Zion National Park
Canyon Overlook
Canyon Overlook
Park Profile: Location- Springdale, Utah; Lower Southwest
Utah Map
Utah Map

Size- 229 sqaure miles(146,598 acres)
Climate- Average temperatures May to October 70°F to 105°F in the day and at night range 45°F to 75°F. Daily weather varies due to range of elevation throughout the park.
Region- Southwestern United States
Visitors per year- almost 3 million
Most popular sites- The Narrows; a strenous 15 mile day off-trail hike, offers a great experience while hiking through the park.
Angels Landing; most famous hiking trail, runs up a narrow ledge with 360 degree view at the peak. You can take an ehike to experience it before you visit.






History
Paiutes
Paiutes

Zion National Park was designated in 1919, making it Utah's oldest national park. Human's influence on the park dates back to 6,000 B.C. with the first inhabitants hunting game and harvesting plants, seeds, and nuts. "Basketmakers," an archaic group began cultivating squash and corn. They got their name from archeologists that found coiled and twined baskets in abundance at sites. The Virgin Anasazi and Parowan Fremont populated the park centuries after and scattered rock art, cliff houses and chipping sites scatter the landscape. The first European descent explorers at the time of the American Revolution, the Spanish explorers of the Dominguez Escalante Expedition set off to find a viable route from the settlement of Santa Fe, New Mexico to Monterey, California. Fifty years later a mormon man, Jedediah S. Smith, led a group of 16 men through the region and established towns around that area, led to the establishment of Salt Lake City.
Jedediah Smith
Jedediah Smith

In 1858, guided by friendly Indians Nephi Johnson and penetrated the canyon and explored as far as to The Narrows from the Great White Throne. Joesph Black, in 1861, surveyed the land and found it possible to farm the land and families started to settle and cultivate crops. These settlers did so until 1909 when a United States Deputy Surveyor brought the region to President William Howard Taft's attention and suggested that it be set aside and preserved, designated as a national monument. With the name, Mukuntuweap National Monument. Problems arose as the land was inaccessible to visitors as the roads were in poor condition and it was unknown to much of the public. In the same year the Utah State Road Commission began construction of highways making the park accessible. The name, Mukuntuweap was changed to Zion, due to the inpopularity among the locals.

Zion National Park is considered a natural site due to there is vegetation and life, as there is no alteration to the environment, as it is protected. Today there are small populations of the Paiutes in Zion and around the region.




Environmental Issues
Zion National Park has varying weather just like its varying elevations and terrain. Peaks and plateaus are colder and receive little snow in the winter while the canyons stay arid in the summer. Below is a chart of the park's weather precipitation in an annual period.

Zion National Park Weather Stats

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Annual
Average High - °F
52.0
57.0
63.0
73.0
83.0
93.0
100.0
97.0
91.0
78.0
63.0
53.0
75.3
Average Low - °F
29.0
31.0
36.0
43.0
52.0
60.0
68.0
66.0
60.0
49.0
37.0
30.0
46.8
Extreme High - °F
71.0
78.0
86.0
94.0
102.0
114.0
115.0
111.0
110.0
97.0
83.0
71.0
94.3
Extreme Low - °F
-2.0
4.0
12.0
23.0
22.0
40.0
51.0
50.0
33.0
23.0
13.0
6.0
22.9
Days Above 90°F
0
0
0
1
8
21
30
28
18
3
0
0
109
Days Below 32°F
19
14
10
3
0
0
0
0
0
1
9
18
74
Zion National Park Precipitation

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Annual
Normal
1.6
1.6
1.7
1.3
0.7
0.6
0.8
1.6
0.8
1.0
1.2
1.5
14.2
Max
7.5
6.7
7.1
4.4
3.0
4.0
3.6
4.8
6.7
3.3
3.2
4.3
58.6
Max 24 Hour Precip
1.6
1.3
0.9
1.2
1.8
2.2
1.1
1.6
1.4
1.3
1.3
2.0
15.9
Max Snowfall
26.0
18.0
14.0
3.0
Trace
0.0
0.0
0.0
Trace
1.0
5.0
21.0
88.0
Days with Measurable Precip
7
7
8
6
5
3
5
6
4
4
5
6
66
Average Thunderstorms
0
0
0
1
4
5
14
15
5
2
0
0
48
(Charts courtesy of **Zion National Park Weather Guide**)

