Tag Archive for: Zion National Park

Vote for Utah! USA Today has a pool of National Parks, and are asking us to vote for which park is the best. Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park have both found their way onto this list, and no doubt they are some of the best!



Many consider America’s national parks to be her greatest treasures.  You have until MONDAY JULY 14 at NOON to vote for your favorite, as we pit mountains against canyons, lakes against rivers and coasts against prairie.  Our experts David and Kay Scott – who chose these 20 nominees – have been regularly exploring the National Park system since 1969 and are the authors of books about America’s greatest recreational spaces.  This adventuresome twosome included the Blue Ridge Parkway on their list, which falls under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, and is, of course, a prime destination in summer and fall.  The rest of the nominees are traditional national parks, sited from coast to coast.


Kolob Canyon may be off the beaten path, but remains a fan favorite when visiting Zion National Park. Did you know that it also displays some of the park’s oldest geology? Tyler Knudsen, one of our geologists here at the Utah Geological Survey, talks about the geology present in Kolob Canyon in this video. Check it out!


Good 4 Utah is celebrating Utah’s diverse and unique geologic history this summer. Kylie Bearse and photographer Gus Seashore are traveling to Utah’s famous landmarks, and a few spots you may not have known about, to learn more about our state’s geology.



Utah is home to five national parks — Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon. How well can you pick out the geological features and what makes each park famous?



Zion National Park, Washington County, Utah
Photographer: Ken Krahulec; © 2013

Towering cliffs of Jurassic-age sandstone constrict lower Zion Canyon. The prominently cross-bedded Navajo Sandstone, deposited in a vast dune field comparable to that of the modern-day Sahara, forms the cliffs, including the narrow spine of Angels Landing at left.

Zion National Park, Washington County, Utah
Photographer: Mike Hylland; © 2012

Arch Alcove, Zion National Park, Washington County.


Residents living within high rock-fall-hazard zones in Rockville, Utah, face the possible consequences of a large rock fall similar to the fatal event that occurred last December. That is the principle finding of a geologic investigation into the rock fall that killed two people on December 12, 2013. That afternoon, a huge, joint-controlled rock mass, with an estimated volume of almost 1,400 cubic yards and weighing about 2,700 tons, detached from the cliff face at the top of the Rockville Bench, near Zion National Park. The rock mass fell onto the steep slope below the cliff, and shattered into numerous fragments. The rock fall debris then moved rapidly downslope before striking and destroying a house, detached garage, and a car. The largest boulder to strike the house weighed an estimated 520 tons.


The Narrows, Zion National Park, Washington County, Utah
Photographer: Tyler Knudsen

Small waterfall framed by the constricting walls of Navajo Sandstone in The Narrows, Zion National Park, Washington County.


Utah boasts five of America’s most popular national parks and is a popular destination with RV travelers. Canyonlands and Arches National Parks are located near the city of Moab, while Capital Reef NP is located midway between Utah’s Dixie country and Moab’s red rock country. Zion and Bryce Canyon are at the base of the Grand Staircase, a massive set of sedimentary rock layers that begins at the Grand Canyon and extends north 200 miles into Utah. Each rock layer reveals significantly different geology as it proceeds north.


Zion National Park, Washington County, Utah
Photographer: Kent D. Brown

Icicles in drainage tunnel along the Zion–Mt. Carmel Highway, Zion National Park, Washington County.


Zion National Park, Washington County, Utah
Photographer: Michael Vanden Berg

Navajo Sandstone and pinyon pines, Zion NationalPark, Washington County.