At Rising K Ranch, learn to commnicate with our horses on our beautiful Utah trails!
Located between Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in Utah!
Since many of our horseback riders also visit Zion National Park, we have provided several links for all kinds of current information about Zion and the surrounding area.
History of Zion National Park
The Zion National Park area was first inhabited by the Anasazi and the Paiute Indians. On October 13, 1776, Catholic Padres Silvestre Velez de Escalante and Francisco Atanasio Dominguez became the first known whites to visit the area, passing by the place where the Kolob Canyon Visitor Center is today. The famous trapper Jedediah Smith also passed through the area in about 1825.
It was in the 1860's that the Mormons came in and really began to settle in the area. The very canyon floor of Zion was used for farming and grazing until, as an effort to protect the area, US President William Howard Taft designated the area a national monument. At this time it was called Mukuntuweap National Monument. It was not long before people realized that Mukuntuweap was rather difficult to pronounce and spell, and were worried that if folks could not pronounce a place, they might be less inclined to visit. Thus, effort was made to change the name to Zion, a biblical reference to Jersusalem and to the New Jerusalem, Heaven itself as well as a Mormon reference to the place closest to God. In 1919, Mukuntuweap National Monument was offically designated "Zion National Park" by President Woodrow Wilson.
Today, Zion National Park welcomes over four and a half million visitors every year!
The Wildlife of Zion National Park
While visiting Zion National Park, you are very likely to see mule deer, bighorn sheep, squirrels, rabbits and many types of birds and lizards. However, you may very well get lucky and see, especially in more remote locations of the Zion National Park Area, foxes, bobcats, mountain lions, black bears, badgers, racoons, ring-tailed cats, and if you go to the Kolob Canyon area of Zion National Park, you may see some giant California Condors which have been introduced to the area in an effort to save the species!