Zion has been through many changes in its climate and landscape. It has been covered by the sea, to rivers carving the rock as it runs through, to desert winds grinding away rock. The rocks hold a rich history of fossils of trees, sea shells, and animals. There are seven layers to rock that lay above one another acting as a timeline of the climate and environment during its time period.
The Seven Layers are shown with included layers
The Seven Layers are shown with included layers
















The park is home to many plants and animal life. Spring brings Sand buttercup, Chorispora, Violet, and Sacred datura, a nocturnal plant.

Sand Buttercup
Sand Buttercup
Chorispora
Chorispora
Violet
Violet
Sacred datura
Sacred datura

As there are a variety of plants there are a vareity of animal species. There are over 285 species of birds in Zion, including the Greater Roadrunner, Great Blue Heron and Rock Wren.
We all know the famous Roadrunner
We all know the famous Roadrunner
Here is a real Roadrunner
Here is a real Roadrunner
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Rock Wren
Rock Wren











Mountain Lions are seldomly seen in Zion but they share a prey-predator relationship with a the common Mule Deer which can be seen around the park.
Mountain Lion
Mountain Lion
Mule Deer
Mule Deer









Other animals and creatures that can be spotted around Zion Include: Spotted Skunks, Ring Tailed Cat, Gray Fox, Western Rattlesnake, Rock Squirrels, Canyon tree frogs, Desert horned Lizard.

Air quality is becoming a major problem within the United States as it harms every living thing such as plants, animals and humans. Zion National Park has taken the initiative to prevent releasing harmful pollutants into the air. An indicator of good air quality is Lichen, as it is sensitive to nitrogen and sulfur oxide and can not survive with high amounts concentrated in one area. Zion National Park, along its trails, have seen an abundance of lichen. The park has plenty of bike trails which offer a cleaner way than cars of travelling around the park and seeing the natural beauty.
Lichen
Lichen


There are many great sites to see within the park as you explore. Sites well known like the Great White Throne, Angels Landing, and The Narrows are the msot popular. Some less known ones that are a perk to see include: Weeping Rock, the Temples, arches that populate the canyons, and the Virgin River. Highways that were built lead through the canyon, offering spectacular sites; Zion-Mt. Carmel highway and The Kolob Canyons Road. Trails such as the Subway in the Zions Canyon.
Great White Throne
Great White Throne
Weeping Rock
Weeping Rock
West Temple
West Temple

















Slump blocks are large soild materials that slide down a hillside and chip away, widening the canyon. This sliding material contributes to Mass Wasting which is natural widening of the valley in Zions Canyon. Earthquakes also contribute with causing rockfalls and landslide.


Recreational Activities
Zion National Park offers visitors a chance to be in the heart of nature. biking trails allow visitors to bike along and see the sites. Also camping in designated back country sites allow those more adventurous to get out in the wilderness and see a more secluded part of the park. Climbing along Angels Landing or any other rockface results in breathtaking views. Guided Horseback rides are avaible in the Spring to Fall. Picnic areas allow families a great view to have lunch under the sun. Tours of the highways that wind the Zions Canyon allow visitors a unique view of the park. Park Rangers also host guided walking tours and the visitor centers hold talks and evening programs.

