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Title: Zion National Park, Utah (1951)
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                          NATIONAL PARK • UTAH

                            _Open All Year_

    [Illustration: DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR · MARCH 3, 1949]

                     Oscar L. Chapman, _Secretary_

                         NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
                     Arthur E. Demaray, _Director_


  The Great White Throne                                         _Cover_
  Formation of Zion Canyon                                             3
  Wildlife                                                             6
  Park Season                                                          6
  How to Reach Zion                                                    6
  Roads in the Park                                                    8
  The Trail System                                                    10
  Administration                                                      13
  Naturalist Service                                                  13
  Museum                                                              13
  Free Public Campgrounds                                             15
  Accommodations                                                      15
  Transportation                                                      15
  Saddle Horses                                                       15
  Post Office and Communication Service                               15
  Miscellaneous Services                                              15

                           _Historic Events_

  1776   Father Escalante in search of route to Pacific crossed Virgin
         River near Hurricane.
  1826   Jedediah Smith, fur trader, with a party of about 16 men
         exploring the region, traversed Virgin River.
  1847   Brigham Young and his band of Mormons founded Salt Lake City
         and began the colonization of Utah.
  1858   The colonization of Utah’s “Dixie” begun by the Mormons.
  1858   Zion Canyon discovered by Nephi Johnson, a Mormon scout.
  1861   Joseph Black explored the canyon and 1 or 2 years later was
         followed by a few settlers who farmed in the canyon, which
         they called “Little Zion.”
  1872   Maj. John Wesley Powell visited the region and gave name
         “Mukuntuweap” to north fork and “Parunuweap” to east fork of
         Virgin River.
  1909   Mukuntuweap National Monument established by Presidential
  1914   Frederick Vining Fisher visited Zion Canyon and gave names to
         many of the outstanding formations, such as Great White
         Throne and Angels Landing.
  1917   Wylie Way Camp, first tourist accommodations, constructed.
  1918   Monument enlarged and the name changed to Zion by
         Presidential proclamation.
  1919   Monument changed to a national park by act of Congress.
  1923   President Warren G. Harding visited the park on June 27.
  1930   East Rim road and tunnel completed and dedicated.

    [Illustration: Illustrated drop-cap]

Zion National Park, located in the heart of the spectacular desert and
canyon country of southern Utah, has as one of its chief features the
great multicolored gorge, Zion Canyon. The sandstone cliffs, rising
sheer to form the canyon walls and encircle the valley, are awesome; but
it is the vivid coloring which most amazes. The deep red of the
Vermilion Cliffs is the prevailing tint. Two-thirds of the way up these
marvelous walls and temples are painted varying shades of red; then,
above the reds they rise in startling white, sometimes surmounted by a
cap of brilliant red.

                      Formation of Zion Canyon[1]

Zion Canyon, the best known example of a deep, narrow, vertically walled
chasm readily accessible for observation, was made by the north fork of
the Virgin River, the stream which now flows through it. Before this
stream established its course there was no canyon. During the long
period since its course was established the river has slowly deepened
its channel and extended it headward until its original shallow valley
has become a long narrow trench between towering walls. Though now
deeply entrenched in the rocks of the Kolob Plateau, the river maintains
substantially its original pattern. It flows in the same direction, and
the curves and straight stretches of its present walls duplicate the
meanders of the stream when it flowed some 5,000 feet above its present

For many thousands of years the Virgin River and its tributaries have
been busy with two tasks, namely, deepening their channels and
transporting material weathered from the canyon walls. At present the
Virgin carries away from the park each year about 3,000,000 tons of
ground-up rock at an average rate of 180 carloads a day. For such
effective work the many-branched river seems incompetent. But though
relatively small in volume, this stream system falls from 50 to 70 feet
per mile (nine times the fall of the Colorado in Grand Canyon) and is at
work on rock, chiefly sandstone, that disintegrates with exceptional
ease. Many tributaries are on bare rock, little retarded by vegetation,
and are fed by short but violent showers. Consequently, they are brought
to flood stage not only seasonally but with each period of heavy
rainfall. Because they flow only in response to showers, the smaller
tributaries are unable to cut channels as deep as the perennial master
stream. From their mouths high on the canyon walls, they descend as

