We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Checkerboard Mesa

Zion-Mount Carmel Hwy., 1 mi west of the East Entrance, Zion National Park, UT
Improve this listing
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.
Write a Review

29 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Austin, Texas
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
24 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014 NEW

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.

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Carlos, California
Top Contributor
162 reviews 162 reviews
93 attraction reviews
92 helpful votes 92 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

Was this review helpful? Yes
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
43 attraction reviews
67 helpful votes 67 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

Was this review helpful? Yes
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

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Loveland, Colorado
Top Contributor
211 reviews 211 reviews
77 attraction reviews
851 helpful votes 851 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
665 reviews 665 reviews
443 attraction reviews
835 helpful votes 835 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

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
462 reviews 462 reviews
234 attraction reviews
224 helpful votes 224 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Lake Forest, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

You can drive by this and take a look. No reason to stop and take a picture. Looks cool but you will see much better rock formations in the canyon and narrows. Cool to see if you dont pland on hiking at all.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Millers Creek, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

The checkerboard mesa was interesting. There is a pull off area to see the way the checkerboard is formed into the mountain. Very interesting.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Travelers who viewed Checkerboard Mesa also viewed

Zion National Park, UT
Zion National Park, UT

Been to Checkerboard Mesa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Checkerboard Mesa, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.

Manage your listing