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Zion National Park Wilderness

Zion National Park Wilderness

“Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity
of the human spirit.” – Edward Abbey
The Zion Wilderness is a spectacular network of colorful canyons, forested mesas, and striking
deserts. In 2009, over 124,000 acres of Zion National Park was designated as wilderness.
This designation will ensure that 84% of the park will continue to be a place where nature
and its “community of life are untrammeled by man, a place where man himself is a visitor
who does not remain.” What is Wilderness?
Wilderness is a rare, wild place where one can retreat from civilization, reconnect with
nature, and find healing, meaning and significance. Knowledge, respect, and understanding for
these wild and undeveloped places will ensure that they remain spectacular for years to
come. ZION NATIONAL PARK could be called a heaven
on earth, a red-rock wonderland created by wind, water, and snow. Mormon pioneers arriving
in the area in the 1860s were so overwhelmed by the natural beauty of Zion Canyon and its
surroundings that they named it after the Old Testament name for the city of Jeruselem.
The park’s ecosystems support about 800 native plant species, including more flowers
than anywhere else in Utah. With more than 80 percent of the park designated wilderness
area, it doesn’t take more than a few strides from a visitor center parking lot to pass
into shimmering, absolute nature. But why take the well-trodden trail? Here are a few
tips for how to experience the peace of the park during the crowded high season.
Zion Canyon is epic, but the park is full of off-the-beaten path adventures and hidden
gems, perfect for seeking out during the crowded summer high season. So pull over, wander
off, and let chance be your guide. You don’t need a path for adventure; just 100 yards
away from just about any road in Zion is likely to reveal a magnificent vistanot on any map
or in any book. Wilderness is in the arid deserts, cypress
swamps, alpine meadows, sandy beaches, and rocky crags. From Alaska to Florida, wilderness
protects some of the most diverse and sensitive habitats in our country. It offers refuge
for wildlife and a place to seek relaxation, adventure, or something in between for us.
What does wilderness mean to you? The Wilderness Act
“In order to assure that an increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement and growing
mechanization, does not occupy and modify all areas within the United States and its
possessions, leaving no lands designated for preservation and protection in their natural
condition, it is hereby declared to be the policy of the Congress to secure for the American
people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness.”
“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape,
is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled
by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”
“…there shall be no commercial enterprise and no permanent road within any wilderness
area designated by this Act and, except as necessary to meet minimum requirements for
the administration of the area for the purpose of this Act (including measures required in
emergencies involving the health and safety of persons within the area), there shall be
no temporary road, no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment or motorboats, no landing
of aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport, and no structure or installation within any
such area.”

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