Cedar City to Zion National Park to Grand Canyon National Park
Excitement is building as we head towards one of the seven great natural wonders of the world, but first a visit to Zion National Park.
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. Zion National Park includes mountains, canyons, buttes, mesas, monoliths, rivers, slot canyons, and natural arches.
In 1909, U.S. President William Howard Taft named the area a National Monument to protect the canyon, under the name of Mukuntuweap National Monument. In 1918 the acting director of the newly created National Park Service changed the park's name to Zion.
We left the Emerald Pools area and drove out of Zion National Park through some quite different country. We travelled through two tunels and the road built in 1930 to open up the park. On our way to the Grand Canyon, we passed through Kanab, a town with a very long list of credits for movies starting in the 1930's.
Grand Canyon National Park is the United States' 15th oldest national park. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, the park is located in Arizona. The park's central feature is the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River, which is often considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The park covers 1,217,262 acres (1,902 sq mi; 4,926 km2) of unincorporated area in Coconino and Mohave counties.
Theodore Roosevelt created the Grand Canyon Game Preserve by proclamation in 1906 and Grand Canyon National Monument in 1908. Further Senate bills to establish the site as a national park were introduced and defeated in 1910 and 1911, before the Grand Canyon National Park Act was finally signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. The National Park Service, established in 1916, assumed administration of the park.
The Grand Canyon, and its extensive system of tributary canyons, is valued for its combination of size, depth, and exposed layers of colorful rocks dating back to Precambrian times. The canyon itself was created by the incision of the Colorado River and its tributaries after the Colorado Plateau was uplifted, causing the Colorado River system to develop along its present path.