National parks are pretty much my new favorite vacation destination and Zion just might be the best of them all (at least of the parks I’ve been to thus far)! Truth be told; prior to a year ago, I didn’t know much about Zion. I’d heard of it, but I certainly couldn’t have pinpointed it on a map and I didn’t know about it’s grandeur. Then, I happened across a blog post on a fellow photographer’s site (ah, the magic of social media) and I fell in love. (I mean, her pics are pretty darn stellar!!) I think I scrolled through the photos a dozen times. Right then and there I promised myself I would go! Zion happens to be pretty close to Las Vegas, and luckily for me, there is an annual photography convention in Vegas! Perfect excuse.
Fast forward to March of 2014. I attended the conference, and had a blast with my photographer friends. Afterwards, my travel-partner-in-crime, Laura, and I headed out for a road trip through Utah, with Zion being the highlight. Zion is absolutely breathtaking. Early March is quiet around the park, so you won’t see too many cars on the roads or hikers on the trails. We enjoyed serenity, nature, and gorgeous views from every vantage point. The highlight of Zion was definitely hiking up to Angel’s Landing. The trail is 5 miles round trip, with a 1488 ft elevation gain, but it the last quarter mile of the trail that features the most stunning views. It’s treacherous and requires hikers holding on to chains to avoid dropping off the 1000-1488′ cliffs. Literally. Some areas are so narrow two hikers can’t even pass each other and since you’re following a ridge, there are dramatic drop offs on BOTH sides. Needless to say, my camera was safely tucked away for the majority of the hike- I only snapped pics in wider areas of the ridge and at the summit. I didn’t create this video, but if you want a 3-min consolidated version of the hike from the safety of your home, check out this video.
I say this about every place I travel too, but I really, really want to return to Zion. It’s such a special place.
Photos captured on a Contax 645 with Fuji 400H film, iPhone and a couple on Laura’s Canon MkIII.