Zion National Park is a temple in the wilderness. Its meaning is a place of safety or refuge
given by mormon pioneers. It is sanctuary. Names in Zion offer a feeling of reverence for
one of the most beautiful places on earth. There are names like Cathedral Mountain, the
Great White Throne, the Towers of the Virgin, and the Pulpit. The Watchman stands guard
looking toward Zion's main canyon. A steep, sometimes harrowing climb, brings one to
the top of Angel's Landing. The reward is stunning views of Zion's main canyon. The Court
of the Patriarchs is as monumental as its name implies.
In fall, wild turkeys strut confidently under a canopy of trees. Benjamin Franklin
supposedly wanted the turkey as America's mascot rather than the bald eagle. Turkeys
may have as many as 5,000 feathers. They can fly at approximately 55 miles per hour.
The Virgin River flows through this canyon of sublime beauty. It is one of the last mostly
free-flowing rivers in the Colorado River system. The Virgin River eventually joins the
Colorado in its journey to Mexico and quest for the ocean. Dusk falls on the narrows of the
Virgin River deep within the Temple of Sinawava. Slot canyons beckon with cracks to an
unknown world to be explored. Streaming clouds over canyon walls race the coming
Winter snows surround the Virgin River which runs silty grey. Reds of checkerboard mesas
meet the white snow as if a welcome blanket. The peaks of kolob canyon in Zion's
northwest corner are deep in winter's grasp. Spring tells a story of re-birth. Green new life
Desert bighorn sheep graze peacefully on red cliffs. A nursery of lambs are watched by
adults. A clatter of hooves on rock announces their presence.
Zion's emotions are painted by sun and clouds. Water weeps off rock faces as if tears from
heaven. Waterfalls plunge from sheer heights in the red wall to the emerald pools below.
Rainbows in the mist paint the canvas. It is a natural paradise. The east fork of the Virgin
River flows through the wilderness of parunuweap canyon in Zion's southeast corner.
Kolob Canyon is a painting of splendor in summer beauty. Forests of pinon (pinyon) and
juniper adorn redwall cliffs. Kolob comes from Mormon theology. It means "a heavenly
place close to God." A strenuous hike with numerous stream crossings, leads to the
Subway. The Subway is so named for it's unique formation. Deep in the Zion back country
is a shangri-la. It is fall with colors of burning orange and flaming red.
Zion tells a story of hidden places; a land of secrets that time unlocks. It is a story of
majesty, of grandeur, and reverence.