Fallout: New Vegas locations project
I pray for the safety of all good people who come to Zion, even gentiles. But we can't expect God to do all the work.”— Joshua Graham, Honest Hearts
Zion Canyon was spared most of the horrors of the Great War, and remains an unspoiled wilderness. In the immediate aftermath of the war only one man is known to have inhabited Zion - a survivalist by the name of Randall Clark. He had been camped out in the park, slowly losing his mind, when a group of Mexicans came to the area, calling it "paradise." Clark watched the Mexicans, never making contact but subtly aiding them when they needed it. In 2096, a group of Vault 22 dwellers, infected with Beauveria mordicana, arrived in the area, killing and eating the Mexicans, with Clark unable to rescue them. Clark killed most of the Vault 22 dwellers or waited for them to die of their infection, but befriended Sylvie, who was caught in a bear trap, and ended up having a child with her. She died during childbirth from an overdose of meds and the child was stillborn.
In 2108, feral ghouls arrived in the area, but Clark was able to kill them all before they became a problem. Fifteen years later, a group of children arrived in the area, in the same location where the Mexicans had encamped all those years ago. Clark, now an old man, watched over the children as he did with the Mexicans, making sure that no harm came to them but never making contact with them. To the children, he was "the Father in the Cave", a purveyor of gifts and dispenser of wisdom. Clark died at Red Gate, leaving behind Survivalist hidden caches in caves which are full of traps. The children became the Sorrows, a peaceful tribe that embodied innocence, and lived in peace for years, never venturing into the caves and treating all pre-War buildings and tech as taboo.
The peace was not to last. Recently, missionaries from New Canaan in the north have arrived in the region, attempting to convert the locals to Mormonism. That in itself would not have been a threat to the peace, but the White Legs, a hostile group with whom the Mormon Church is embroiled in a conflict, have followed the surviving Mormons down to Zion, where the Sorrows now face extinction. Daniel and Joshua Graham, ridden with guilt over their part in the Sorrows' current predicament, have vowed to protect the tribe by any means. Daniel wants to evacuate the Sorrows to the Grand Staircase, where they cannot be followed by the White Legs, and thus abandoning their traditional home. But Graham, with his Dead Horses, want to teach the Sorrows the art of warfare so that they may drive the White Legs out of Zion and secure the region for future generations. Either option will require the tribe to sacrifice a fundamental part of their identity, but a decision must be made nonetheless.
In 2281, the Happy Trails Caravan Company (the Courier among them), led an expedition from the Mojave Wasteland's Northern passage in the hopes of re-establishing contact with New Canaan. The caravan was ambushed and all but the Courier slaughtered in the ensuing fray. And it is then that the Courier begins to shape the destinies of a people. For better or worse, the Courier's actions will forever change the once serene landscape of Zion and usher in a new age...
Zion Canyon is roughly one-fourth the size of the Mojave Wasteland, and differs greatly from the desert. The entire canyon is composed of red-orange rock faces with the Virgin River cutting through the landscape. Many bridges connect the east and west banks and the islands in between. Throughout the canyon, deciduous and coniferous trees thrive.
Having been a national park before the war, there are several Ranger stations spread periodically through the area. Ranger substations Eagle, Osprey and Peregrine are set in a triad with one in the west, north and south, respectively. They all communicated with The Aerie in the center of the canyon. There are also several campgrounds and scenic overlooks set up around the landscape for the families that used to visit in happier times.
Countless caves perforate the canyon, some having been used by The Survivalist as shelter for his lifetime in Zion and others house the canyons assortment of natural wildlife. A native tribe, the Sorrows consider the caves that "The Father in the Cave" occupied sacred and are not to be entered, or else bad fortune sets upon those that trespass.
The Sorrows have made camp in The Narrows, a series of slot canyons that proliferate the northern ridge of Zion Canyon. It's a large network of overhead bridges connecting cave systems to one another. The Dead Horses have occupied Eastern Virgin and set up their camp in a basin created by an off-shooting tributary of the Virgin River that flows to the east (hence "Eastern Virgin"). The White Legs inhabit Three Mary's, a section of the canyon in the west formed by the flow of the Virgin River. It is mostly a hilly interior in the box canyons with pre-War garbage spread about with White Legs tents set up along ridges overlooking the main canyon. However, these tribes do not necessarily stick to their camps; Dead Horses and Sorrows tribal members sneak around the whole canyon and the White Legs patrol the roads often accompanied by their mongrels.
- Zion Canyon is the only location in the Fallout series to feature rain. (There are sand storms and fog in parts of the Mojave.)
- Dogs roam the area but, except for the White Legs mongrels, will not attack you unless provoked.
- Traveling between Zion and the Mojave Wasteland takes 14 in game days, both on the initial journey and subsequent trips after completing the add-on's quest line. While this time elapses on the Pip-Boy's calendar, time dependent events such as plants respawning and Sierra Madre chips accumulating at the Abandoned Brotherhood of Steel bunker do not progress.
- The same creatures, (aside from spore carriers and plants), do not always spawn at a particular location. For example, a green gecko might spawn at the General Store one time and on your next visit there may be yao guai.
- The Hardcore mode player will note that there are no Jalapeño pepper or Coyote tobacco chew plants present.
- Zion Canyon is particularly good for getting high level weapons, but poor for armor. This means maintaining medium and heavy armor is difficult.
 Behind the scenes
- Zion is the Biblical name for Jerusalem and sometimes Israel.
- This area's real-world equivalent is a favorite holiday destination of Fallout: New Vegas lead designer J.E. Sawyer.
- Megan Parks was responsible for layout and decoration of Old World locations (campgrounds, ranger stations etc.), and helped with terrain shaping, and vistas in this location.
- The Courier: "I understand this caravan is headed to Zion. What can you tell me about the area?"
Jed Masterson: "Well, I ain't never been inside, myself. Did some trading with the New Canaanites from their mission there, but that was all on the outskirts. All the old ways in and out were destroyed after the War, but we got ourselves the location of a pass the New Canaanites use - that's our way in. That's why I wanted someone with a Pip-Boy on the caravan - the map'll be helpful for checking the topography, keeping us on the trail."
(Jed Masterson's dialogue)
- baby goat: zion tyme
- Megan Parks' portfolio