After seeing the wonders of the Grand Canyon, we spent time visiting some of the national parks in Utah. The first one was Zion National Park. I like the guidebooks’ descriptions: “Zion National Park packs the wonders of the eroded Southwest into a compact area. Color runs rampant: pale beige, yellows, pinks, oranges, reds, and chocolate are in its sandstone scenery ... energetic streams and other forces of erosion created finely sculptured rocks. Little trickles of water percolating through massive chinks of sandstone left markedly un-desert-like habitats, enabling an incredible variety of plants to find niches” (Moon, USA National Parks - The Complete Guide to all 59 Parks,
Becky Lomax, 2018, p. 304).
“Get ready for awesome. Zion NP abounds in amazing experience: gazing up at the red-and-white cliffs of Zion Canyon, soaring high over the Virgin River, peering beyond Angels Landing after a 140 ft ascent ... But it also holds more delicate beauties: weeping rocks, tiny grottoes, hanging gardens and meadows of mesa-top wildflowers (Lonely Planet, USA, 2018, p. 890).
It was surreal to see trees and flowers growing out of rocks. Also the different patterns on the rock: sometimes layer of rock on top of another
layer of rock, like a sheet cake, piled high; in other places, the formation of rocks look like a checkerboard pattern. The geology of the whole area is fascinating.
“Zion National Park is located along the edge of a region known as the Colorado Plateau. The rock layers have been uplifted, tilted, and eroded, forming a feature called the Grand Staircase, a series of colorful cliffs stretching between Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon. The bottom layer of rock at Bryce Canyon is the top layer at Zion, and the bottom layer at Zion is the top layer at the Grand Canyon.” https://www.nps.gov/zion/learn/nature/geology.htm
This may be too much information, but having spent a few weeks in these national parks, I found the geology of the whole area fascinating, especially the way it’s all connected.
“In Bryce Canyon National Park, a geologic fairyland of rock spires rises beneath the high cliffs of a plateau. This intricate maze, eroded from a soft limestone, glows with warm shades of reds, oranges, pinks, yellows, and creams. The rocks provide a continuous show of changing color throughout the day as the sun’s rays and cloud shadows move across the landscape. Looking at these
rock formations is like looking at puffy clouds in the sky; it’s easy to find images in the shapes of the rocks. Some see the natural rock sculptures as Gothic castles; others as Egyptian temples, subterranean worlds inhabited by dragons, or vast armies of a lost empire” (Moon, p. 321).
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