Though they are primarily responsible for the depth and position of the
canyons, the Virgin River itself and the other streams heading on the
adjoining plateaus are only incidentally concerned with the detailed
carving that makes Zion Canyon unique. The walls are retreating in
consequence of ground water which emerges as springs and seeps, rain
which falls directly into the canyon, water that spills over the rim,
frost and tree roots which pry off slabs, and chemical agencies which
weaken the rock by the removal of the cement about individual grains.
Continuous sapping at or near the contact of the porous Navajo sandstone
and the more impervious underlying beds has developed alcoves in the
canyon walls at Wiley Retreat, the Stadium, Weeping Rock, Emerald Pool,
Birch Creek, Oak Creek, and elsewhere.

    [Illustration: _Generalized section of sediments in Zion and Bryce

  Age of rocks      Formation

  Eocene       Wasatch: Pink Cliffs                ROCKS IN BRYCE CANYON PARK
  Cretaceous   Undifferentiated: Gray Cliffs
               Carmel               limestone
               Navajo sandstone:    cross-bedded   ROCKS IN ZION PARK
               White Cliffs         sandstone
               Chinle: Vermilion    shale,
               Cliffs               sandstone,
                                    ash and
                                    fossil wood
               Shinarump conglomerate
               Moenkopi: Belted     shale
                                    oil            RIM OF GRAND CANYON
  Permian      Kaibab limestone

In the development of the amazing variety of architectural features on
the canyon walls, the composition and structure of the Navajo formation
have served as controlling guides. In addition to the bedding
planes—horizontal, oblique, and curved surfaces—the Navajo has developed
parting planes (joints) that extend downward for short distances or pass
through the formation from top to bottom. These bedding planes and
joints determine the shape and size of the blocks that spall off from
the towering cliff walls. Unlike that of humid regions, this type of
erosion progresses from below upward; it causes the canyon to widen and
still retain its vertical walls.

    [Illustration:                      (_Union Pacific Railroad photo_)
 _The Sentinel viewed from the West Portal of the Mount Carmel Tunnel._]


With the lower reaches of the park extending into the desert regions to
the southward, and the northernmost portions reaching into the
spruce-covered highlands, Zion offers the visitor a wide variety of
wildlife forms. Among the larger mammals, the mule deer are especially
numerous and can frequently be observed along the floor of Zion Canyon
in late evening. A few bighorn are present but spend their time in the
relatively inaccessible canyons, hence are seldom seen. Other mammals,
such as the mountain lion, bobcat, coyote, and fox, are resident within
the park, but are rarely encountered because of their timidity. Ground
squirrels and chipmunks are numerous and frequently tame. It is wisest
to enjoy them without actual contact, however, for some rodents have
been known to carry dangerous diseases.

Several species of birds are resident on the floor of the canyon, the
best known being the spurred towhee, robin, canyon wren, and yellow
warbler. Among the ponderosa pines back of the canyon rims are such
colorful songsters as the western tanager, Audubon’s warbler, and
western warbling vireo.

Of absorbing interest are the many varieties of harmless reptiles in the
canyon. Lizards, such as the blue-bellied swift and brown-shouldered
uta, are commonly observed around the brush-covered slopes, while the
Boyle’s kingsnake and wandering gartersnake are to be found in the dense
vegetation near the river.

                              Park Season

Each season of the year is distinctive in Zion. In winter, the colored
cliffs stand out in startling contrast to the snow-covered levels and
slopes; in spring, melting snows cascade over the cliff faces in foaming
white waterfalls. Summer brings with it the greens of the valley as a
foreground for the colorful formations; and in autumn when the skies are
deepest blue, the trees of the valley floor and slopes take on
variegated hues.

