Living in Southern Utah and being surrounded by so much natural beauty it has been a natural progression in my photography journey to fall in love with landscape photography. When you are surrounded by so much beauty and you have a camera in your hand, well how can you not take a picture. Spending as much time in Zion as I do, I have discovered some pretty epic spots to take a frame-worthy photograph. Here is a list of my 10 favorite spots to photograph the magic that is Zion National Park.
Canyon Junction Bridge
If you pass this spot at sunset you might notice hoards of people on the bridge with their tripods out waiting to get that classic photograph of the Watchman Mountain with the Virgin River below. Since the mountain is to the south it doesn't get direct sunlight hitting it but if you are lucky you will get some purple, pink, and orange clouds lighting up the sky. Don't forget to turn around and look to the north during the sunrise/sunset. That direction can be pretty stunning as well. Great for sunrise or sunset you can also capture the Watchman Mountain from one of the many bridges that run along the Pa'Rus trail between the Visitor Center and Canyon Junction.
To reach this spot from the Visitor Center take the shuttle to the 2nd stop, Canyon Junction. You can also drive your car to this spot but it may be hard to find parking.
A landscape photographers dream, The Narrows is packed with amazing views around every single corner. Get out first thing in the morning so that you can snap some incredible photos without hords of people in them. To play with the effects of the water/river make sure to bring a Neutral Density (ND) filter with you and a polarizer.
To get to The Narrows you will get off on the very last shuttle stop, Temple of Sinewave and hike Riverside Walk trail until the paved trail ends and stepping into the Virgin River is your only option.
For epic views without much of a hike, Canyon Overlook Trail is about as good as it gets. Go for sunrise to get pics of the red rock cliffs turning orange as the sun rises or go at sunset to get some sun flair as the sun drops behind the cliffs right before your eyes.
Click here for directions on how to get to Canyon Overlook.
Bridge Below the Court of the Patriarchs
I'm a sucker for a beautiful bridge photograph and this location offers the perfect sunrise opportunity to photograph the Court of the Patriarch mountains lighting up while you slow your shutter speed down to get a smooth, milky waterfall. Especially good at sunrise.
To get to this bridge take the suttle to the Court of the Patriarchs stop. Cross the street and walk past a horse stable and watershed until you reach the bridge.
To get some amazing landscape photos at the top of Angels Landing you are going to have to sweat a little but my goodness it's worth it. Even if you aren't brave enough to scramble the chains to the very top, the views and photo opportunities along the trail are very much still worth the trek.
To get to Angels Landing from the Visitor Center take the shuttle all the way to The Grotto Shuttle stop.
Tip: If you are wanting to photograph the sunrise or sunset but the timing of the shuttles won't allow for this, then ask a ranger at the information desk of the visitor center for a photography pass so that you can drive your car into the canyon. They may not give it to you but it is worth a try.
You can reach Observation point via an eight-mile strenuous and beautiful hike or you can go a much easier and shorter route called East Mesa trail. One of the highest and most stunning views in the park, this overlook will have you looking down onto the Angles Landing trail. Good for sunrise or sunset.
To get to Observation Point trail from the Visitor Center take the shuttle all the way to the Weeping Rock Shuttle stop. Click here for directions on how to get to East Mesa trail.
Towers of the Virgin
Located just behind the Natural History Museum, this epic wall of red rock mountains is a breathtaking spot to capture a sunrise or sunset. The wall will turn orange as the sun rises and at sunset, the wall will come to life with deep, rich color.
To get there from the Visitor Center take the shuttle one stop up to the Natural History Museum. You can also drive your car and park there.
For photographs of stunning slot canyons you can pull off in a designated parking spot all along route 9 on the upper east side of Zion. You will find miles of off the beaten path dry creek bed, meandering through slot canyons and fascinating tunnels. Good in the mornings and evenings.
Click here for directions on how to get there.
Lower Pine Creek Falls
This off the beaten path trail is one of the few spots to capture a waterfall in Zion. It may not be a Yosemite size waterfall but with the lush hanging ferns, clear green pool and stunning red rock surround, I promise you will not be disappointed. Capture this waterfall in the morning or the evening.
Click here for directions on how to get there.
A Zion National Park classic, Emerald Pools offers endless landscape photography potential with epic views, waterfalls, hanging gardens and stunning sandstone cliffs. Best time to photograph on this trail is in the evening or first thing in the morning.
To get there from the Visitor Center take the shuttle to the Lodge. The trail is right across the street.
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