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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
. The lowest elevation is 3,666 ft (1,117 m) at Coalpits Wash and the highest elevation is 8,726 ft (2,660 m) 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
, and coniferous forest
. Zion National Park includes mountains
, slot canyons
, and natural arches
habitation of the area started about 8,000 years ago with small family groups of Native Americans
; the semi-nomadic Basketmaker Anasazi
(300 CE) stem from one of these groups. In turn, the Virgin Anasazi
culture (500 CE) developed as the Basketmakers settled in permanent communities.
A different group, the Parowan Fremont
, lived in the area as well. Both groups moved away by 1300 and were replaced by the Parrusits and several other Southern Paiute
came into the area in 1858 and settled there in the early 1860s. In 1909 the President of the United States
, William Howard Taft
, named the area a National Monument to protect the canyon, under the name of Mukuntuweap National Monument
. In 1918, however, the acting director of the newly created National Park Service
changed the park's name to Zion
, the name used by the Mormons. According to historian Hal Rothman
: "The name change played to a prevalent bias of the time. Many believed that Spanish and Indian names would deter visitors who, if they could not pronounce the name of a place, might not bother to visit it. The new name, Zion, had greater appeal to an ethnocentric audience."
The United States Congress
established the monument as a National Park on November 19, 1919. The Kolob section was proclaimed a separate Zion National Monument
in 1937, but was incorporated into the park in 1956.
The geology of the Zion and Kolob canyons area
includes nine formations
that together represent 150 million years of mostly Mesozoic
. 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 (3,000 m) starting 13 million years ago.
This model is created at a scale of 1:200,000 with 2.5x vertical exaggeration. It features a built-in base, so it sits perfectly on a desk or in a frame.
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