Although Zion Lodge is open only during the summer season, the Camp
Center, with cafeteria, store, and cabins, and the public campground at
the south entrance are operated throughout the year.

                           How to Reach Zion

Zion National Park is reached from Cedar City, Utah, on the Union
Pacific Railroad. From this point motorbus service is provided by the
Utah Parks Co. to Zion National Park, as well as to Bryce Canyon and
Grand Canyon (North Rim) National Parks and Cedar Breaks National
Monument. Passengers traveling on main bus lines may transfer to Utah
Parks Co. buses at Cedar City. On advance notice, connections can be
made with the Santa Fe Trails System at Mount Carmel Junction.

    [Illustration: _Roads connecting Bryce Canyon, Zion, Grand Canyon,
    and Cedar Breaks_]

Motorists on the Arrowhead Trail, United States Highway No. 91, from the
north may turn off at Anderson Junction, 33 miles south of Cedar City,
and those from the south may turn off at Harrisburg Bench Junction, 10
miles north of St. George, and reach Zion over State Route No. 15.
Motorists on United States Highway No. 89 should turn off on State Route
No. 15 at Mount Carmel Junction, entering Zion by the east entrance.

United Air Lines serves Salt Lake City, and from there passengers may go
by Union Pacific Railroad or bus to Cedar City. Air service is also
available from Los Angeles by Western Air Lines, with stops at Las
Vegas, Cedar City, and Salt Lake City.

                           Roads in the Park

There are 20 miles of improved roads in Zion National Park. One road
leads from the park’s entrance to the Temple of Sinawava, a distance of
8 miles. No one has really seen Zion Canyon until he has made a trip
over this road. Visitors in closed cars should make frequent stops so
that they may get out and enjoy the magnificent view.

    [Illustration:                      (_Union Pacific Railroad photo_)
  _Overhanging trees frame the formation known as The First Patriarch._]

    [Illustration:                             November 1948 NP-Z10-7002
                                          PORTION OF ZION NATIONAL PARK]

Within the park there is a section of the remarkable Zion-Mount Carmel
Highway, 11½ miles in length. Running east from the Virgin River Bridge,
this road forms a connecting link between United States Highways Nos. 91
and 89. Of special interest along this highway is the Zion Tunnel,
started in 1927 and completed in 1930. Its total length is 5,607 feet.
While the tunnel is the most spectacular portion, other sections are of
even greater scenic interest.

                            The Trail System

Approximately 26 miles of trails lead to the more important sections of
the park which are not reached by roads. These trails are well
maintained and can be used at all seasons of the year, with the
exception of those to the rims of the canyon which are closed by snow
during the winter months.

The most popular of the footpaths, which have been constructed at
different levels in the canyon, is the one extending a mile up the
canyon from the end of the road at the Temple of Sinawava to the
beginning of the Narrows. Other short and interesting trails recommended
for easy hiking include Weeping Rock, Emerald Pool, and Great Arch.

Below are listed a few trail distances. These data are for trails at
their best. Since the weather affects the condition of trails, inquiry
should be made before attempting any of them.

   _Name of   _Length    _Starting   _Aver.           _Remarks_
    trail_    one way_    point_      time

