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Checkerboard Mesa

Address: Zion-Mount Carmel Hwy., 1 mi west of the East Entrance, Zion National Park, UT
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Type: Geologic Formations, Mountains, Nature & Parks
Activities: Hiking, Watching sunrise/sunset
Owner description: Mesa country that is laid out in a checkerboard pattern and is a photographer's delight.
Attraction details
Type: Geologic Formations, Mountains, Nature & Parks
Activities: Hiking, Watching sunrise/sunset
Owner description: Mesa country that is laid out in a checkerboard pattern and is a photographer's delight.

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San Diego, California
Top Contributor
287 reviews 287 reviews
158 attraction reviews
157 helpful votes 157 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2015

Checkerboard Mesa is a pretty unique looking part of Zion but the real highlight of this side of the park is the Bighorn Sheep. We had multiple sightings of bighorn while on this side of the park. The 1st time near dusk while hiking the Canyon Overlook trail. The second time was early morning as we made our way to... More 

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Canada
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2015

Checkerboard Mesa is one of the most recognizable and photogenic landmarks in Zion National Park with its distinctive cross-hatching patterns on a cone-shaped White Cliffs formation, You can drive Route 9 through the Upper East Canyon can stop and view the formation at the parking lot just down the road from the East Entrance ranger station.

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Bridgewater, Canada
Top Contributor
267 reviews 267 reviews
138 attraction reviews
135 helpful votes 135 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2015

I agree with others that this is more a quick stop photo op than a must see destination. Interesting layers and vertical grooves in the mountainside giving it a unique checkerboard appearance from the right angle. Again, if you're coming from the east entrance, worth a quick stop, but I don't think I would drive a significant distance to view... More 

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Pleasanton, California
Top Contributor
368 reviews 368 reviews
222 attraction reviews
379 helpful votes 379 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2014

I was a bit puzzled to find this attraction listed here, so actually stopped on my way to check it out. So here is what I learned from the sign. Apparently, a lot of mountains in this area have layered structure but the layers are mostly horizontal or form some angle. In both cases they end up producing parallel stripes... More 

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Illinois
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
34 attraction reviews
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2014

We appreciate the geological significance of the Checkerboard Mesa, but as other reviews have stated it is one of the sights of Zion that one does not need to go out of their way to drive to. If you're going to be passing by, then by all means stop at the pullover and check it out and the intriguing patterns... More 

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Orlando, FL
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
28 attraction reviews
75 helpful votes 75 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
94 reviews 94 reviews
23 attraction reviews
42 helpful votes 42 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
55 reviews 55 reviews
24 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 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
173 reviews 173 reviews
99 attraction reviews
109 helpful votes 109 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
102 reviews 102 reviews
50 attraction reviews
79 helpful votes 79 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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