SPIRIT OF PLACE – ZION NATIONAL PARK

After spending two nights in Salt lake city, I made the 5 hour drive down to Zion National Park. Zion has become a very popular destination, with 4.32 million visitors per year.

In order to get into Zion you have to find a parking space in the small parking lot at the park, or park in the nearby town of Springdale and take a shuttle into the park. After waiting for about 20 minutes, I was lucky enough to get a parking spot at the park.

I made my way to one of the Zion park shuttles and took it to stop number 6 for the Upper Emerald Pools trail. Even though the park wasn’t packed there were a lot of people on the trail, so it was difficult to find moments of silence. It was worth it though. The area by this pool is stunning. The hike back down into the main part of the canyon was beautiful.

sunlight on the cottonwood trees Zion National Park

I particularly enjoyed the way the sunlight lit up the leaves of the cottonwood trees in the floodplain near the river.ย  One of the unique things about Zion National Park is that you are actually IN the heart of the canyon. In most of the other canyons of the US, you are looking down from above.
In Zion, you are looking up! This evokes a feeling of wonder and awe at the monumental geology, and incredible colors of the canyon.

Zion - temple of Sinawava

The stone in Zion was formed during the Crustaceous period. Part of the mgihty Grand Staicase of Colorado Plateau, the stone of Zion sits somewhere in the middle of the 525 million years of geological history of the Grand Staircase.

You can read more about the Geology of Zion National Park here.

The story of this stone has been revealed through erosion by the Virgin river in all her patience and art. The quality of light is Zion is amazing. The way the sunlight reflects off the stone and bounces onto the red Navajo sanstone is like nothing I’ve ever seen. These stones seem to have a life and glow of their own!

I spent my first night outside the town of Hurricane, watching the sun set over the red rocks of canyon country.

Sunset Hurricane UT

The story of this stone has been revealed through erosion by the Virgin river in all her patience and art. The quality of light is Zion is amazing. The way the sunlight reflects off the stone and bounces onto the red Navajo sanstone is like nothing I’ve ever seen. These stones seem to have a life and glow of their own! This was particularly visible to me the next day when I went up to the northern part of Zion – Kolob Canyon area.

I shot some 360 footage here as there were much less people around.
About 10% of the people who visit Zion make it to the northern part of the park, and it’s worth a visit.I spent my nights out on the plateaus near the towns of Hurricane and Springdale.
There is a lot of BLM that allows dispersed camping.
I found myself racing the sun, and a bunch of Rv’s and vans to find spots before nightfall.