It's the water in Zion that brings the desert to life.
Zion is a high altitude desert of stunning natural beauty, where clean, clear skies lend the perfect palate for multi-hued sunsets. The horizon in many areas is vast, forbidding and thirsty where jagged rock pillars offer the only pockets of shade. It is a scene of technicolor sandstone, situated in the harshest of environments giving life to scorpions, cactus and other creatures that are rugged enough to adapt to the heat and yet also survive the cold winters. Within the park boundaries is an oasis where water abundant making Zion National Park one of the most incredible places on earth. In addition to the water in the park, immense vertical canyon walls offer refuge from the blaring sun even on the hottest of summer days. Within many of the parks canyons there are seeps providing water to hanging gardens of maiden-hair fern, monkey flower and brilliant bouquets of columbine. Water has also shaped and molded Zion and the slot canyons flowing into the park from its boundaries. It brings life to the plants and animals here, yet it usually comes in torrents or not at all - either starve or drown.
Searching for Water in Zion
If you plan to stay in your car with the air conditioner running you will have no need for the information on this page, but if you want to experience Zion to its fullest, which can only be done on foot, then this page will be invaluable to you. Zion offers a variety of trails lead to stunning displays of water cascading from sandstone-steps and towering cliffs. Easy, classic paths taking hikers to water are exceptionally popular such as Weeping Rock, Lower Emerald Pools and the Riverside Walk. For the more adventurous, the Zion Narrows is an adventure that few will ever top. Start in East Zion and hike 16-miles through the river or start in Zion Canyon and just hike up stream as far as you want to go. The Virgin River supplies the majority of water found in the park. It looks calm most of the time; however it drops nine times faster than the Colorado River. When it flashes it becomes a torrent of force that alters its watercourse and poses a threat to human lives. Be sure to check the weather report and heed the cautions of rangers.
The Zion Narrows is perhaps the most spectacular slot canyon in the park and it is easily traveled by most average hikers.
For those who have some rope skills,
Stay in the heart of the parks, Mount Carmel Junction, and visit the treasures of the Southwest and Utah.