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Zions National Park - General Park Information

Zion National Park in Utah was the first national park to be established in the Beehive State. Zion is a 229-square mile park that is located near the small town of Springdale, Utah. The main attraction in the park is the famous Zion Canyon that is cut up to one-half mile deep into the rocks. The first humans to inhabit the region were small bands of Native Americans that included the forerunners of the Anasazi. William Howard Taft first protected the region when he was president in 1909 by making it an official national monument named Mukuntuweap National Monument. Because of a belief that Indian and Spanish names made places less likely destinations for Americans, the National Park Service changed the name of the monument to Zion in 1918.

The climate in Zion National Park is generally quite warm although winter can bring snow and ice to the region. The average high in January is 52. The summers can be quite hot with average temperatures near 100. Spring is the most unsettled time of the year in Zion National Park. The area can see very stormy weather during the spring. Because of the hilly terrain with narrow gorges, Zion National Park is prone to flash flooding.

There is a great deal of biological and geological diversity in Zion National Park. One of the leading activities in which people engage while visiting the park is bird watching because of the over 280 bird species that inhabit the park. There are four different biospheres in the park that include coniferous forests, woodlands, desert and riparian areas. Hiking and rock climbing are popular options for those who come to the park during the summer months. Also during the summer, there are guided horseback tours and nature walks that explore the beauty and diversity of the park.

Utah State Route 9 is the main avenue for access to Zion National Park. Those coming from the north and south should take Interstate 15 and follow the signs off of this major highway. US 89 is another road that connects to Utah State Route 9 and provides easy access to the park.