Zion National Park

Zion National Park

Keep your 'i' on Zion

July 17, 2009, 7:33 am
A few weeks ago I received a phone call at work from Alex Chamberlain, who works for GeoQuest Technologies in Hurricane. He told me his company had recently released a Zion National Park application (app) for the iPhone.

It interested me as a journalist because it was a Hurricane-based company and about Zion National Park. But as an iPhone user I was personally intrigued by a Zion app.

So I downloaded ZionQuest ($4.99) from the App Store and tried it out.

What stands out most with ZionQuest is the ease of use. It's extremely user-friendly and easy to navigate.

For first-time visitors to the park or someone who only visits every few years or so, ZionQuest is a wealth of information. However, as someone who lives in Southern Utah and is familiar with the park, I did find myself wanting more information on the east side of the park and the Kolob areas. The app is primarily focused on Zion Canyon, the most popular section of the park.

Still, I found ZionQuest to be a professionally-made, interesting and informational app. There is a map of the park (minus the Kolob sections), pages and pages of information and a nice collection of both photography and video that is sure to whet the appetite of any iPhone user who is considering a visit to the park.

Photographer Lynn Chamberlain acts as the tour guide through the videos as he talks about the history of the park and the scenic wonders within its boundaries. The videos are fairly simple but informative.

My favorite part of the application is the Explore Zion map. It features links to trails, viewpoints and shuttle stops throughout the park. Tap on one and it takes you to a page for the specified attraction.

For example, if you tap the link for the Lower Emerald Pools Trail, it takes you to a screen featuring a tour video, trail photos, trail guides and other related videos. Yet with one touch of the back button, you are on the previous screen - always a nice navigation option.

You can also zoom in on the map by pulling your thumb and forefinger apart, just as you zoom in on maps and photos in other iPhone apps. This helps you avoid accidentally clicking on the wrong link.