On the Road...Zion, UT

by - Friday, August 21, 2015

Zion National Park

After our successful trip to Moab last year at this time, we decided to focus on another one of our national parks for the 2015 location. After doing a little research, Zion it is. We shot in and around the park for ten days. These two parks, both in southern Utah, are visually distinct and different from one another. Hard to imagine that these areas were once covered by seas, streams, ponds and lakes.

Checkerboard Mesa

A must-see near the east entrance of the park. A huge sandstone dome with a unique fishnet pattern created by erosion and weathering. Apparently, the horizontal lines are fairly common, while the vertical lines are rare.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Another location and state park, not far from Zion National Park. As the name implies, over 3,700 acres of sand, an incredible coral/pink in color. We joked that this was one of our girls “natural habitats.”

See Spot Hide

We stayed just outside of the park at a working ranch. This is Spot, the cow who the ranch hand claims “has lived longer than he should have.” The story goes: When the current owner bought the property, all of the cows were supposed to be relocated in order for a herd of buffalo to take up residence. Spot took cover in the trees, thus avoiding the move. Now, Spot feels comfortable with the buffalo. However, as far as comfort goes, his head does weigh over 100 pounds.


Day 2, SNOW. Not uncommon in April at this elevation. However, for a fall photoshoot, not a part of our plan. Luckily, this area has such a huge discrepancy in elevation (3,666 to 8,700 feet) we simply moved the crew to the bottom of the canyon, where it was warm and sunny.

The Alpha Male

The fellow on the right is the dominant bison. Interesting Facts: Americans often call bison “buffalo.” This is a misnomer since Bison are only found in North America, while the two main buffalo species reside in Asia and Africa. Also surprising to me, bison can move faster than horses at upwards of 40 mph (horses gallop at 25 to 30 mph.).

On the Wagon

The small chicken coop had been abandoned in lieu of this option with better airflow.

Robert Redford was here!

Grafton Ghost Town (above, top), just south of Zion National Park. This defunct townsite, currently being restored, is the location used for the iconic “Raindrops keep Falling on My Head” scene from “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” Remember, Paul Newman and Katharine Ross on the bicycle, while Robert Redford was watching from the house (above, bottom).

Bottom of the Canyon

Epic cliffs and the Virgin River. Worth the trip!

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