Utah - Zion National Park

State: Utah

Zion National Park is located in southwestern Utah near Springdale.  The geology of the park includes winding canyons, sandstone peaks and high desert plateaus.


Zion is rich with biological diversity due to wide ranging altitudes and an abundance of water in this desert environment.  The Virgin River and its many forks have carved canyons of red rock that provide a unique habitat for over 900 plant species not found anywhere else in Utah.


Zion National Park is a fragile ecosystem, including plant species such as snowberry that are sensitive to ozone pollution.  Visitor experience in Zion is threatened by the hazy air from the cumulative effect of 3 nearby coal power plants within polluting range.


In 2009, President Barack Obama designated further protection of over 100,000 acres of the park as wilderness  within the park through the Omnibus Public Management Act of 2009.  This designation adds even more protection to the backcountry of Zion National Park.