East Zion hiking
East Zion hiking
Scenic Byway on the Zion-Mt. Carmel Hghwy
Scenic Byway on the Zion-Mt. Carmel Hghwy

Camping
Camping




















Works CitedPhotos
"Campground Zion National Park - Camping Zion National Park." Zion National Park - Zion National Park Utah. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.zionnational-park.com/zion-national-park-campground.htm>.
"Early Buttercup (Ranunculus fascicularis)." Illinois Wildflowers. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/savanna/plants/early_buttercup.htm>.
"East Zion Photos and Trails - Greater Zion Pictures and Trails - Greater Zion Photography." Zion National Park - Zion National Park Utah. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.zionnational-park.com/east-zion-photos.htm>.
"Great Blue Heron, Identification, All About Birds - Cornell Lab of Ornithology." Your online guide to birds and bird watching, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/great_blue_heron/id>.
"Greater Roadrunner, Identification, All About Birds - Cornell Lab of Ornithology." Your online guide to birds and bird watching, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/greater_roadrunner/id>.
"Jedediah Smith." United States History. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h315.html>.
"Lichen Biology and the Environment." Lichens of North America. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.lichen.com/biology.html>.
"Location Guide." Zion National Park. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.zion.national-park.com/location.htm>.
"Mountain Lions, Mountain Lion Pictures, Mountain Lion Facts - National Geographic." Animals, Animal Pictures, Wild Animal Facts - National Geographic. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/mountain-lion.html>.
"Mule Deer (DesertUSA)." Desert Biomes by DesertUSA. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.desertusa.com/feb97/du_muledeer.html>.
"PLANTS Profile for Chorispora tenella (crossflower) | USDA PLANTS." Welcome to the PLANTS Database | USDA PLANTS. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CHTE2>.
"Rebuttals, Stratigraphy and the Young Earth Global Flood Model, Part 3." Creation Science. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.answersincreation.org/stratigraphy3.htm>.
"Rock Wren, Life History, All About Birds - Cornell Lab of Ornithology." Your online guide to birds and bird watching, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Rock_Wren/lifehistory>.
"The Sacred Datura - DesertUSA." Desert Biomes by DesertUSA. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.desertusa.com/aug97/du_datura_JS.html>.
"Utah Highway 9 - Zion Shuttle - Zion Tunnel." Zion National Park - Zion National Park Utah. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.zionnational-park.com/sb9.htm>.
"Violet." Gardens Ablaze. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.gardensablaze.com/HerbViolet.htm>.
"Weather Guide." Zion National Park. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.zion.national-park.com/weather.htm>.
"Weeping Rock Photos - Zion Weeping Rock Pictures." Zion National Park - Zion National Park Utah. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.zionnational-park.com/images/album2/index22.htm>.
"West Temple Pictures." Zion National Park - Zion National Park Utah. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.zionnational-park.com/images/album2/index38.htm>.
"Zion National Park - People (U.S. National Park Service)." U.S. National Park Service - Experience Your America. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://home.nps.gov/zion/historyculture/people.htm>.
"Zion National Park - Photos & Multimedia (U.S. National Park Service)." U.S. National Park Service - Experience Your America. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://home.nps.gov/zion/photosmultimedia/>.
"Zion National Park: Description - DesertUSA." Desert Biomes by DesertUSA. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.desertusa.com/zion/du_znpdesc.html>.


Websites

"History of Zion National Park, Utah." Utah Information and Resource Guide. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.onlineutah.com/zionparkhistory.shtml>.
"Welcome the Zion National Park Travel Guide." TravelWest.net - Information for National Parks and City Travel Information for Utah, Arizona and Nevada. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.travelwest.net/parks/zion/>.
"Zion National Park | Utah.com." Utah Travel Site | Utah.com. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.utah.com/nationalparks/zion.htm>.
"Zion National Park: Description - DesertUSA." Desert Biomes by DesertUSA. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.desertusa.com/zion/du_znpdesc.html>.
"Zion National Park (U.S. National Park Service)." U.S. National Park Service - Experience Your America. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://home.nps.gov/zion/index.htm>.

Zion National Park Visitors guide. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.go-zion.com/>.
Zion National Park. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.zion.national-park.com/>.


Videos

Air Quality 101: The Basics. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx_yWFQvJT4>.
Angels Landing - A Hike Through Zion National Park. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8ygjEUFI1E>.
Reading Rock Layers: Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUY-79HGk6A>.
Zion National Park: Zion Canyon. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. <http://videolog.uol.com.br/video.php?id=481676>.