2009 79¢ Zion National Park
Scenic American Landscapes
Issue Date: June 28, 2009
First City: Washington, DC
Printed by: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforation: Serpentine die cut 10 ¾
Soaring cliffs and twisting ravines shape Zion National Park, located in Southwestern Utah. Looming cliff formations overlook deep canyons, creating a landscape that has inspired such lofty names as Angel’s Landing, Great White Throne, Emerald Pools, Cathedral Mountain, and Temple of Sinawava.
The most distinctive feature in Zion is the series of slot canyons. Slot canyons are deep and narrow – sometimes only a few feet wide, and as deep as 100 feet. They’re formed by a rare set of conditions. Water from the Virgin River and swirling wind currents cut ravines through the rock. Utah has the highest concentration of slot canyons in the world.
But as scenic as the canyons are, they can be dangerous as well. People who settled in that area (notably the Paiutes, the Anasazi, and Europeans) had to deal with flash floods that could wipe out entire small villages in moments.
The Park was first recognized in 1909, when President William Howard Taft proclaimed the region the Mukuntuweap National Monument. Congress renamed it Zion in 1919, and made the area into a National Park. Zion celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2009 and now attracts nearly three million visitors yearly.