Canyons of Zion National Park

The high cliffs of Zion were formed about four million years ago through a process where layers of rock were broken, pushed up and on their side

The high cliffs of Zion were formed about four million years ago through a process where layers of rock were broken, pushed up and on their side, eroded, cracked and weather beaten. The colorful rock within the Colorado Plateau formed the Grand Staircase between Bryce and the Grand Canyon. The rock that is at the bottom of Bryce forms the top of Zion and the bottom rock of Zion is the top layer of the Grand Canyon.

Throughout this process, a river was formed that cut through layer after layer of rock. The canyon you see before you is the result of these natural forces. Geologists can read the eons of information exposed on the hillsides like a librarian reads a book. The Virgin River whisked away several thousand feet of rock that it is still excavating. The river still runs through the heart of the canyon, offering exciting landmarks like the Emerald Pools and the Narrows and wonderful places to get out and get dirty.

Orderville Canyon is The Narrows' little brother and its northern tributary. More playful but less adventurous, the canyon offers canyoneering for the regular guy. You still get to swim through deep pools, scramble over obstacles and figure out a way around obstructions. Short rope descents offer easy rappelling and long periods of dry canyon floor mean that there are long sections of easy hiking.


Bryce Canyon Hoodoos

Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks

These weirdly shaped rock spires that look somewhat like totem poles, are carved by water in arid environments. They can be found in Bryce Canyon and Zion in Utah

The Virgin River canyon called The Narrows in Zion National Park

Some Canyoneering Favorites in Zion National Park

Try the sport that includes hiking and technical rock climbing inside Zion National Park including the Narrows, the Subway, and North Creek.

Observation Point in Zion National Park on a cloudy day

Top 3 Vistas in Zion National Park

Get the best views in this red-rock paradise in southwestern Utah. If you want to feel on top of the world, here are three fantastic Zion hikes that offer incredible vistas.

Emerald Pools Waterfall

Waterfalls in Zion National Park

Somehow, one doesn't expect desert terrain to be home of some of the world's most spectacular water features. But, Zion is full of waterfalls from snow melt.


Favorite Zion National Park Hikes

Everyone should take the scenic short hike to Weeping Rock Trail. The half-mile climb is doable for almost everyone, yet offers many of the key attractions that make Zion, Zion.

Zion Canyon

Must-See Natural Wonders in Zion National Park

If you have the time and good shoes, take a ride on The Narrows, an unforgettable wade in cold waters of the Virgin River.

Utah Honey Bee and Thistle by James Phelps

Wildflowers in Zion National Park

With housing the most wildflower species in Utah, beauty is all around in Zion. There are well over 1,000 plant species and counting, said Walt Fertig.


Zion, the Birthplace of Canyoneering

Zion and the nearby area offer a wealth of climbing opportunities, both guided and unguided. The Narrows may be the birthplace of canyoneering.

Boat Mountain and hoodoos from Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon

7 Top Views in Bryce Canyon National Park

Hoodoos, arches, and fins galore. See Bryce Canyon National Park’s best views and rock formations from these favorite scenic overlooks.