Zion National Park. USA
The United States is rich in its national parks, especially Utah. Zion National Park is one of such remarkable places. It is located in the southwest of the state, not far from Springdale, and occupies an area of 593 square kilometers. November 19, 1919, the park has received the status of National Park, during the presidency of William Howard Taft.
Zion Canyon is considered to be the main attraction of the park. Its length is 24 kilometers and depth – 800 m. The canyon was formed due to the North Fork of the Virgin River in the Navajo Sandstone, painted in reddish and bronze colors. It was discovered by Mormons in 1858 and was settled by them in the early 1860s. However, Indian tribes lived here yet 8000 years ago. The Canyon is located between the different biological systems – forest, river and desert, at the intersection of Colorado Plateau, Great Basin of the desert highlands and the area of the Mojave Desert, which make the park so unique.
This amazing park has unique flora and fauna – 289 species of birds, 75 species of mammals and 32 species of reptiles. You can meet here mountain lions, deer, gold eagles, California condors, not to mention the 19 species of bats!
The lowest point of the park is a desert Coal Pits Wash (1118 meters above sea level), the highest point – Horse Ranch Mountain (2661 meters above sea level). Zion National Park is not only the unique flora and fauna, and primarily mountains, canyons, hills, mesas, monoliths, rivers, slot canyons and arches of the natural balance – such original names as The Great White Throne, Angel’s Landing, The roof of the castle, Court of the Patriarchs. The park includes 9 different geological formations, which were formed during the 150 million years. The local mountains are composed of sandstone, containing large amounts of iron oxides. Therefore, the rocks have such rich red color. For the long years, the waters of rivers and streams were breaking through the canyons and rifts in the mountains. The height of their walls reach up to 900 meters, and occasionally the walls touch each other, like merging; their width may be less than 10 meters.
Fantastic colorful mazes, majestic peaks, bizarre forms of stone towers and domes – you will be surely be delighted! The road to the Zion Park ends at the Temple of Sinawava – Indian deity in the form of a coyote. On the park territory you can ride a bicycle, or explore the hiking trails with a camera. In the period from March to October, you can ride horses. Cost of entrance to the park by private car is $ 30 (as of 2015), if you want to get there on foot, you need to pay 15 dollars. The ticket is valid for 7 days.