Scenic USA - Utah

Watchman Wonder

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Watchman Wonder - Zion National Park, Utah

Photos by Marty Straub
Marty's Parks Photos

     Where 80 percent of the state's land is set aside for public use, Zion National Park was Utah's first national park. Its massive canyon walls and breathtaking vistas surround the Virgin River and the 229 square mile Zion Canyon. Discovered in 1858 and settled in 1860 by Mormon pioneers, the canyon was named Zion in 1919. A Hebrew word for sanctuary, to many people this majestic canyon's name is quite appropriate. A showcase of geology, a land of deep, imposing sandstone canyons, natural springs, Virgin River - Zion National Park, Utah striking grottos and hanging gardens, creates a remarkable wonderland in the southwestern desert.
     While the upper reaches of Zion Canyon attract the adventurous with an unforgettable hike into The Narrows, the lower canyon still thrills the casual spectator. While dramatic views of the Great White Throne, the Grotto, and the Court of Patriarchs earn plenty of oohs and ahs, the Watchman is the icon of Zion. And the Watchman Trail, built by the CCC in 1934, is a Zion classic. No visit to Zion is complete until you leave with a photograph of this massive spire. The most popular location for a photo of the Watchman Wonder is from the canyon's Junction Bridge. This scene, using the Virgin River to highlight the view, is another ideal location on the Pa'rus Trail. Several bridges cross the Virgin River, presenting plenty of opportunities for your own special composition.

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