I’ve spent the last two days editing and fine tuning photographs from this weekend’s trip to Zion National Park. I’m very tired, but it’s been incredibly rewarding. I feel like I have some great images in spite of being overwhelmed by the enormity of such a small park.
I tried not to approach my visit to this park with any specific photographic goals. Normally I research a location before I visit so that I can figure out which shots have been overdone, which iconic features are “must see”, or if sunrise or sunset are better times to shoot. With Zion I let all of that go and figured I would simply drive to the park and see what there was to see. I even resisted the urge to purchase a map of the park before my visit.
I chose to drive in from the lonely east side of Zion. Coming from Phoenix, the route up through Northern Arizona and across Southern Utah seemed more adventurous and intriguing than zooming along major highways through Las Vegas. This route meant less traffic and rare views of the Colorado River, Marble Canyon and the Kaibab Plateau. It also meant there were no lines to get into the park. The east entrance was eerily quiet.
As soon as I entered Zion, my truck slowed to a crawl. I’m sure there were the obligatory posted speed limits, but they were unnecessary as it is impossible to drive through Zion without slowing to look at the dramatic scenery. I don’t think I was inside the park boundary for more than five minutes before I was wheeling my grumbling truck to a dusty pullout and clawing at my camera equipment. My truck left idling restlessly with the rear door thrown open, I scrambled up a loose, sandy slope to capture my first shots of Zion National Park.
I was not alone, other vehicles were strewn at random angles in haste as eager photographers abandoned their cars, trucks and rented RVs to point their lenses toward a dramatic, alien landscape. I pushed on, stopping here and there, but forcing myself toward camp.
My adventure was just getting started and I had a partner-in-crime for the weekend that I had yet to meet.
To see more of my images from Zion National Park visit my gallery.