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Published: September 27th 2006
This past August, had to attend a Nuclear Medicine Conference in Las Vegas for Continuing Education Credits. For most people, this would mean a great opportunity for late nights, parties and gambling. But for me? It meant driving the 2.5 hours north to Zion National Park to spend my free time!
The first night I stayed at the Mt. Charleston lodge, which is one hour to the northwest of Las Vegas in the Spring Mountains. Few people realize that an 11,000 foot peak is just minutes away from this scorching desert, filled with forests and rock worthy of any mountain lovers dream!
Zion is arguably the most beautiful Park in the National Park system Visually none can compare, the sight of the red rocks, Green Pine and Juniper trees, white rocks, raging river and black rocks leave an impression that lasts a lifetime. Like a mirage, the Canyon appears carved by God- or at least some sort of divine influence.
The scale of the canyon is like Yosemite- but instead of being carved by the brute force of glacial ice it is created by the action of rain. Steady thunderstorms for the last few millions years have carved
away the layers of rock from the bottom up, undercutting rock through seams deep within. The water seeps through these seems, and leaves at the bottom where it creates gardens of ferns, trees and grass. The rangers say it takes over 3 years for the water to make this journey, and as it does it slowly erodes the seams, which causes more rock to fall.
The narrows are the uppermost reaches of this carving, in some places the canyon isn't wider than 10 feet but it is hundreds of feet tall. Forests of fragrant evergreens coat the upper rim of the canyon, while deciduous leafy plants litter the valley floor, along with grasses, cactus and ferns.
Yes, this is truly a special place. Few people enter the sacred canyon and are not fully engaged in the experience!
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