Zion National Park is located in Southwestern Utah, close to the Nevada and Arizona borders. The main feature of this park is the Zion Canyon, a canyon 15 miles long and up to half mile deep, surrounding by large sandstone mountains. At the end of the Zion Canyon, there is the Zion Narrows, a gorge that at one point is as narrow as 20 feet wide but 2,000 feet tall. The east entrance to the park goes through the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, which is a winding road that cuts through rocky surroundings and then descends into the canyon.
The first time I visited Zion was during a weekend road trip with my brother when we went from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon National Park, and continued north to southern Utah to visit Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Parks. The drive through the Zion – Mount Carmel Highway was interesting enough, not knowing what to expect to see when started descending into the Zion Canyon. That’s when we were awestruck seeing the tall mountains around us (and realizing how small we were in comparison). We parked our car at the Visitor Center and took the shuttle bus to the Zion Canyon (that’s the only motorized vehicle allowed into the canyon). At one point of the ride, our driver slowed down and pointed us to a vertical cliff of one of the mountains. There were two specs in the middle — a couple of mountain climbers on their way up. They had been climbing since the day before, and it would take them at least another day to reach the top.
The photo below was taken during my second visit to Zion on another road trip with two of my cousins. We stopped after driving down the canyon on the Zion – Mount Carmel Highway to pause and enjoy the scenery around us. On this photo you could see my cousin in the bottom middle part of the photo looking at the mountains around him. He’s about 5’6″ in height, but in this photo he looked quite small in comparison to the surrounding mountains.