Court of the Patriarchs sandstone towers over Virgin River, Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah, USA.
The sandstone cliffs of the Court of the Patriarchs tower over the Virgin River in Zion National Park, near Springdale, Utah, USA. The North Fork of the Virgin River carved spectacular Zion Canyon through reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone up to half a mile (800 m) deep and 15 miles (24 km) long. Uplift associated with the creation of the Colorado Plateaus lifted the region 10,000 feet (3000 m) starting 13 million years ago. Zion and Kolob canyon geology includes 9 formations covering 150 million years of mostly Mesozoic-aged sedimentation, from warm, shallow seas, streams, lakes, vast deserts, and dry near-shore environments. Mormons discovered the canyon in 1858 and settled in the early 1860s. U.S. President Taft declared it Mukuntuweap National Monument in 1909. In 1918, the name changed to Zion (an ancient Hebrew name for Jerusalem), which became a National Park in 1919. The Kolob section (a 1937 National Monument) was added to Zion National Park in 1956. Unusually diverse plants and animals congregate here where the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert meet. (Panorama stitched from 6 photos.)Add to Cart Add to Lightbox Download