Virgin River – a Beautiful Creator of Zion Canyon

Virgin River – a Beautiful Creator of Zion Canyon


Many thousands of years ago, the Virgin River was making its way to the south, winding in the soft formations of a young Colorado Plateau. Over time, the plateau began to rise, driven by the powerful forces of Earth, and little river had to fight its way through it, “biting” into the rock and washing away particles of gravel and sand “on the way”. Thus, thanks to the perseverance and persistence of the Virgin River an amazingly beautiful canyon appeared on Earth – Zion Canyon, which has become the main attraction of the national park with the same name.

Virgin River worked considerably with the Navajo sandstone to open for the humanity such a beauty. But the river was the main driving force for cutting out the canyon, mainly as a result of flash floods, since the average flow of the river is quite low.

Even now the Virgin River continues its work cutting and forming the canyon by removing more than a million tons of sludge and rock from the canyon, cutting and forming the canyon, which mainly occurs during flash floods after the rainstorms (which are frequent from July till September) and during the spring runoff. Result: slowly but steadily the canyon continues to grow and the river bed continues to deepen.

It is noteworthy that the tributaries of the river need more time to form the canyons and cannot do that with the same speed as the Virgin River, as a result of which waterfalls are formed.

Lots of trails in Zion Canyon are located at its bottom and meander along the Virgin River, allowing the park visitors to enjoy its sparkling waters from different angles. Some of the treks are designated for ordinary people and some of them need a certain skill level to get through them. But all of them give a chance to admire the beauty and enchantment of the Virgin River, at some parts smooth and quiet and at some parts violent, flowing with roar through the canyon.

Photo: Roman Khomlyak

Photo Editing: Juliana Voitsikhovska

Information: Svetlana Baranova

Pictures taken: 10/30/16

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