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“Worth stopping to take a look”
Review of Checkerboard Mesa

Checkerboard Mesa
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Mesa country that is laid out in a checkerboard pattern and is a photographer's delight.
Level 6 Contributor
132 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Worth stopping to take a look”
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 exploring a bit if unique geological formations interest you.

Visited May 2013
Thank TaksuBali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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196 reviews from our community

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“No reason not to stop and have a look.”
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 is different from the scenery to the west of the tunnel which is dominated by large scale cliffs and monoliths of the main canyon. Yes, it's the same rock but different landscape character and it's worth stopping here a bit too to enjoy it.

There is almost no reason not to stop and see Checkerboad Mesa, at least from the parking area (I don't remember seeing any other place from which to see it unless you were to hike cross-country). You can see it while driving past but then you get 45 seconds and if you're the driver and are attentive to the road as you should be then you get about 5 seconds to enjoy it. Not enough for me. Stop in the parking area for a few minutes.

The parking area isn't very large and it is on the north side of the road.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank Sesarma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Loveland, Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
318 reviews
110 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 715 helpful votes
“Checkerboard Mesa is hard to miss and hard to forget”
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 unforgettable. Eventually these Mesas will be nothing but a pile of white sand, so don't delay many thousands of years before you see them.

To locate these Mesas, you merely have to pay attention and they will be one of the first things you see when you enter the Park driving from the East on Mt. Caramel Highway. Pull offs are plentiful for picture ops. Enjoy.

Visited June 2013
4 Thank Goatesians
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Avon, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
1,319 reviews
887 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,695 helpful votes
“The First or Last Attraction”
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 understand its creation. However, I would not spend too much time as, if you are just arriving, there are much better attractions ahead in Zion and if you are leaving heading east, you’ll want ample time at Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Red Canyon and/or Bryce Canyon.

Visited March 2013
2 Thank Steve1362
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
541 reviews
272 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 296 helpful votes
“There are better sights to see”
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.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank Kat0425
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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