One of the largest and most visited national parks in the United States, Zion National Park is located in the southwestern part of Utah, not far from the city of Springdale. The park features a variety of landscapes, including desert areas, forests, canyons, mountains, mesas, rivers, and more, and stretches out to cover an area of 229.058 square miles or 146,597 acres. Common animals that can be found in many locations around Zion National Park include cougars, bobcats, coyotes, deer, squirrels, lizards, eagles, falcons, sheep, and more.

We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.

1.Zion National Park

Zion National Park
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Archaeologists have discovered traces of human life in Zion National Park dating back several thousand years, with various tribes and Native American peoples living in the area over time. Followers of the Mormon faith came upon the area in 1858 and quickly began to settle, with the area standing out for its supreme natural beauty and astonishing rock formations. In 1909, the President of the United States at the time, William Howard Taft, made the area a National Monument named Mukuntuweap in order to preserve it. The Mormons in the area had always referred to the location as Zion, and the name was changed to the Zion National Park in 1919.

Four different life zones can be observed in Zion National Park: desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest, with each area housing different plants and animals and having different conditions. The park is visited by several million people per year, many of whom choose to enjoy the various scenic hiking trails that take in some of the area's most famous sites and natural monuments. Other popular activities at Zion National Park include horseback riding, rock climbing, and camping.

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2.Elevation of Zion National Park

Elevation of Zion National Park
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Elevation is measured in feet or meters and tells us how high up an area is in relation to the mean sea level of Earth. It can have an effect on a location’s weather and is also an important factor in town planning, tourism, and more. The elevation of Zion National Park varies all around the park due to its enormous size and huge array of landscapes. The park actually has an elevation span of 5,060 feet (1,543 m) between its highest and lowest points, so the elevation and conditions in one park of the park can be very different from the next.

The highest elevation point in Zion National Park is Horse Ranch Mountain. This mountain can be found in the Kolob Canyons part of Zion National Park, with Camp Creek on its northern side and Taylor Creek located to the south. The elevation of Horse Ranch Mountain is 8,726 feet (2,660 m). Meanwhile, the lowest point in Zion National Park is Coal Pits Wash, which has an elevation of 3,666 feet (1,117 m) and is found in the southwestern corner of the park.

The high desert zone of Zion National Park has elevations ranging from 3,500 feet (1067 m) to 5,000 feet (1,524 m), while the canyon rims can range in elevation from 5,500 feet (1,676 m) to 7,500 feet (2,286 m). The highest parts of the park are found at extremely high elevations that can rise to 8,000 feet (2,438 m) and higher. The town of Springdale is generally regarded as one of the key gateways to Zion National Park and this town is situated at an elevation of 3,898 feet (1,188 m).

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3.Elevation of Zion National Park Compared to Utah

Elevation of Zion National Park Compared to Utah
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After Colorado and Wyoming, Utah is the third highest state in all of America, with areas like Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park contributing to the state’s high average elevation of 6,100 feet (1,860 m). The average elevation in the United States is just 2,500 feet (760 m), so even the lowest point of Zion National Park is much higher than the national average. When compared with Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park has lower elevations in general.

The highest point in Utah is Kings Peak, one of the Uinta Mountains, which has an elevation of 13,534 feet (4,125 m), while the state’s lowest point is Beaver Dam Wash close to the Arizona border, which has an elevation of 2,180 feet (664 m). The state’s biggest cities include the state capital Salt Lake City, which has an elevation of 4,226 feet (1,288 m), West Valley City, which is situated at an elevation of 4,304 feet (1,312 m), Provo, which has an elevation of 4,551 feet (1,387 m), and West Jordan, which has an elevation of 4,373 feet (1,333 m).

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Zion National Park Elevation

Attraction Spotlight: Cove Fort Historic Site

Located in Beaver, Utah, the Cove Fort Historic Site aims to preserve and present the historical pioneer rock fort from 1867. Visitors can expect to find a wonderfully preserved settlement complete with a fort and a ranch which was cared for by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


The Cove Fort Historic Site was founded in 1867 by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They dedicated their lives to caring for the rock fort which protected them from Native Americans for generations. They made Cove Fort their home and to this day, missionaries provide free guided tours of the fort and its surrounding settlement.


Ira N. Hinckley Log Home: This restored log home was once the residence of Ira N. Hinckley and his family. They lived here during the time that Ira was commissioned to start construction of Cove Fort. Although the cabin has been dismantled and then rebuilt closer to the fort, the historical integrity is still intact. There is also a movie that plays inside of the log home so that visitors can learn about the Hinckley family and their lifestyle when they resided at Cove Fort. The family also served all kinds of people who visited the fort from around the country.

Cove Fort: This fort provided protection to those who guarded it, to travelers who required sanctuary, and of course, to the telegraph machines and communication methods of the time. Within the fort, visitors will find the Ira N. Hinckley log home, various recreations of things instrumental to fort operations including the large kitchen and the telegraph option. Visitors will also be able to feel the love and devotion that the Hinckley family and the others who protected this place gave to the fort during these years.

