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Name Those Formations: How Many High Points Can You ID in This Zion Skyline?

Zion National Park recently sported the photo below on its Facebook page. After visiting the park last summer it got me wondering:

Where was it shot? Do all those high points have a name?

Sarah Stio, a Visual Information Assistant at Zion, tells me she clicked the pic in Springdale Town Park, about 3 miles west of Zion's south entrance:

ZionSarah kindly provided an additional photo that identifies many of the prominent points on display. See how many you can pick out before scrolling to the bottom of this post to see the Big Reveal. Hint: The Watchman is not shown in this image, and several of the high points are not widely known. Give it your best shot.

Anyone heading to Zion (and its neighbor just 2 hours away, Bryce Canyon National Park) might enjoy taking a look at these slide shows from my 2011 visits:

Some tips for exploring Zion:

Atop Angel's Landing• In summer, start early or late for a hike up to Angel's Landing (round trip: 5.4 miles; strenuous). Midday is pretty hot, and the light is not as interesting.

• Start early if you want to try and out-and-back trip into the Narrows. Expect crowds for the first hour or so. Even on hot days it can get surprisingly chilly in the deep Wall Street section, which can take hours to reach. This is a slow-go excursion. Be sure to first check with rangers at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center for a report on water and weather conditions before attempting this demanding hike in the Virgin River.

• Want a workout? Take aim at hiking to Observation Point (6,508 feet; 8.0 miles round trip and strenuous). It towers over Angel's Landing (5,790 feet), involves more distance (8 miles vs. 5.4) and includes 2,148 feet of climbing (compared to 1,488 feet for Angel's Landing). Review hiking options in the park's hiking guide (PDF), in the Trails Illustrated/National Geographic map or this guide to hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon by Erik Molvar and Tamara Martin.  

KC• Traveling I-15 between Vegas and Salt Lake City? Can't make the 30-mile detour on Utah state route 9? Aim instead for Exit 40 and the Kolob Canyons section of the park. The 5-mile sidetrip takes you into a nice area of tall sandstone formations (see left). If time allows, take one of the area's short hikes.

• Enjoy Zion's handy shuttle buses. They operate on 2 separate systems, one for the park and one for the gateway community of Springdale (which I, Mr. Tightwad, found to be a pricey place, though the restaurants are nice). To connect the two, make a 4-minute walk between shuttle stops at Zion's main visitor center and the edge of Springdale. The buses run frequently and make getting around a breeze.

• Need free WiFi? Visit the really nice town library. Ask an in-town shuttle driver where to find it.

Visiting Zion in the summer might seem a little toasty, but I enjoyed it. Check out Zion's FB page to get some additional inspiration about making a visit of your own.

zion-formations-1035

Posted on at 3:33 PM

Tagged: Bryce Canyon, facebook, national parks and zion

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