5 Things You Didn’t Know About Zion National Park

Just like any national park, Zion has it’s most noteworthy attractions. Angel’s Landing, for example, tends to dominate Zion discussion overall, not to mention gift shop apparel and Instagram photos. It very well may deserve the level of fame and attention it gets, but that’s not to say that there aren’t other lesser-known features of Zion National Park that are not as widely known or unknown all together to many people. The 229 square miles of Zion is overflowing with fascinating information as well as fascinating sights, many of which are quite surprising and sometimes get lost in the conversation. Here are 6 things you may not have known about Zion National Park.

Zion Canyon is changing continuously

The reason we have Zion Canyon to enjoy is in large part due to the Virgin River. Carving out the canyon over who knows how many years, the perpetual flow of the Virgin is always widening and deepening it, moving literally over a million tons of sediment on a yearly basis. And Zion is such a large place that a million tons of redistributed sediment may not make it look any different to the untrained eye. But it certainly is different. Most of this happens during flash floods which happen on almost a yearly basis.

The original name of the Park was Mukuntuweap National Monument

Mukuntu-what? You’re not at fault for being unaware that Zion National Park was not its name upon its initial christening. After all, it was in 1909 that the area was first recognized and designated as a national park. William Taft was the President of the United States at that time and invoked the Antiquities Act of 1906 when he gave it its first title. Mukuntuweap means “straight arrow” in Paiute. The name was altered 10 years later to the name it still carries today. Whatever qualms some people had back in the day when the name changed, it certainly can’t be argued that Zion is much easier to pronounce.

Climbers flock to Zion

If you’re an avid rock or mountain climber, chances are you know a bit about Zion National Park. Zion is covered with towering sandstone cliffs, most of which are 2,000 feet or more in height and are enormously popular to those in the climbing community. March to September are the months that you are most likely to spot climbers on the cliff faces, looking tiny from your vantage point on the road, most likely.

Kolob Arch, one of the world’s largest freestanding arches, is in Zion.

Have you ever heard of Kolob Arch? It is the second largest freestanding arch in the entire world, and it calls Zion National Park home. (The arch that holds the #1 spot in the size category is Landscape Arch in Arches National Park, in case you wondering). If this is new information to you, it’s likely because for whatever reason Zion is simply not known to the public for arches even though it certainly has some, Kolob Arch being the most prominent. Another reason is that Kolob Arch is not found in the main canyon where the majority of tourists spend their time. It’s located in the Kolob Canyons District of the Park.


Zion National Park is packed full of incredible historical facts and breathtaking natural wonders. It has something to offer everyone of every age, no matter what your adventure threshold may be. And these lesser-known facts are just a handful of the many interesting tidbits of information the make up the amazing Zion National Park.

Zion National Park


5 Things You Didn’t Know About Zion National Park

Zion National Park