Surrounding Settlement: The surrounding area of the fort includes many important items crucial to not only day-to-day activities of the fort but also to the protection of the people within it. There is a blacksmith shop, a garden, a horse and animal corral, a large barn, and even a bunkhouse. Life and work at the fort was a simpler time.

Nearby Sights

Zion National Park: This park is known as one of the crown jewels of America’s parks. It is filled with a variety of sandstone canyons, it has more than 400 different species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. There are flowing rivers which carve through the deep canyons for more than 200 square miles. The park was named by the Church of Jesus Chris of Latter Day Saints and a lot of the rock formations have names out of the bible. It is a must-see national park.

Canyonlands National Park: This park has breath-taking views of the Colorado River and the Green River as well as views of cliffs, spires, and red rock pinnacles. Visitors can take mountain bike routes, 4-wheeler routes, and white water rafting routes through this national park.

Arches National Park: This park has one of the world’s largest natural sandstone arches. Besides this incredible sight, there are also many other arches and rock formations including spires, pinnacles, balanced rocks, and even pedestals. This park is more than 76,000 acres of extraordinary beautiful landforms.

Bryce Canyon National Park: This park features amazingly picturesque and colorful rock formations. There is a 37-mile trip around this park which takes visitors to famous and colorful viewpoints.

Lodging and Restaurants

There is a wide variety of lodging and dining options around the Cove Fort Historic Site and its surrounding National Parks. There are many camping and RV options, as well as a variety of hotels and Airbnb availability. There are also world-class dining options in the surrounding area and something to curb every appetite. Be sure to check out the surrounding area for more information.

Additional Information:

Cove Fort Historic Site, HC-74 Box 6500, Beaver, Utah 84713, Phone: 435-438-5547

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Attraction Spotlight: Park City Museum

Located in Park City, Utah, the Park City Museum aims to preserve, protect, and promote the rich heritage of Park City, Utah. Visitors can expect to find a a world-class museum dedicated to providing the community with engaging and entertaining exhibitions as well as many wonderful educational programs.


The Park City Museum has been an integral part of the historical district of Park City and its Main Street downtown. The Park City Historical Society was founded in 1981 by two women: an artist hired to design the first exhibit, Patricia Smith, and a prominent member of the city council, Tina Lewis.

The lone exhibit was known as the Centennial Exhibit, and although the museum only had a mere 15 supporting members in the beginning, the exhibit became quite a success. The museum was moved to a permanent exhibition space located right on Main Street in 1984 after the merging of the Historical Society and the Museum board.

During the 2002 Winter Olympics, the Park City Museum welcomed more than 25,000 visitors in a short 10-day period. After that, the Museum could afford their necessary renovations and expansions.

The newly renovated Park City Museum opened its doors in October 2009 and to this day the museum proudly presents world-class exhibitions and highly-educational programs. Since the museum was founded, more than 1.6 million visitors have passed through its doors and its membership has sky-rocketed to more than 500 members.

The building that the museum is housed in was the City Hall which was originally built in 1885 for a mere $6,400. During this time, Main Street was a flourishing and lively part of Park City and although a fire destroyed most of the building in 1898, it was quickly rebuilt.

Many local businesses and historical landmarks have come and gone since then, but the Park City Library was added to the building in 1982 and has remained there ever since. There is also now a museum store where members of the entire family can commemorate their visit.

Permanent Exhibitions

From Around the World: This exhibit features the Kimball Stagecoach, a historic railcar which used to carry both mail and people into Park City. Guests can climb aboard and feel what it was like to ride on a stagecoach in the historical frontier West.

Mega Mine & Days of Ore: This exhibit features a scaled 19th century Mega Mine where guests can examine a two-story high structure resembling what is was like to be a miner during this period. Guests will learn about the mining process, the struggles and challenges that miners faced, and learn all about mining equipment.

Skier Subway Theater: This exhibit features one of the original cars from the one and only “Skier Subway”. This subway was important to Park City’s transition into a ski town from a mining town.

The Dungeon: Park City’s Territorial Jail: This exhibit allows guests to visit the Territorial Jail which is housed in the basement of the museum. There will be guided tours where guests can learn about Park City’s most wanted and dangerous criminals.

Muckers and Millionaires: This exhibit tells the story of the huge gap between those in town who made their very small living working in the mines and those who made millions and lived near Salt Lake City. The difference in these two groups were a major part of shaping Park City into what it is today.

Living in Park City: This exhibit lets guests step back in time and experience what it was like to live and work in Park City more than 100 years ago. Meticulously preserved rooms feature historically accurate renditions of the local post office, the market, and the telephone company.

Bar Talk: This exhibit features a historically accurate local saloon where visitors can have a drink and listen to tales about the olden days.

