Zion National Park is one of those places so over visited it sucks the life out of the place. It’s clogged with tour buses, cars and humans tramping up everything, everywhere.

“The Subway” (Credit: Ron Niebrugge / Wild Nature Images)

Zion has some world class photo ops like “The Subway”, but fighting the crowds to get to them takes a lot of the fun out of it. That is especially true given that the Grand Staircase-Escalante (GSENM) is right next door. GSENM has far more amazing, pristine world class hiking and photography places hidden within its vastness… and few people.

But you are obligated to make a quick spin through Zion sometime if you travel the area enough times. This must have been my time. I had an afternoon this trip and it was close by so opted to stop in.

I’d hoped to catch decent sunset lighting but that was thwarted by clouds on the horizon.

Zion is the Yosemite of red rock country.

In concept, the original intention was to make the entirety of southern Utah and northern Arizona into one humongous national park that was to include Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capital Reef, Canyonlands and Arches National Parks and their surrounding territories.

Their surroundings include the Grand Staircase-Escalante, Natural Bridges and Vermillion Cliffs national monuments. In addition it would have contained the Goosenecks, Goblin Valley, Valley of the Gods and the entire San Rafael Swell. But the gigantic task of making agreements with local residents took too long so national parks were just spun off as land became available. The San Rafael Swell is still largely unprotected lands.

It was my first visit to Zion and perhaps last until I tackle “The Subway”.  In landscape photography circles, The Subway is one of Zion’s most prized photo ops.

Unfortunately, time didn’t allow fighting the crowds to hike in, so I missed it. I just drove the main road and snapped a couple pictures.

About azleader

Learning to see life more clearly... one image at a time!
This entry was posted in Desert, environment, Geology, Landscape, life, Photo, Photography, photos, Thoughts, Utah. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Zion

  1. Zion is lovely. I was there in January. Go back then. Few people. No tour buses.

    • azleader says:

      Thanks Andra… agreed, late fall colors or winter both are better. Clearer skies, too. A mid-winter trip to that area is in my travel plans. I zipped through Zion this time more on a whim than anything preplanned. 🙂

  2. lyncokeley@aol.com says:

    I have been hoping to see another blog from you and am so happy to see this one……what a way to spend your birthday!! I’m sorry it was packed with people, but not surprised. AND…..Happy Birthday to you!! It sure sounds like you are having a really great travel and photography time. I do love your posts and pictures. I have passed your website on to a few people who I know are enjoying them.

    I’m leaving in the morning for Nashville, TN with Heath and Ruthie, but will be back next Thursday. I’d love to see you when you get back to this part of the country, so keep me posted as to your whereabouts, I love following your excursions.

    Take care and have a super Birthday

  3. greg says:

    you mention the SR Swell……note that it is one of the last places that is still quite empty, but as it is under BLM mgmt, it does have cows, ATVs, O&G, and other city folks like me wandering around from time to time. However, there are no National Park Rangers always wanting to check your permits and wanting fees for any site with a toilet ……..haha

  4. aFrankAngle says:

    AZ —- Just saw your comment at PiLogic, thus figured you were back! (Pardon me not knowing). The reds and orange of the southwest are so wonderful … the second pic my fav.

    • azleader says:

      The 2nd picture is my favorite, too… to bad I didn’t take it! (See photo credit)

      I included it because it is one of Zion’s finest photo ops. For my quick, on-a-lark breeze through Zion I did not have time to make the trek there. 😦

      I took all the others, though. lol!!!

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