Where to Photograph in Zion National Park
From personal experience, these locations in Zion National Park are the best for landscape photography. I also offer my thoughts on when are the best times of the year to be there to capture the best possible photographs.
I recall my first visit to Zion National Park and not knowing really what to expect. There is always something special about seeing such an amazing place for the first time. Your eyes are darting all around in amazement of the stunning red rock mountains and formations. You can’t wait to get out there and start composing images.
The requirement of having to use the shuttle to go into Zion Canyon presents a challenge for getting to some locations at the proper time, but it is not insurmountable.
There is much more to the Park than just Zion Canyon where the shuttle goes. Create a priority list for the early and late day shots and then use the entire rest of the day for scouting other locations. Unique images don't have signs pointing to them. You have to find them, but the hunt can be quite fun.
My Favorite Locations
I love the mountain known as The Watchman. There is the iconic photograph of it looking down the Virgin River. Unfortunately, this is not possible anymore as the Park has made it illegal to stand on the bridge where you have to be to photograph it. However, there are other locations which you can photograph it from. A little exploration and you will find some nice compositions.
The Virgin River goes through a red rock canyon called The Narrows. I spent a day one Fall hiking up the river in a dry suit shooting the incredible scenes. The water can be cold and deep and you crisscross your way up the river. The day was unforgettable and I have a strong desire to walk up that canyon again.
Temple of Sinewava
At the far end of Zion Canyon is the Temple of Sinewava. This is also where you begin your hike into The Narrows. The Fall colors can be impressive and there are a variety of Cottonwood and other trees to create compositions with.
Other Locations in Zion National Park
Within Zion Canyon there is the Court of the Patriarchs with nice river scenes, Emerald Pools, The Weeping Rock trail and Angel’s Landing. I have not made the difficult hike up to Angel’s Landing myself, but if you are able to, the views are impressive.
Outside of Zion Canyon and the shuttle system, there is the Zion Canyon Overlook, Many Pools and Checkerboard Mesa to the east. In the other direction to the west, there is Kolob Canyon, which you get to going out Kolob Terrace Road out of the town of Virgin. This also takes you to very difficult hike to The Subway, which is accessed from the Left Fork of North Creek. Advance permits are required for this. There is plenty of available information on this hike.
Best Times To Be At Zion National Park
I would suggest avoiding the summer due to crowds. The Spring is good with fresh green foliage, but the Fall can be spectacular. Late October and early November can be good for Autumn color.