The Spectacular Cliffs of Zion

The Spectacular Cliffs of Zion

Page Type Page Type: Album
Additional Information Image Type(s): Hiking, Informational, Scenery

Sheer Delight

Perhaps nowhere else in America, even in Yosemite, is there such a collection of sheer walls as one finds in Utah's Zion National Park. When visiting Zion, you can't help but be awe inspired. The cliffs range from 500 to over 2,000 feet in height. They are among the tallest sandstone cliffs in the world. The Navajo sandstone layer forms the majority of big walls. The highest concentration of cliffs are located in the main Zion Canyon. A large area of the park is located east of Mount Carmel tunnel. The most well known formation in this area is Checkerboard Mesa. The Kolob Terrace is located farther west. This is where you'll find North and South Guardian Angels. The nothernmost section of Zion is the Kolob Canyons. This area also has numerous mountains with impressive cliffs.

Zion was once known as Mukuntuweap which translates to, straight canyon, because of its vertical walls. It was John Wesley Powell who bestowed the name in honor of the Paiute Indians who lived in the canyon. In 1858, Mormon pioneers settled in the area. It was Isaac Behunin who came up with the name Zion. The Mormons agreed on calling it this since it means a place of peace and refuge or sanctuary. This is why so many peaks, canyons, and formations in Zion have Mormon or biblical names. A smaller number of them have retained their Paiute names such as Kinesava, Sinawava and Parunuweap. In July 1909, President William Howard Taft proclaimed Mukuntuweap National Monument. In November 1919, it became Zion National Park.

The original creator of this album was Bob Sihler who transferred it to me. He enjoys hiking desert peaks and canyons and attached several of his photos to this page. Below is a small selection of peaks and cliffs in Zion listed in no particular order.


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Rob Thompson

Rob Thompson - Apr 16, 2008 2:31 pm - Voted 10/10


I love the walls at Zion that you capture so well - thank you!

Bob Sihler

Bob Sihler - Apr 16, 2008 4:00 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Beautiful

Thanks a lot, Rob!

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