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Checkerboard Mesa

Zion-Mount Carmel Hwy., 1 mi west of the East Entrance, Zion National Park, UT
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Type: Geologic Formations, Mountains
Activities: Hiking, Watching sunrise/sunset
Description: Mesa country that is laid out in a checkerboard pattern and is a photographer's delight.
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33 reviews from our community

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Orlando, FL
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
28 attraction reviews
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2014

We stopped to see Checkerboard Mesa as we were leaving Zion National Park on Route 9 en route to Bryce National Park. The Mesa is quite interesting geologically and if you are driving that way, there is a small pullout to stop and have a quick look and take a photo but I'd have been disappointed to have driven 14... More

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Orlando, Florida
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
22 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2014

Zion National Park is about the experiencing nature at its best. The Checkerboard Mesa is a stop along the road in the park. The formations in Zion are monumental, and Checkerboard Mesa is unique as we see the "jointing" created by the millions of years of geological changes. The results of the weathering, geological changes, water, etc. are these groves... More

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Austin, Texas
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
24 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014

Checkerboard Mesa and this whole area is stunning in a very different way from the main canyon, but equally amazing in my book. It's like a lunar landscape among the red rocks and grandeur of other areas. The patterns in rock reveal so much of how this area formed and are just fascinating.

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San Carlos, California
Top Contributor
171 reviews 171 reviews
98 attraction reviews
106 helpful votes 106 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2014

We entered the park on the east side and were confronted with these strange geological striations right away. After driving on the Utah highway for a couple hours, these landforms will make you sit up and take notice. The lines are so evenly spaced they look almost man-made! Zion is full of natural wonders and this is just one of... More

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Ubud
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
43 attraction reviews
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

Checkerboard Mesa is an iconic part of the Zion experience, whether your are entering or leaving from the east, and is worth stopping at for a quick look. The small parking area near it is a good place to take a quick view and shoot a few photos is you are short on time however its worth getting out and... More

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

I see there are mixed reviews but to me Checkerboard Mesa is almost iconic for the park, perhaps because it is included in many guides and geology textbooks. Furthermore, the character of the scenery to the east of the tunnel has smaller details with the weathering accentuating the ancient sloped dune beds in the sandstone and smaller erosional features. This... More

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Loveland, Colorado
Top Contributor
215 reviews 215 reviews
77 attraction reviews
871 helpful votes 871 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

These Mesas are one of my favorite landforms in Zion National Park. They are not the most majestic or mammoth, but I think they are the most interesting. The cracking in the rocks is caused by the slowly changing pressures as each layer is buried and exhumed. The colors, when viewed with the other pinks and the green trees are... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Avon, Ohio
Top Contributor
670 reviews 670 reviews
443 attraction reviews
911 helpful votes 911 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

The Checkerboard Mesa is just inside the eastern entrance of Zion NP and will be the first attraction you reach arriving from the east or the last as you leave for points east. In either case, it is worth a short stop to see the unusual erosion pattern giving this mesa its name and which even geologists do not fully... More

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
496 reviews 496 reviews
255 attraction reviews
246 helpful votes 246 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013

This is good for a quick photo if you are driving by but I would not drive out there just to see this. If driving on the Zion-Mount Carmel highway, which I highly recommend, this does not take much time to see.

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Santa Clara, Utah
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

It is a large sandstone hill with some cracks running up and down and across. It mackes a nice photo stop.

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