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.
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.
Elevation of Zion National Park
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).
Elevation of Zion National Park Compared to Utah
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).