Early Zion National Park

fredrick-paintingIn 1906 at the St. Louis world fair A man named Frederick Dellenbaugh had paintings on display of Zion Canyon.

The visitors while examining his paintings thought that they were conjured up images of Fredericks imagination. They couldn’t simply believe that a place like this really existed.

It was a Mormon missionary who is in route heading home back to Utah who assured the visitors that he had seen this place and it really existed.

The missionary even pointed out in reference to where he lived. This was the first time that Zion have been shown to the rest of the world. It was this event that started spurring visitation to Zion and southern Utah.

By the summer of 1917 A road into Zion was built and touring cars could reach the canyon. That same year William W Wiley established camp Wiley. He provided tents for visitors. This pave the way for tourism in the years to come.

It was the Union Pacific Railroad the continued tourism in Zion. Offering 10 day bus and rail tours to Bryce Zion and the Grand Canyon.Lodges at all three parks were designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood.

zion-tunnelOne of the most amazing early stories in Zions early history is the 1.1 mile Zion mount caramel tunnel. This tunnel made it possible to reach the east side of the park. This also connected the road to Bryce.

Construction started in 1927. Six windows or galleries were created so multiple drilling companies could work simultaneous. Air and water how to be pumped in from the valley below. It took 313 days to complete the tunnel. The road was not finished for three years later 1930. The tunnel remains in service still to this day.