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Rock Solid in Utah

November 1, 2016

Rock: Here we are in Utah, Zion National Park to be exact. Ready for a nature walk?

If you’re very quiet, I’ll introduce you to some of my wild friends who live here in Zion; the bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes, bighorn sheep, and their other untamed associates. Believe it or not, these animals are actually rather shy. But considering how some people treat them, I don’t blame them for avoiding us humans.

Here’s Zion Lodge, the only place in Zion National Park where you can rent overnight accommodations. Clarence Underwood designed it back in the 1920s. Most man-made buildings tend to clash in natural settings, but this one, designed with nature in mind, fits in quite nicely.

Long before Zion was a canyon, it was a swamp. Then the weather got dryer, and layers of sand blew in and mixed with the mud and minerals. Then the shifting earths raised up all those caked layers of sand and dried mud thousands of feet above sea level. Finally the Virgin River started carving it away, little by little, till it looked like this! Pretty cool, huh? I could go on all day with the geology.

Watch your step while you’re walking here. The surrounding land is made of sedimentary rock, which could probably also be called “sand-imentary” rocks since it contains lots and lots of tightly layered sand. Either way one thing’s for sure: Sandy Rock and Slippery Rock. I’ve taken a few spills in this park, and I’d hate to see you do the same.

Geologist Leo Snow first surveyed this place for the US government back in 1908. And he made sure to note how beautiful it was. The following year, President Taft made it into a national monument, and ten years later Congress declared it a national park. Some things are definitely worth preserving in their natural state.



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