Zion adventure

At the recommendation of fellow photographer Robert Clark, I made a trip to Zion National Park while on vacation in nearby Las Vegas. Zion is a 229 Sq Mile park with many options. The drive was about 3 1/2 hours long and fraught with the great wide open scenery the west is known for. From what we were told, the best thing to do on your first trip to Zion is to walk the Virgin River up through the Zion Canyon, and that is exactly what we decided to do. We arrived in the town of Springdale, which is just at the Southern entrance to the park before noon and stopped in at the Zion Adventure Company where we rented a set of water shoes and walking sticks for the hike. Before you depart, you also watch a safety video on flash floods, which is something of a concern there depending on the time of year. A shuttle bus runs from several bus stops in the town and takes you up into the park up to various drop off points. We took the shuttle all the way North to the last stop at the Temple of Sinawava and then picked up a paved path before entering the river. The next 3-4 miles we were literally walking up the river which winds through the canyon. There is no description that can prepare you for the amazing experience you get while walking through this place, which is the largest slot canyon in the U.S. The colorful sandstone walls tower over you hundreds of feet into the sky, trees are scattered throughout, sometimes growing right out of the side of the wall face and the Virgin River flows with purpose continuing to carve out the landscape. In areas of the hike, you are in water up to your waist with wall faces only 8 feet on either side of you. Looking up several hundred feet of sheer sandstone cliffs was absolutely breathtaking. We hiked North for about 2 hours before turning back around and heading back. All along the trip I found interesting things to capture, stopping and composing shots. I spent six hours in the water with my tripod and gear and could have spent another six if my wife had let me. I am already looking forward to my next trip to this park. It quickly became one of my favorite places to visit out West. Here are a couple images of the canyon from our trip. Hope you enjoy…

Sheer canyon walls frame the Virgin River, Zion National Park, UT © Rob Loughrey
Sheer canyon walls frame the Virgin River, Zion National Park, UT © Rob Loughrey
Colorful Sandstone walls - Zion National Park, UT © Rob Loughrey
Colorful Sandstone walls – Zion National Park, UT © Rob Loughrey
The Virgin River flows through the Zion Canyon, Zion National Park, UT © Rob Loughrey
The Virgin River flows through the Zion Canyon, Zion National Park, UT © Rob Loughrey