The imposing, craggy peaks and multicolored cliffs of Zion National Park draw millions of hikers, sightseers, and adventure-seekers every year, and we can now count ourselves among the flock. We spent two full days exploring Zion and could have stayed for a few more. But in the time we had, we, too, were pulled in by this great desert beauty in southern Utah, and we’ve got the pictures to prove it. Here are some of our favorites in this Zion National Park Photo Essay.
The Watchman in Zion
Possibly the most photographed rock face in Zion, the Watchman is easily viewed from trails, bridges, and pull-outs near the Visitor Center. It practically glows at sunset.
Shuttle Bus in Zion
The Zion shuttle buses have been operating since 1997 to alleviate traffic problems and maintain the peacefulness of the park. Shuttles run from mid-March through late November, stopping at 18 locations, nine of them in the nearby town of Springdale.
Zion Visitor Center
The Zion Canyon Visitor Center near the south entrance has a large plaza, an information desk, gift shop, bathrooms, water stations, and a shuttle bus stop.
Zion Mount Carmel Tunnel
The 1.1 mile Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel dates to 1930, and was built to provide direct access from Zion to both Bryce and Grand Canyons. At the time, it was the longest tunnel of its type in the United States.
Slot Canyon in Zion
Technical canyoneering skills are required for the multiple rappels and cold-pool swims in the Pine Creek Slot Canyon.
Zion Cottonwood Grove
Zion Canyon Scenic Drive passes through a towering grove of Fremont cottonwood near Zion Lodge.
Find out more about Zion’s
family-friendly hiking spots in this post. If you’re also planning to visit nearby Grand Canyon, see what we picked as the top 5 things to do while you’re there before checking out these can’t-miss photo locations in our Grand Canyon Photo Essay.
For road trip inspiration, feel free to copy our
entire 8-day itinerary from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Zion National Park, and back again.
Most of these photos were taken with Rick’s Fuji X System (minus an iPhone shot or two). To read more about his favorite cameras and photography gear, click here.