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Zion Lodge, Zion National Park, Utah | by Ken Lund
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Zion Lodge, Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park is located in the Southwestern United States, near Springdale, Utah. A prominent feature of the 229-square-mile (590 km2) park is Zion Canyon, which is 15 miles (24 km) long and up to half a mile (800 m) deep, cut through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River.


Streams in the area take rectangular paths because they follow jointing planes in the rocks. The stream gradient of the Virgin River, whose North Fork flows through Zion Canyon in the park, ranges from 50 to 80 feet (15 to 24 m) per mile (0.9–1.5%)—one of the steepest stream gradients in North America.


The road into Zion Canyon is 6 miles (9.7 km) long, ending at the Temple of Sinawava ("Sinawava" refers to the Coyote God of the Paiute Indians). The Zion Canyon road is served by a free shuttle bus from early April to late October and by private vehicles the other months of the year. Other roads in Zion are open to private vehicles year-round.

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Taken on November 1, 2008