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Zion National Park is located near Springdale, Utah. A prominent feature of the 229 square miles park is Zion Canyon, which is 15 miles long and up to half a mile deep, cut through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River. The lowest elevation is 3,666 ft at Coalpits Wash and the highest elevation is 8,726 ft at Horse Ranch Mountain. Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert regions, the park's unique geography and variety of life zones allow for unusual plant and animal diversity. Numerous plant species as well as 289 species of birds, 75 mammals (including 19 species of bat), and 32 reptiles inhabit the park's four life zones: desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest.

Zion National Park includes mountains, canyons, buttes, mesas, monoliths, rivers, slot canyons, and natural arches. The geology of the Zion and Kolob canyons area includes 9 formations that together represent 150 million years of mostly Mesozoic-aged sedimentation. At various periods in that time warm, shallow seas, streams, ponds and lakes, vast deserts, and dry near-shore environments covered the area. Uplift associated with the creation of the Colorado Plateaus lifted the region 10,000 feet starting 13 million years ago.

 

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Three Sisters

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Wild Turkeys roaming the lawn at the Zion Lodge

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Wild Turkey

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Zion Lodge

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Chipmunk eating berries

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Angel Landing Trail switchbacks

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View from Angel Landing Trail

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California Condor

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California Condor

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California Condor

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This was as far as I went on the Angel Landing Trail. Yep, I chickened out after eye-balling the steep 800'-1000' drop-offs on each side of that thin ridge that you see in the background. I might have finished this hike 20 years or so ago, but being in my mid-60s now, I don't trust my balance that much. Note the Condor perched in the tree.

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