Weekend Window: Zion National Park

From the deep canyons to the soaring cliffs, Zion Nation Park, located in the extreme southwest corner of Utah, is a sight to behold.

"The early pioneers in this area referred to this place as Zion because it was a biblical reference -- but they interpreted it to mean a place of refuge or sanctuary," Park Ranger Tom Harden said.

The light in Zion canyon changes all day long, from sunrise to sunset.

"The true first light is on temples and towers; when they get that first burst of light when it's really nice light for a very fleeting moment," said Michael Plyler of the Zion Canyon Field Institute

The red and orange hues of the rock in Zion comes from excess levels of the mineral iron.


"This area used to be like the Sahara desert only larger. And later this sand became sandstone and as it's been eroded by the Virgin River," Plyler said.

The park is filled with special places, all different and hidden.

"Weeping rock is a spot where a spring, over your head, there will be constantly dripping water out and that water -- is hundreds if not thousands of years old," Plyler said.

Ancient waterfalls in one corner, serene gardens in another -- where plants cling to the sandstone walls, creating a hanging garden.

"In Zion, as big as it is, if you trek off a half a mile in any direction you can end up in a small side canyon. And have a real sense of being connected to the land," Plyler said.

Zion National Park is a visual feast, filled with bold, natural colors.

"For me one of the favorite things about this canyon is on a bright summer day, you'll be able to look up and see the green cottonwood trees that line the valley floor, the huge red cliffs and then the incredibly deep blue sky. I've seen that no where else," Harden said.

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