1926 Fire Truck: This exhibit features a retired firetruck from Park City. The truck was custom built by the Dodge Brothers in 1926 and currently resides in its original home – the 191 Fire Tower.

The Great Fire of 1898: This exhibit features the story of the Great Fire of 1898.

Tozer Gallery: This exhibit is more than 1,000 square-feet of rotating exhibition space with showcases a wide-variety of artwork, travel exhibitions, and children’s exhibitions.

Annual Events

There are some great events hosted at the Park City Museum each year including the Historic Home Tour where a tour guide will take a group of visitors around Park City to see some of the most interesting and beautiful historical homes.

There are also Walking tours of Main Street focusing with a tour guide who will engage visitors with stories about the historical street. Tours are Monday through Friday during the summer starting at 2 p.m.

There are also all kind of hikes, parties, lecture series, and even guided tours via skis. Be sure to check out the events page on the Park City Museum’s website for a full list of annual events and for information on how to sign-up.

Programs & Education

There are a wide variety of entertaining and engaging educational programs for visitors of all ages. From school programs, museum tours, scout and youth group events, history presentations, to a wide variety of resources for teachers, there is something for everyone.

Additional Information:

Park City Museum, 528 Main Street, P.O. Box 555, Park City, Utah 84060, Phone: 435-649-7457

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Attraction Spotlight: Gifford Homestead

Located in Teasdale, Utah, the Gifford Homestead is a proud part of the Capitol Reed National Park. The homestead consists of 200 acres and is preserved to depict a typical rural Mormon farm from the early 1900s. Visitors can expect to enjoy a tour of the settlement which includes the original home, barn, pasture, garden, rock walls, and even a smokehouse, all set amongst a mountainous desert landscape.


The Gifford Homestead is an original Mormon settlement from the early 1900’s which was built in a valley in the Utah desert. Farmers and frontiersmen settled on this rural land to grow their families and live a peaceful life. Although they were not the first people to live on this land, they took the liberty of naming the land Fruita.

The Gifford Homestead was built here in 1908 by Calvin Pendleton, a polygamist whose family occupied the land for about 8 years. He constructed most of the surrounding buildings and the surrounding rock wall when he and his family resided there.

Between 1916 and 1928, the Jorgenson family took up residence in the home until they sold it to their son-in-law, Dewey Gifford. For 41 years, the Gifford family took up residence in the homestead and made many improvements to the house including a new kitchen, bathroom, carport, and utility room.

During their long-term residence, the Gifford family raised a wide variety of farm animals and even ran cattle. They had a typical farm life, eating whatever they could grow or raise, working the fields, and living a simple life. The family resided their happily until 1969 when they sold their land to the National Park Service.

Visitors to the Gifford Homestead can truly experience the life and spirit of the pioneers who lived on and cultivated this rural land, now known as Fruita, during the 1900s. There are also many exciting trails to hike, Native American settlements to enjoy, and a variety of landmarks and monuments very close-by.


Visitors will be able to tour the Gifford Homestead and all of the attractions that come along with it including the smokehouse, barn, pasture, garden, and the rock walls. The homestead itself is an exciting historical experience for the whole family, but the surrounding landscape is the real sight to see. The picturesque orange cliffs, glorious mountainous ranges, and rolling green hills are truly breath-taking.

The kitchen is now used as a sales outlet where local craftsman and artisans can sell their homemade items. These items include crafts, quilts, rugs, aprons, flour sifters, butter churns, candles, books, jams, jellies, postcards, other various kitchen utensils, homemade ice cream, and of course, the pie is not to be missed.

When planning a visit to the Gifford Homestead, visitors can drive down the famous American stretch of road name Highway 12. This road is an American tradition and is littered with national parks, unforgettable landscapes, and historical monuments.

This area is also littered with petroglyphs from those indigenous people who lived in Capitol Reef between the year 600 – 1300 A.D. These petroglyphs line rock walls and cave walls all over the national park and are sure to enlighten guests about what life was like for those indigenous people.


March 14 (Pi Day): This annual celebration has come to be know as one of Utah’s tastiest traditions. Each year, the Capitol Reef National Park opens its doors to provide hungry and weary travelers with freshly baked pies. This area has been a favored place for Native Americans and pioneers alike to settle due to its rich soil and colorful landscapes. The fruit for the pies comes from the rolling hills and the Scenic byway that run along the picturesque Fremont River.

Education & Programs

There are currently no officially organized educational programs hosted at the Capitol Reef National Park. However, there are a variety of hiking trails, entertaining events, and various tours of monuments and landmarks.

For more information, be sure to contact the Utah Office of Tourism or sign up for their newsletter to get updates on any programs or events.

Additional Information:

Gifford Homestead, Capitol Reef National Park, Scenic Dr, Teasdale, UT 84773, Phone: 435-425-3791

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