With the competition Zion faces from its neighboring national parks in the American Southwest—Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Canyonlands—just standing out in this esteemed crowd would seem to require some noteworthy scenery. Zion delivers it in spades.
Like the Grand Canyon to its south, Zion has grandeur, and like Bryce Canyon to its northeast, Zion has delicately sculpted rock. Plus, within the park's 229 square miles lies a spectacular cliff-and-canyon playground. Sharp sandstone cliffs soar 2,000 feet above a labyrinth of narrow canyons cut through the soft sandstone by the Virgin River. In places, the deep canyons are barely 40 feet wide.
Zion's complexion changes with the seasons, from the cascades of snowmelt pouring over cliff walls in spring, to the lush green and colorful wildflowers of early summer, to the Technicolor wonder of autumn—a leaf-peeper's dream—and the deep silence and piercing beauty of multicolored sandstone spires piled high with snow and ice.
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