|Zion Canyon was occupied by the Anasazi people from about 1,500 to 800 year ago.
Their abandoned cliff houses, rock art, and chipping sites are scattered throughout the park. The Paiute Indians occupied the
canyon when Nephi Johnson arrived in 1858. The first Mormon occupant of Zion Canyon was Isaac Behunin, who built a one-room
log cabin at a site near the location of Zions Lodge. Behunin named his new home Zion Canyon. He was soon joined by a few
other settlers who established farms along the narrow valley floor. Later, in 1900, David Flanigan began to build a system
of cable works which would provide the means to lower virgin timber to the valley floor from the high mountain forests
nearly two thousand feet above the canyon.
Utah's oldest and most visited national park, Zion National Park is located in southwestern Utah. Most of the park's
147,000 acres are located within Washington County; however, the extreme eastern section of the park is in Kane County,
while the park's northern tip extends into Iron County. Zion Canyon is located on the southern part of the Markagunt
Plateau. It is cut by tributaries of the Virgin River which have left eroded canyon walls and monoliths that are beautiful
Zion Canyon is especially popular with hikers and drivers, who follow the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive to its terminus at the
Temple of Sinawava and the Gateway to the Narrows, and then return to take the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway, with its tunnel, to
the top of the canyon. The park has two visitor centers, one at the entrance to Kolob Canyon and the main visitor center at
the south entrance to the park. The beauty of Zion Canyon has gained worldwide recognition, with over three million visitors
coming to the park in 1993. However, because of the severe and growing automobile congestion inside the park, the National
Park Service recently announced plans to limit private vehicles in Zion Canyon by providing a public transportation system
that would restrict private vehicles to areas outside the park.