How Zion Was Made

The beauty of Zion started forming two hundred million years ago during the Jurassic Period. The uprising of the Colorado Plateau was seen as the first of many events that shaped this amazing park. A shift in the earth’s crust caused the Colorado Plateau to rise, leaving below the Colorado River and the North Fork of the Virgin River. The combined effects of water and wind erosion on the plateau helped carve the Navajo Sandstone into what is now known as Zion.

Geological Landmarks

There are many landmarks that play into the magnificence of Zion. The West Temple and Kolob Canyon are two of them. Checkerboard Mesa, the Temple of Sinawava and the Narrows are also destinations not to be missed.

The Great White Throne is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Zion. It was named by a Methodist minister and said to represent the throne from which God administers the final judgment of the dead. With just one look it is easy to see how this extreme monolith got its name. Towering over 2,400 feet above the canyon floor, the white peak symbolizes the throne’s back rest. Two other popular landmarks, Angels Landing and the Organ, represent the arm rests of the throne.

Zion Today

Zion is continually changing. Flash floods are a key factor in this process. It is estimated that Zion gets about 600 inches deeper every million years. The deterioration of the sandstone adds to this process and because of this, some scientists believe that Zion will one day become a pile of sand again.