Checkerboard Mesa

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This Navajo Sandstone summit commonly known as Checkerboard Mesa in Utah's Zion National Park is 6,520 feet at its highest elevation and it's situated immediately southwest of the park's east entrance - and towers 900 feet above the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway. The Checkerboard Mesa Canyon is essential to the ecology in the area because it holds rainwater pools that provide water for resident bighorn. The cliff's distinctive check lines in cross-bedded white sandstone replicate a checkerboard which is the reason for its descriptive name. Cross-bedding, sandstone contraction, and expansion resulting from temperature changes, freezing and thawing cycles, plus a combination of wetting and drying are the reasons for the checkerboarding. This peak was initially named Checkerboard Mountain and Spring and fall are the most favorable seasons to visit. The Checkerboard Mesa Canyon Trail is a moderately rated 8 mile out-and-back trail which offers views of the wildlife in the area. This hiking and walking trail is rated complex.

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