Zion National Park
Zion National Park is the most popular of the five national parks found within the state of Utah. One reason for its popularity is the fact that you can easily get to the top or bottom of this national park by car. Scenic highway 9 passes through Zion National Park and allows visitors to enter the park on the west. at the 4,000 feet level (bottom of the park), and drive through a mile long tunnel to the east near an upper section of the park at 6,000 feet.
Zion National Park is found just two hours north of the Grand Canyon North Rim and is accessible year-round. The park is 30 miles in length and fifteen miles across at its widest point, and consists of multiple layers of sandstone that have been stained by the oxidization of iron within the rock. Zion is also one of the most easily navigated national parks for those who want to walk, hike or even ride their bike.
There are many paved trails within the park where visitors can easily walk and view the magnificent formations. These trails are smooth and hardly change in elevation and generally do not offer any degree of difficulty. However this does not mean that the opportunity to change elevation does not exist for the hiking enthusiast. Trails such as Angel's Landing, Observation Point, Weeping Rock and Emerald Pools are all very popular and each ascends to various upper reaches of the park offering sweeping scenic views of the canyons and terraces within the park.
The Virgin River has many tributaries above Zion National Park that converge into an area famously referred to as "The Narrows". A paved path, at the top of the main canyon, leads visitors along a riverside walk to the southern portion of the Narrows, but adventurers can enter this slot canyon and explore its 16 mile length from either direction.
Visitors wishing to stay near Zion National Park may be interested in staying at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. This 4,000 acre resort borders the eastern edge of Zion National Park and offers a variety of excellent lodging and even camping options, along with two restaurants, and a host of activities such as horseback riding, rock climbing, ATV and Jeep Tours and much more.