Zion National Park in Utah

Zion National Park in Utah

A friend said he liked Zion National Park, but that it wasn’t his favorite. Hmm, for once, I don’t have enough of a reference point to be critical. This place blew my mind. Everything is huge, dramatic, textured, and multicolored. I could definitely go back and explore it more closely.

Located in Southwestern Utah on the edge of the Colorado Plateau, the park includes sandstone canyons, freestanding arches, dramatic rock towers, and mesas and plateaus. So much cream, pink and red in one landscape!

Zion National Park in Utah

Zion National Park in Utah

Zion National Park in Utah

Zion National Park in Utah

Zion National Park in Utah

The over all scale is awe-inspiring, but looking closely is incredible as well. These colors and textures are amazing to see:

Zion National Park in Utah

Zion National Park in Utah

Zion National Park in Utah

Zion National Park in Utah

And there’s this spot, Checkerboard Mesa. Well crafted, nature!

Zion National Park in Utah

Nowadays people, and especially a city slicker like myself, tend to think of the landscape as consisting of separate places but, as the Zion site helpfully explains, “The bottom layer of rock at Bryce Canyon is the top layer at Zion, and the bottom layer at Zion is the top layer at the Grand Canyon.” Thus, I’m adding Bryce and the Grand Canyon to my list of places to see next, so I can continue to better understand the bigger picture of that part of the US.

11 thoughts on “Zion National Park in Utah

  1. An old efriend of mine lives out there – the park is like his back yard & he has been photographing it for years. What always strikes me about his images is how much more ancient the land is but how it somehow looks younger than architecture that’s not 200 years old.
    http://brianspics.wittybanter.org/

  2. Wow, his photos are gorgeous. They do a much better job than mine at conveying the scale of that landscape. I guess one benefit of living near there is really getting to know the place [and how best to photograph it] over time — when the light is most complimentary, best vantage points, which lens to use.

    I don’t know what you mean about the landscape seeming young. Because it looks like it’s in transition and not static?

  3. “I don’t know what you mean about the landscape seeming young. Because it looks like it’s in transition and not static?”
    I dunno – I guess the terrain is kinda ageless while architecture is dated & falls apart so much quicker?
    But even a forested area in winter evokes an age that the sunny rocks don’t convey to me.

  4. Interesting! To me, this landscape seems so ancient, like it’s been unchanged forever even though you can look at it and see evidence of the processes it underwent to get to its current appearance.

    But, hey, these are just the ignorant observations of someone who, until recently, basically avoided places like this at all cost. I’m just starting out with this nature stuff!

  5. We’ve been to Utah many times, as my brother lives north of Ogden, but we’ve never been south of Salt Lake City. We drove to Bryce from my brother’s house in several hours. The approach to Bryce was breathtaking, w/ naturally occurring tunnels and hoodoos which have been sculpted by wind and water. There was one long rock formation that was relatively low, w/ pinkish patches randomly appearing near the top. And that was just the approach. Inside the park there are many scenic view points. There are free shuttles that run loops through the park. You can just hop on and hop off, knowing there will be another shuttle in 10 or 15 minutes. We admired the various rock formations and were amused by the fearless little chipmunks running around. The people visiting the parks were from many foreign countries. We heard French, German and Japanese spoken. Bryce is part of a series of geological stair steps that are part of the Colorado Plateau. It was said that the bottom layer of Bryce is the top strata of Zion and the bottom layer of Zion is the top strata of the Grand Canyon. The colors of Bryce are closer to those of the Grand Canyon while those of Zion are more akin to those of Sedona. Some people feel it necessary to rank and compare these various parks. I don’t. They each have their singular beauty and it’s unnecessary to disparage one in favor of the other. I love them all.

  6. Mercedes, I completely agree. I haven’t yet been to all the places you mention, but the ones I have seen each seem worthy of their individual appreciation. I’m looking forward to returning to that part of the US!

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