An Earth Day spotlight on Zion National Park

The lessons I learned from my trip to Zion National Park began before I got even got there. As our car cruised along the I-15, past the borders of California, Nevada, Arizona and finally Utah, the prominence of ancient and hollow earth grew rapidly. The road toyed with us, leading us through canyons that would embrace us one minute and show us their spectacular layers and release us, just as quickly, to show us vast and dry terrain. The majesty of the earth was definite that day, as the same sun that shined during the formation of this landscape shined happily on our faces through the car’s windshield.


One of the first things you may notice when driving into Zion is the Virgin River. Its flow is deceptively slow and steady. This is the river that has carved and exposed the famous layers on the faces of Zion’s massive canyons. The one thing I couldn’t get out of my head while I looked out at the river was its sheer strength and the immense capacity of water to break away at something as tough and solid as rock. The Virgin River’s persistence over the course of hundreds of millions of years is a large driving force of the landscape’s shape and ecology. To say that I was awestruck would be an understatement.

Chelsea Song / Staff

The most memorable hike I went on during my time at Zion was Angel’s Landing. Never have the clouds and the sky seemed so close. When I reached the very top of Angel’s Landing, I was greeted by Uinta chipmunks that scurried around me, looking for dropped trail mix or leftover apple…

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