Taking its name from the nickname “a place of refuge or sanctuary” that early Mormon settlers gave to the area, Zion National Park is home to some of the most magnificent natural wonders in the southwestern United States. In honor of its astounding beauty, here are six of the park’s most noteworthy spots that you should see when you embark on a tour of Zion National Park.
1. Zion Canyon
Carved out by the Virgin River over the course of 250 million years, Zion Canyon is arguably the park’s most notable feature. This fifteen-mile-long fissure reaches impressive depths of up to half a mile and is home to some of the most stunning views in the park.
See it up close: Hop aboard the park’s free shuttle bus service to travel along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive.
2. Angels Landing
Towering to a height of 1,488 feet, this majestic red rock formation is best known for the spectacular views of Zion Canyon that can be seen from its summit.
See it up close: While a journey to the summit is best left to experienced hikers, less adventurous travelers can still see views of this prominent peak from the main shuttle road near The Grotto stop.
3. Virgin River Narrows
Also called simply “The Narrows,” this unconventional section of canyon lies upstream and to the north of the main Zion Canyon. With impressive gorges, sheer sandstone walls and bubbling river to be seen here, hiking The Narrows was decreed one of America’s best adventures by National Geographic.
See it up close: From the Temple of Sinawava shuttle stop, follow the well-maintained Riverside Walk trail until you reach the river.
4. Great White Throne
Commonly used as the symbol of Zion National Park, this Navajo sandstone mountain is one of Zion’s most grand and imposing. Its greatest distinguishing feature, the sheer north face, rises 2,350 feet from the floor of Zion Canyon and can be seen from almost any location on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive.
See it up close: Hop off at the Big Bend shuttle stop for prime views with Angels Landing in the foreground.
5. Kolob Arch
Sitting up on an exposed cliff in the northwestern area of the park, Kolob Arch is a feat of nature. With a span of just over 287 feet, Kolob is considered to be the second longest natural arch in the world by the Natural Arch and Bridge Society.
See it up close: Off the beaten track, Kolob Arch can be reached on a long day hike from the Lee Pass Trailhead.
6. Court of the Patriarchs
Situated on the western side of the canyon, this collection of impressive peaks is primarily made up of three sandstone mountains. This grouping takes its title from the three biblical figures—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—for whom each crag is named.
See it up close: The best perspective of these mountains can be seen from a viewpoint just a short hike away from the Court of the Patriarchs shuttle stop.