Explore southern Utah's famous National Parks. Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Capitol Reef National Park offer some of the most gorgeous hikes, red rock formations, and geological wonders in the world.
|Zion National Park is located in the Southwestern United States, near Springdale, Utah. A prominent feature of the 229-square-mile park is Zion Canyon, which is 15 miles long and up to half a mile deep.
The park is known for its incredible canyons and spectacular views. Famous hikes including The Narrows, Subway, and Angels Landing attract adventure enthusiasts from around the world. Hiking possibilities are endless. With nearly three million visitors per year, Zion is Utah`s most heavily used park.
|Bryce Canyon National Park is once of Utah`s best National Parks. Gorgeous red hoodoo-shaped rocks provide an incredible must-see red rock wonderland. Located in southwestern Utah in the United States. The major feature of the park is Bryce Canyon, which despite its name, is not a canyon, but a collection of giant natural amphitheaters along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau.
Bryce is distinctive due to geological structures called hoodoos, formed by frost weathering and stream erosion of the river and lake bed sedimentary rocks. The red, orange, and white colors of the rocks provide spectacular views for park visitors. Bryce sits at a much higher elevation than nearby Zion National Park. The rim at Bryce varies from 8,000 to 9,000 feet.
||PO Box 640201 Bryce Canyon, UT 84764
|Capitol Reef National Park is Utah`s hidden treasure desert oasis. A wonderland of gorgeous colorful sandstone cliffs, towering arches, impressive domes, and soaring monoliths. It is located in Torrey, UT in south-central Utah in the heart of red rock country.
It’s a place that includes the finest elements of Bryce and Zion Canyons, but in a less crowded park that can be more relaxing to visit than either of those more-famous attractions.
Once called “Wayne Wonderland,” the park got its name in part from the great white rock formations which resemble the U.S. Capitol building, and from the sheer cliffs that presented a barrier to early travelers. Early inhabitants referred to the area as the “land of the sleeping rainbow” because of its beautiful contrasts: multi-colored sandstone surrounded by verdant riverbanks and arid desert vegetation, all nestled beneath deep blue skies. The area was designated as a national monument in 1937 and reclassified as a national park in 1971. The park is open year-round.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO:
The most distinguishing geologic feature within the park is the 100-mile long Waterpocket Fold, a protuberance in the earth’s crust that has eroded into a maze of winding canyons, towering monoliths, and massive domes.
Capitol Dome: a majestic white sandstone formation that resembles the U.S. Capitol building. The park was partly named for this landmark.
Chimney Rock: a towering 400-foot-tall sandstone pillar, located three miles west of the visitor center off Highway 24 and accessible via a short hiking trail.
Hickman Bridge: a huge natural arch spanning 133 feet wide and 125 feet tall. The arch is named after Joseph Hickman, an early advocate for Capitol Reef’s preservation.
The Fremont Petroglyphs: were etched in sandstone by the Fremont people who inhabited the area nearly 1,000 years ago and can be seen from the Hickman Bridge Trail.
Early Mormon pioneers also left their mark in Capitol Reef, carving their names in sandstone at Pioneer Register to acknowledge their travels.
In 1882 Elijah Behunin built Behunin Cabin out of red sandstone to blend in with the surrounding landscape. The cabin remains can be seen just off of Highway 24 on the east side of the park.
The historic Gifford Farmhouse: built in 1908, can be reached via a short path about a mile south of the visitor center.
The small town of Fruita: inside the park has more than 2,500 fruit trees, some of which were originally planted by Mormon pioneers. Today the town is federally owned, and visitors can stroll through the orchards and eat fruit fresh off the trees.
Cathedral Valley: a remote area in the northern end of the park where enormous monoliths soar hundreds of feet high.
THREE EXCELLENT HIKES
The Hickman Bridge Trail: leads to Hickman Bridge, a massive natural arch. The trail is two miles roundtrip, with a 300-foot incline. The trailhead is two miles east of the visitor center on Highway 24.
Chimney Rock Loop Trail: a 3.5-mile loop with a fairly steep elevation gain at the beginning. The loop offers panoramic views of Chimney Rock and the Waterpocket Fold. The trailhead is located three miles east of the visitor center.
The Cassidy Arch Trail: a 3.5-mile roundtrip trail that climbs 1000 feet to an overlook above Cassidy Arch. It’s named for the outlaw Butch Cassidy, who used the area as a hideout.