A “hanging garden” in Ohio would require a shepherd’s pole or sturdy tree limb, but in Zion National Park, we found such gardens trailing from the edges of sheer cliffs. The Weeping Rock Trail was an easy stroll that provided identifications for some of the intriguing plant life we had admired during our park stay and ended beneath a dripping cliff resplendent with blooming greenery.
We wondered “Why…”
Zion’s majestic peaks are comprised predominately of porous sandstone, a tangible reminder of their sand dune origin. This sandstone absorbs rainfall with the thirst of a giant sponge. The moisture then trickles down through the rock layers until it reaches impenetrable slate. With its downward path now cut off, the water flows out horizontally, eventually reaching daylight at cliff’s edge, a process that can take hundreds of years! According to our shuttle bus driver that afternoon, one sample of water was determined to have had a journey of 4000 years from absorption to its reappearance as drips down a rock wall!
The rather elegant result of the sandstone’s perch upon slate is the hanging gardens, whimsical oases that dangle from a desert wall of solidified sand.
Zion National Park (Utah) Park Website
Canyons and cliffs in vibrant “rainbow” colors! Hike and climb your way through rivers, slot canyons and up radical cliffs for a “view” in every direction…
Springdale, UT 84767-1099
Park Hours: Daily (except December 25); call for seasonal hours
Entrance Fee (valid for 7 days): $25.00/private vehicle; $12.00/bicycle, motorcycle, pedestrian($25.00 family cap) Annual Pass available