Scenic USA - Utah

Virgin River

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Virgin River, Zion National Park - Springdale, Utah

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Penstemon inset courtesy NPS

     The wonders of Zion National Park range from its majestic canyon walls, to the tiny flowering blooms of the Utah penstemon in a unique desert environment. Virgin River, Zion National Park - Springdale, Utah Penstemon - Utah Among the top ten parks in the entire National Parks system, Zion rewards its visitors with something special each time they visit.
     Park-goers quickly discover the Virgin River runs through the heart of Zion Canyon and is responsible for the two to three thousand foot canyon walls and its wondrous scenery. The East Fork of the Virgin River, a rather small stream, occasionally runs wild, making large scale changes to this section of southwestern Utah topography. Popularized by Thomas Moran's paintings in the 1800s, today's visitors are still mesmerized by Zion Narrows, Zion National Park - Springdale, Utah the canyon's beauty and grandeur, all created by the Virgin River.
     Zion Canyon's shuttle bus, making runs every 15 minutes, carries canyon visitors to all the popular stops in the canyon. As the park road parallels the Virgin River, Zion's guests become well acquainted with the river. One of the most popular stops is at the end of the canyon. Here, a premiere hike takes visitors up the Virgin River through the canyon area known as The Narrows. Visitors are surrounded by massive Navajo sandstone walls as they wade through the cool waters of the Virgin River. While hikers may enjoy the sanctuary of Zion and the majesty of these awe-inspiring and humbling cliffs, others may focus on the canyon's small world of maidenhair ferns, canyon tree frogs and clear pools of tiny fish.

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