Category

Zion

Milky Way and Star Trails Over the Watchman, Zion National Park

Astrophotography and Night Scapes, Utah, Zion

The Watchman is one of the iconic landmarks in Zion National Park, such that throngs of photographers line the bridge each fall at sunset to photograph the Watchman with the Virgin River and autumn trees in front of it. We elected for a much different image, one with the Milky Way soaring over the Watchman at night. We imaged the peak from a variety of locations, moving as the Milky Way crossed through the sky in order to keep the composition balanced. In this case I elected for a time exposure too long to freeze the stars but shorter than a typical star trail, and was pleased with the result. The Milky Way is still recognizable while the streaking stars add some movement to the image. I used the same technique on another composition several hundred miles away, which I will post in the coming days. Cheers, and thanks for looking!

Milky Way over the Watchman, Zion National Park.  The Milky Way galaxy rises in the night sky above the the Watchman

Milky Way over the Watchman, Zion National Park. The Milky Way galaxy rises in the night sky above the the Watchman.
Image ID: 28587
Location: Zion National Park, Utah, USA

If you like this image, be sure to visit my Landscape Astrophotography website.

Nature’s Best Windland Smith Rice: Photographer in the Virgin River Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah

Utah, Zion

Photographer in the Virgin River Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah

I was fortunate to have three of my photographs receive Highly Honored recognition in this years Windland Smith Rice photography competition sponsored by Nature’s Best Photography. 21,000 images were entered in the competition, 500 made it to the final round of judging and 131 were winners or highly honored and appeared in the most recent issue of Nature’s Best Photography magazine. I am crossing my fingers that one of mine will also be featured as part of the competition’s six-month exhibition next year at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.. Here is the first of the three, taken in a bend of the Virgin River Narrows in Zion National Park. This is an utterly fantastic hike with spectacular photography possibilities at every turn, and a place to which I am anxious to return in 2012. My buddy Garry McCarthy serves as an “anchor” to lend some perspective to the scene and create a little tension from the corner of the composition across to the beautiful cottonwoods in the Narrows.

Photographer in the Virgin River Narrows, with flowing water, autumn cottonwood trees and towering red sandstone cliffs, Zion National Park, Utah

Photographer in the Virgin River Narrows, with flowing water, autumn cottonwood trees and towering red sandstone cliffs.
Image ID: 26106
Location: Virgin River Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah, USA

Fall Colors in the Virgin River Narrows, Zion National Park

Utah, Zion

The Virgin River Narrows in Zion National Park is an incredible slot canyon carved out of the red rock sandstone that characterizes this part of Utah. One can walk upstream on the river bed from the Temple of Sinawava for several miles. I plan to return with my daughter next year. While this is not a difficult hike, my hunch is that it would feel like an adventurous outing to a youngster (perhaps akin to hiking the Mist Trail in Yosemite when the Merced River is at peak flow). We walked as far as the “Wall Street” section of the Virgin River Narrows before turning around. The return hike back downstream was definitely easier, with the flow of the Virgin River gently pushing us back to the parking lot. We timed our visit for what we hoped would be the peak of fall color in Zion National Park and we were not disappointed. The cottonwood trees were blazing yellow, while maples were typically turning red. Below is one of my favorite sections of the Virgin River Narrows, with a large shore along the river providing habitat for a group of cottonwoods to grow.

Yellow cottonwood trees in autumn, fall colors in the Virgin River Narrows in Zion National Park

Yellow cottonwood trees in autumn, fall colors in the Virgin River Narrows in Zion National Park.
Image ID: 26091
Location: Virgin River Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah, USA

Arch Angel Falls, The Subway, Zion National Park, Utah

Utah, Zion

Archangel Falls is located a few hundred yards before and below the Subway, in Zion National Park, Utah. Our hike to the Subway took us past a number of small cascades. Most of them would be hard to categorize as waterfalls, but Archangel Falls (or is it Arch Angel Falls?) is large enough that I’ll call it a waterfall. Beautiful red rock slabs, with autumn trees and colorful falling leaves, all surrounded by the distinctive towering cliffs of one of Zion National Park’s narrow canyons.

Archangel Falls in autumn, near the Subway in North Creek Canyon, with maples and cottonwoods turning fall colors, Zion National Park, Utah

Archangel Falls in autumn, near the Subway in North Creek Canyon, with maples and cottonwoods turning fall colors.
Image ID: 26097
Location: Zion National Park, Utah, USA

Hiking the Virgin River Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah

Utah, Video, Zion

I recently made a couple of fantastic hikes in Zion National Park: the Subway and the Virgin River Narrows. I am editing photographs now, but here is a short rough video I shot on our hikes. The highlights were Archangel Falls near the Subway, and the Wall Street section of the Virgin River Narrows. Oh, and the fall colors in Zion National Park were awesome!

Here is one image from the Subway. Those yellow cottonwood trees were in raging color all over Kolob Terrace and in the Zion Canyon. Just wonderful!

The Subway, a iconic eroded sandstone formation in Zion National Park

The Subway, a iconic eroded sandstone formation in Zion National Park.
Image ID: 26094
Location: The Subway, Zion National Park, Utah, USA

Thanks Garry and Don for your great company!

Waterfalls at Temple of Sinawava, Zion National Park

National Parks, Zion

On a recent visit to Utah I had a chance to spend some time in Zion National Park. A number of ephemeral waterfalls were flowing, the result of rainstorms that had passed over Zion Canyon a few days before. The Temple of Sinawava, a widening in Zion Canyon at the end of the paved road, featured a fine waterfall that I am told is typically dry but which had been seen most of the past winter and spring due to the amazing amounts of rain southern Utah has seen this year. That same morning I photographed two other emphemeral falls above nearby Weeping Rock. My tram driver informed me that those two almost never flow and that they were due solely to the rain that had fallen the preceding night and not to any snow melt, and that they would be dry by afternoon. Heavy cloud cover allowed for a long shutter speed, softening the appearance of the falls and accentuating the color in the rain-slicked red sandstone cliffs and cottonwood trees.

Waterfall at Temple of Sinawava during peak flow following spring rainstorm.  Zion Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah

Waterfall at Temple of Sinawava during peak flow following spring rainstorm. Zion Canyon.
Image ID: 12452
Location: Temple of Sinawava, Zion National Park, Utah, USA

Waterfall at Temple of Sinawava during peak flow following spring rainstorm.  Zion Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah

Waterfall at Temple of Sinawava during peak flow following spring rainstorm. Zion Canyon.
Image ID: 12450
Location: Temple of Sinawava, Zion National Park, Utah, USA

Waterfall at Temple of Sinawava during peak flow following spring rainstorm.  Zion Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah

Waterfall at Temple of Sinawava during peak flow following spring rainstorm. Zion Canyon.
Image ID: 12451
Location: Temple of Sinawava, Zion National Park, Utah, USA

Keywords: Zion National Park, Temple of Sinawava, Waterfall.

See more Temple of Sinawava photos