1. Before it was Zion National Park, it was Mukuntuweap National Monument.
President Woodrow Wilson designated it a national monument in 1909.
2. Zion National Park was established on November 19, 1919.
It’s Utah’s oldest national park.
3. The first Zion Lodge burned down.
The lodge was built in 1925, but destroyed by a fire in 1966. It was rebuilt the following year.
4. The Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway was completed in 1930.
The highway enables visitors to travel through Zion and into Bryce Canyon National Park.
5. The Mt. Carmel Tunnel is more than a mile long.
It was a true feat of engineering. Workers blasted out of the mountain with dynamite between 1927 and 1930.
6. The park encompasses 148,733 acres.
It would take you many weeks to thoroughly explore the entire park. Most visitors stick to the popular trails.
7. The canyon was carved over a million years by flowing water.
Unlike the Grand Canyon, which you experience from the top, at Zion, you look up at the towering cliffs above the Virgin River and valley.
8. You can hike along more than 100 miles of trails in Zion National Park.
Make sure to take plenty of water in the summer!
9. If you prefer something more accessible, stroll along 15 miles of paved walkways.
The park offers something for everyone; you don’t have to be a hiking expert here.
10. Kolob Arch is one of the world’s largest freestanding arches - 287.4 feet long.
11. “Walter’s Wiggles,” the zig-zag switchbacks on the trail to Angel’s Landing, is named for Walter Reusch.
He was the park’s first custodian, and helped construct the West Rim Trail.
12. Angel’s Landing got its name from a man named Frederick Fisher, in 1916.
He took one look at the peak and proclaimed, “Only an angel could land on it.”
13. Angel’s Landing is 5,785 feet above sea level.
From the peak, you’ll be about 1,500 feet above the valley below.
14. Angel’s Landing is scary, but it’s not Zions’ most deadly hike.
More deaths have been reported at Emerald Pools, where conditions at the middle and upper pools can be slippery (and deadly) if you venture past the chained-off area.
15. The shuttle is the only way to tour the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive during high season.
Due to an overwhelming numbers of visitors, in 2000 the park eliminated vehicle traffic on the 6.5 mile scenic drive. Visitors during winter months can still drive their own cars.
16. The Narrows is Zions’ most popular hike, but most people don’t finish it.
The Narrows “bottom-up” hike begins at the Temple of Sinawava. Most people hike in as far as Wall Street, then turn back. Serious hikers do the “top-down” hike, which is 16 miles long and much more strenuous.
17. Climbers love Zion.
Climbers come from all over the world to scale the 2,000 foot-high cliff walls.
18. Nearly 3 million people visit the park annually.
Utahns who want to experience some solitude usually try to visit on the off-season.