Zion National Park is a myriad of deep sandstone canyons, which extend over 30 miles from end to end and covers 229 square miles. The canyons of Zion National Park were named by early Mormon settlers (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and many of the formations in the park have names from the bible. The park was established in 1909 as Mukuntuweap National Monument and expanded in 1919 to Zion National Park. The park is composed mostly of sandstone stained by the oxidizing of iron in the rock. Zion National Park with its many canyons contains 75 species of mammals, 271 birds, 32 reptiles and amphibians and 8 fish in the streams and rivers, which have carved these canyons.
Protected within Zion National Park is a spectacular cliff-and-canyon landscape and wilderness full of the unexpected including Kolob Arch - the world's largest arch - with a span that measures 310 feet. Zion National Park is full of beautiful colors, scenery and wildlife. Wildlife such as mule deer, golden eagles, and mountain lions, also inhabit the Park. The sandstone which makes up most of the rock in Zion National Park was formed by the compacting of sand about 150 million years ago. This occurred when cementing properties of compounds such as calcium carbonate compacted the sand, which covered the huge desert of the west.
Dunes were at that timed formed into the present day Navajo Sandstone. The next stage of creation occurred starting close to 4 million years ago when streams running of the Colorado Plateau caused the Virgin River to flood. As the river flowed through current area of Zion National Park, it eroded the rock away taking boulders, sand, and pebbles with it. Over time it formed, or rather carved the canyons of Zion National Park that we see today.
Zion National Park Entrance Fee Rates:
$12.00 Single Person Entry into Zion National Park by foot, bicycle, or motorcycle for 7 days.
$25.00 Single Vehicle Entry Valid at Zion National Park for 7 days.
$50.00 Zion Annual Park Pass Valid at Zion National Park for 1 year from month of purchase.
$10.00 Interagency Senior Pass, available to U.S. residents 62 years old and over, valid at all Federal fee areas. Lifetime pass.
$80.00 Interagency Annual Pass. This pass is valid at Federal recreation sites that charge an Entrance or Standard Amenity fee. Valid for 1 year from date of purchase.
FREE Interagency Access Pass . This is a lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities. Documentation is required to obtain the pass. Please visit the National Park Service for more information on acceptable documentation.
Commercial Tour Vehicle Fees
Commercial tour fees are charged. Operators should contact the park at (435) 772-3256 for specific information on rates. Commercial tour operator's fee is based on bus capacity and ranges from $35 to $190
There are size restrictions on vehicles traveling through the 1.1-mile (1.7 km) tunnel on the Zion National Park - Mt. Carmel Highway (SR9). The tunnel height at its east entrance is 11 feet 4 inches (3.5 m). A $15 fee may be required for escort service for large vehicles through the narrow tunnel. Parking of large vehicles is regulated in various locations throughout the Park during the summer.
Where To Park
Avoid parking hassles. Parking is limited inside Zion. One may park in the town of Springdale and ride the town shuttle to the park. Look for the ''Shuttle Parking'' signs throughout town. If you are staying at a lodge or motel, simply leave your car there and ride the town shuttle to the park. The parking lot at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center commonly fills by mid morning. Tune your radio to 1610 AM for additional information.
Take Your Time
Buses run frequently throughout the day, as often as every six minutes. You do not need to rush to catch one. Take your time to plan your visit. Use the exhibits outdoors and the information inside to make the most of your time. Ranger presentations near the main shuttle stop are a great way to learn more about the park before you ride the shuttle. The bookstore has maps and publications that can augment your visit.