Zion Human History Museum

 
View of the Zion Human History Museum from the front.
View of the Zion Human History Museum from the front.

The Zion Human History Museum displays artifacts and archival materials from the permanent collections of Zion National Park. These exhibits showcase the rich human history of the place now known as Zion National Park and illustrate the effects water has had upon both the peoples and the place. Both a creator and a destroyer, water has created the scenery and sanctuary which have driven people to travel through and settle in Zion Canyon for thousands of years. Exhibits include topics such as geology, plants, animals, survival, and community.

Ask a ranger about the park when the museum is open and watch our park film for free online.

 
View of the Zion Human History Museum exhibit space
Zion Human History Museum exhibit space.

Directions

The Zion Human History Museum is located one half mile north of the park's south entrance on the main park road, or eleven miles west from the east entrance. Be sure to check Zion National Park facility hours and current conditions for further information about hours, directions, and important updates.

Accessibility

Reserved parking spaces are available with a ramp leading to the building. Learn more about accessiblity in Zion.

 
On June 17, 1960, the new Visitor Center and Administration building opened replacing the Visitor Center at Canyon Junction.
On June 17, 1960, the new Visitor Center and Administration building opened replacing the Visitor Center at Canyon Junction. Museum Catalog Number ZION 12163.

History

The first museum at Zion National Park opened in 1924 in the historic Grotto building. It was filled with various objects collected in the field by ranger naturalists, including plant specimens, insects, and archeological artifacts. These exhibits took up one room of the building, which also housed the park bookstore, public information office, and ranger offices. Exhibits in these early days primarily served to support ranger programs. For example, in 1928, rangers gave regular reptile-themed programs using a live reptile cage exhibit. The live props included both rattlesnakes and gopher snakes.

During the Great Depression, workers in the Civilian Conservation Corps, a public work relief program funded through the New Deal, made exhibit cases, dioramas, and other objects for the museum. In 1936, they converted the old park headquarters at Canyon Junction to the Museum and Visitor Information Station. This building served as the park’s primary public contact station for twenty-five years.

In the 1960s, a ten-year building initiative known as Mission 66 enabled the improvement and construction of infrastructure in national parks across the country. Under this program, Zion National Park built a new visitor center complete with professional museum exhibits, offices, and an auditorium. In 2002, after the Zion Canyon Visitor Center opened, the Mission 66 building reopened as the Zion Human History Museum.

 
Postcard of Zion National Park

Keepers of Sanctuary

Explore museum objects which were on display to celebrate the park's centennial in 2019.

Two tagged California Condors

Feathered Treasures: Birds in Zion

Explore the observable characteristics use to identify birds in Zion including bills, talons, plumage, size, and shape.

A painting of Zion Canyon

Artist-in-Residence Donated Artwork

Explore some of the works of art that have been donated to the park through the Artist-in-Residence program.

Painting by Frederick Dellenbaugh of Zion Canyon with grass and trees in the foreground

Treasured Landscapes: NPS Art Collection

Explore paintings, watercolors, sketches, and other works on paper from over fifty National Park Service museum collections.

Last updated: September 26, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.

Springdale , UT 84767

Phone:

435-772-3256
If you have questions, please email zion_park_information@nps.gov. Listen to recorded information by calling anytime 24 hours a day. Rangers answer phone calls from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. MT, but a ranger may not answer if they are already speaking with someone else.

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