  The Narrows    1 mi. Temple of     2 hrs.  Easy, no steep grades.
                       Sinawava              All-weather trail. Fine
                                             view of river flood plain.
                                             Trailside exhibit near
                                             Temple of Sinawava.
  Weeping        ¼ mi. Weeping Rock  ½ hr.   Easy surfaced trail. Water
  Rock                 parking area          drips from overhanging
                                             cliff; springs issue from
                                             it. Hanging gardens;
                                             travertine deposits.
  Emerald        1 mi. Zion Lodge    2 hrs.  Cross river on footbridges.
  Pool                 or Grotto             Small pool formed by 2
  (lower)              Campground            falls. Loop or 1-way trail.
  Emerald       1½ mi. do.           3 hrs.  ½ mi. above lower pool.
  Pool                                       Mostly easy walking; few
  (upper)                                    steep grades. Loop or 1-way
  Great Arch     ½ mi. Parking       1 hr.   Mostly easy walking.
                       area, upper           Excellent view of Pine
                       end of large          Creek Narrows and west side
                       tunnel                of canyon.
  Hidden         1 mi. Parking       2½ hrs. Fairly strenuous; steep
  Canyon               area,                 grades, switchbacks. Cross
                       Weeping Rock          footbridge, climb to East
                                             Rim Trail sign, follow to
                                             turn-off into Hidden Canyon.
  East Rim      3½ mi. do.           5 hrs.  Fairly strenuous foot and
                                             horse trail. Carry water,
                                             lunch. Cross footbridge and
                                             climb to East Rim Trail
  West Rim      6¼ mi. Grotto        8 hrs.  Strenuous foot and horse
                       Campground            trail. Carry water, lunch.
                                             Cross river on footbridge.
  Angels        2½ mi. do.           4 hrs.  Fairly strenuous; steep
  Landing                                    climb. Half of trail
                                             hard-surfaced. Cross
                                             footbridge over river.
                                             Excellent view of canyon.
  Lady           2 mi. Zion Lodge    4½ hrs. Strenuous mountain climb
  Mountain                                   even for experienced
                                             hikers. Cross footbridge
                                             over river. Carry water.

    [Illustration:                      (_Union Pacific Railroad photo_)
_Angels Landing, rising approximately 1,500 feet above the canyon floor._]

    [Illustration:                      (_Union Pacific Railroad photo_)
                                               _Trail to the West Rim._]

    [Illustration: _De luxe cabins, Zion Lodge_]


Zion National Park, containing 94,241 acres of Federal lands, is one of
the areas of the National Park System owned by the people of the United
States and administered for them by the National Park Service,
Department of the Interior. In these areas the scenery and the objects
of historic, prehistoric, and scientific interest are carefully
preserved and displayed for public enjoyment.

The representative of the National Park Service in immediate charge of
Zion National Park is the superintendent, whose post office address is
Springdale, Utah. All comments regarding service in the park should be
addressed to him.

                           Naturalist Service

During the summer season ranger naturalists conduct parties into the
field several times each day to interpret the natural features of the
area, leaving the Temple of Sinawava according to schedules posted by
the naturalist service. Each evening talks on the natural features of
the park are also given by ranger naturalists. Schedules of nature
walks, talks, and other activities are posted in public places
throughout the park. All visitors are urged to avail themselves of this
free service.


The National Park Service has established an official information office
and museum at park headquarters which is open daily throughout the year.
Here park visitors may secure information and publications regarding
this and other national parks free of charge. The museum exhibits are
arranged to give a general idea of the outstanding features of Zion
National Park. These exhibits cover such subjects as geology, biology,
archeology, and history.

    [Illustration: _The Three Patriarchs._]

The Zion-Bryce Natural History Association maintains a stock of
publications, maps, and transparency slides which are for sale at
reasonable prices in the museum. They are designed to assist in a better
understanding and appreciation of the region.

                        Free Public Campgrounds

Free public campgrounds are maintained throughout the year for visitors
carrying their own equipment. Camping is limited to 30 days a year for
each party.


An attractive lodge is operated by the Utah Parks Co., from about May 30
to September 25. It consists of a central building and a number of
standard and de luxe cabins. The de luxe cabins have private bath,
porch, and fireplace. Meals are served in the lodge dining room.

There is also a cabin development which is open all year. Here may be
found a cafeteria, food store, and sleeping cabins.

