well as several different zones which feature a large range of plants and animals. With 289 bird species, 32 reptiles and 75 different mammals, 19 of which are various bat species, this is own of the most varied regions in the country. Its zones include coniferous forest, dester, woodland and riparian and common plant species are willow, sagebrush, yucca, boxelder, juniper, pine, datura, cottonwood and cactus. From golden eagles to mountain lions and mule deer, the wildlife in the park is extensive. With the recent reintroduction of Bighorn Sheep and California Condors, several rare species are also represented.
Zion National Park was originally inhabited by several small groups of native Americas over 8,000 years ago, the Anasazi, Paowan Fremont and Basketmakers were prevalent in the region. Displaced around 1300 by the Parrusits, who were in turn displaced by the Mormons in 1858, the region has a long history. President Taft declared the area a national monument in 1909 in order to protect the canyon. Originally named the Mukuntuweap National Monument, it was renamed in 1918 by the National Park Service. Zion, meaning refuge, was originally an unpopular choice by the parks incorporation in 1956 the name was s widely accepted.
Zion National Park represents almost 150 million years of geologic history and is a prime example of Mesozoic-aged sedimentation. Warm shallow lakes, ponds, streams and seas as well as deserts and arid shore conditions led to the unique vegetation of the area. The uplift of the part is due to the creation of the Colorado Plateaus which began about 13 million years ago.
Zion National Park is prized for it wide and varied vegetation and Plant life. It scenic views are greatly sought after by nature lovers.