Virgin River in Zion National Park, Utah
© Jonathan Ross/Getty Image
103 years of Zion. Zion National Park turns 103
Our photo brings us to a 16-mile stretch of the Virgin River where it cuts a spectacular thousand-foot-deep gorge through the upper reaches of Utah's Zion Canyon. Flowing through Zion National Park (which turns 103 today!), the Virgin River is home to unique plants and animals that aren't found anywhere else, due to the unique intersection of biomes found where the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert all meet. Without the water of the Virgin River system, creatures like the woundfin minnow, one of rarest species on the planet, couldn't exist.