As prices change from season to season, no rates are included in this
booklet, but they may be obtained from the Utah Parks Co., Cedar City,


Motorbus transportation and all-expense tours to Zion, Bryce Canyon, and
Grand Canyon (North Rim) National Parks, Kaibab National Forest, and
Cedar Breaks National Monument are furnished by Utah Parks Co., during
the summer season and by special arrangement throughout the remainder of
the year. An automobile trip from Zion Lodge to the Temple of Sinawava
is offered during the summer season.

                             Saddle Horses

Saddle horses may be hired in the park by the hour or day. Escorted
trips to the East or West Rim of Zion Canyon are made daily. Escorted
half-day horseback trips to The Narrows or Angels Landing may be
enjoyed, and special guide service, when available, may be obtained for
a day, a half day, or less. Riding outfits for women may be rented at
the lodge.

                 Post Office and Communication Service

Zion Lodge is provided with post office and telegraph service.
Long-distance telephone service is available at both the lodge and
cafeteria. The summer post office address is Zion National Park, Utah;
during the remainder of the year it is Springdale, Utah.

                         Miscellaneous Services

In the lodge, fountain service is available. A full line of photographs
is on sale and laboratories are maintained for developing and printing.
Curios and post cards are sold here.

Garage service, including storage and repairs, is provided near Zion
Lodge during the summer season. A regular service station near the Camp
Center furnishes gasoline, oil, tires, and batteries from approximately
May 1 to October 30. Garages and service stations in Springdale, which
is outside the park, operate throughout the year.

A registered nurse is on duty at the lodge during the season.

  “_Let no one say, and say it to your shame,
  That all was beauty here until you came._”

National Parks are established “to conserve the scenery and the natural
and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the
enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave
them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” Please
cooperate in maintaining and protecting this park. The following
observations are made for your guidance:

Preservation of Natural Features.—Trees, flowers, vegetation, rocks,
mineral formations, or any animal, bird, or other life may not be
disturbed, injured, or destroyed; and formations, rocks, and other
natural features, may not be defaced by writing, carving, or otherwise
marring them. Since the park is a sanctuary for wildlife, hunting and
the use of firearms are prohibited.

Camping.—Camp only in established campgrounds. Keep your camp area
clean. BE CAREFUL WITH FIRE. Picnicking in the galleries of Zion Tunnel
is not permitted. Lunching and picnicking prohibited, except in public
auto camp.

Disorderly Conduct.—Proper conduct is required of all visitors for the
benefit of others who are entitled to get the fullest enjoyment from the

Pets.—If you are carrying a dog, cat, or other pet, you may take it into
and through the park provided it is at all times kept on leash or
otherwise under physical restrictive control. Pets are not permitted in
public buildings or on trails.

Trails.—Do not attempt to make short cuts; to do so you may endanger
yourself as well as others using trails. Before attempting more
difficult trails seek advice from a park ranger.

Mountain Climbing.—Mountain climbing away from established trails may
not be attempted without permission of the superintendent.

Automobile Regulations.—(a) _Permit._—A charge of $1 for each automobile
is made at Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks. One permit is good for
both parks, and may be used during the remainder of the year in which
issued. Trailer fee, $1 extra.

(b) _Careful driving._—The roads in the park are built purely for scenic
purposes, not as high-speed thoroughfares. Observe speed limits and the
usual rules of the road; keep to right; do not park on curves; pass cars
going in the same direction only when the road ahead is clear and the
vision unobstructed. Maximum speed limit, 35 miles per hour.

(c) _Lights._—Because of mile-long highway tunnel, your car must have
its lights in proper condition before you will be permitted to enter
Zion National Park.

Park Rangers.—The park rangers are employed to help and advise visitors
as well as to enforce regulations. When in doubt, ask a ranger.


[1]Condensed from “A Geologic and Geographic Sketch of Zion National
    Park” by Herbert E. Gregory.

   _For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing
        Office, Washington 25, D. C.—Price $3.75 per 100 copies_  U. S.
                                             GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
                                                REPRINT 1951 O-F—933840

                          Transcriber’s Notes

—Silently corrected a few typos.

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by

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