Historic Past

The earliest inhabitants of Zion National Park were the Anasazi who lived in the area around 2000 years ago. 1200 years later the Paiutes began to inhabit the area and in the 1860’s the first group of Mormon Pioneers arrived to settle here. In 1909 the park was established as Mukutuweap National Monument and was later expanded to its present day size of 229 square miles and renamed Zion National Park.

In the summer of 1903 an artist named Frederick S. Dellenbaugh visited the area and spent his summer painting Zion’s rock formations and landscapes. The paintings were exhibited at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. During the same year Dellenbaugh published an article in Scribners Magazine entitled “A New Valley of Wonders.” In the article Dellenbaugh describes his first impressions of the Great Temple, a rock formation that stands at the entrance to the park, “One hardly knows just how to think of it. Never before has such a naked mountain of rock entered our minds. Without a shred of disguise its transcendent form rises pre-eminent. There is almost nothing to compare to it. Niagara has the beauty of energy; the Grand Canyon of immensity; the Yellowstone of singularity; the Yosemite of altitude; the ocean of power; this Great Temple of eternity.”

Just outside the south entrance to the park sits the town of Springdale, which acts as a gateway to the many visitors who come to see the park. Springdale was originally settled in 1862 by Albert Petty, George Petty, J.G. Whitlock, and others who traveled from the nearby settlement of Shunesburg. Springdale received its name at the suggestion of Albert Petty’s wife because of the adjacent freshwater springs.

Pioneer Lodge had it’s beginnings as Allred’s, going through several owners including Cache McCall, a movie star.



Area Residents –

Always believed in area education as shown in this 1900 photograph.


Early Photographer –

Responsible for recording the early days of Zion Canyon with photgraphy.


Early Pioneer Restaurant and Cabin Office –

Pioneer Lodge started out as the Allred Café and Cabin