Zion National Park - Utah
Maps and Climate
Located in southwestern Utah, Zion National Park occupies a high portion of the Colorado Plateau between the Pine Valley Mountains to the west and the Kolob Terrace to the northeast; Hurricane Terrace lies to the south. The Park itself is about 25 miles long north-to-south; 15 miles wide east-to-west.
Both the East Fork and North Fork of the Virgin River run through Zion National Park, converging just south of the park. Zion Canyon, the most prominent geological feature, is a deep chasm with nearly vertical walls that were cut through Mesozoic sedimentary rocks by the North Fork as it meandered toward the desert floor 3,000 feet below. The canyon is so deep and narrow that sunlight rarely penetrates to the bottom.
- 146,59 acres (229 square miles)
- Federal: 143,040
- Nonfederal: 3,557.24
The highest point in Zion National Park is the summit of Horse Ranch Mountain (8726 feet), which is located north of Kolob Finger Canyons. The lowest point is near South Campground (about 3900 feet above sea level). Thus, difference in elevation between the highest and lowest points (relief) in Zion is slightly over 4800 feet.
Here, climatic zones, determined by elevation, affect weathering and erosion as well as the distribution of plant and animal life. In the high desert (Upper Sonoran) zone of the canyons (3500 to 5000 feet), summers are hot and dry, and winters are mild. On the canyon rims (5500 to 7500 feet) in the Transition zone, snow may last all winter, and summer temperatures are more moderate. On the higher parts of the plateau (around 8000 feet), in the Montane (Canadian) zone, fir and aspen flourish due to increased moisture and colder winters.
Zone boundaries are not sharply defined. Wet seasons are usually in early spring and late summer. Most of the scouring of the canyons is performed by spring floods or by flash floods during intense summer storms.Temperatures from May to October range from 70 to 105 degrees F. days; 45 to 75 at night. Winters can be mild with daytime temperatures often reaching 40 degrees F. Spring and Fall are good times to visit the park when temperatures range from 45 degrees F. at night to 80 degrees F. during the day.
Map of the Park
- Kolobs Canyon Entrance is 18 miles south of Cedar City, Utah, on I-15 (exit 40).
- The East Entrance is on Utah Route 9, 20 miles east of Mt. Carmel Junction at U.S. Route 89.
- The South Entrance is on Utah Route 9 about 60 miles south from Cedar City via I-15 and Utah Route 17.
Zion National Park
Springdale, UT 84767-1099
Vistor information 435-772-3256
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