Zion National Park is one of those rare, and magical, geological spots. When animals like the mammoth, giant sloth and camel died off because of climate change and overhunting 8,000 years ago, inhabitants were able to rely on the resources of the land and adapt their lifestyle, despite being in the desert. According to the National Park Service, crops grow best between 5,000 and 7,000 on the Colorado Plateau “making Zion’s elevations….almost ideal.” Despite overuse again pushing its people out, later inhabitants again adapted.
By hard work and faith pioneers endured in a landscape that hardly warranted such persistence. Flash floods destroyed towns and drought burned the crops. Only the will to survive saw Paiute, Anasazi, and European descendants through great difficulties. Perhaps today Zion is again a sanctuary, a place of life and hope.