The Illuminating Lens

Zion National Park, Utah – A Bit Farther

I recently visited Zion National Park in Utah with a group of photography friends.  This park is one of those places you have to have on your

bucket list!   We left Las Vegas very early in the morning so we would get to Zion first thing for that early morning light.   This park is a bit different from most others as you park your vehicle and take a park bus from stop to stop for 9 stops.   Each stop has a feature(s), trail(s) and/or accommodations that are of interest.  Some are fairly close to the stop and some are a long hike or climb.   There are narratives by various park employees given on the bus between the stops that are interesting and informative.

Here are some details about Zion National Park from Wikipedia:

Zion National Park is located in the Southwestern United States, near Springdale, Utah. A prominent feature of the 229-square-mile (590 km2) park is Zion Canyon, which is 15 miles (24 km) long and up to half a mile (800 m) deep, cut through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of theVirgin River. The lowest elevation is 3,666 ft (1,117 m) at Coalpits Wash and the highest elevation is 8,726 ft (2,660 m) at Horse Ranch Mountain. Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert regions, the park’s unique geography and variety of life zones allow for unusual plant and animal diversity. Numerous plant species as well as 289 species of birds, 75 mammals (including 19 species of bat), and 32 reptiles inhabit the park’s four life zones: desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest. Zion National Park includes mountains, canyons, buttes, mesas, monoliths, rivers, slot canyons, and natural arches.

The Virgin River winds its way through the park.  At some points it was very wide and others it was fairly narrow.

Virgin River

The soaring and colorful peaks are the main attraction at this immense park!  It was almost overwhelming as you had a great shot in every direction!

The Patriarchs

By the time we made it to the 6th stop the weather had turned decidedly bad!  It was raining pretty hard and the wind was blowing in strong gusts, so we decided (along with most everyone else in the park) to jump on the bus and head back to the parking lot.

Once back on the road in our own vehicle, we decided to take a side road off the main road into the park and check that area out.  This road immediately started going up in elevation.  After a few miles the rain was coming down again!   But we noticed something unexpected on some of the vehicles coming down the road, they had snow on their roofs!   We kept on driving even as the rain increased and suddenly the rain was slushy and then snow was falling!

We continued on up the road until the snow was actually accumulating on the ground.

Us crazy Florida photographers got out and shot pictures, ran around, made snowballs and just had fun until we were all cold!   Since we were driving a mini-van & our driver is a Florida guy, we decided we had gone high enough as the snow was still coming down pretty heavily!

Within a few minutes we were back into the rain and on our way out of this incredible scenic part of the western US!  This is one of those places everyone has to see!

To see these and additional images please visit my Zion National Park gallery!

That is all for now!


Lynn Wiezycki

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