After finding the best camping site of the trip so far, I settled into Zion and hoped for the best. Zion is a desert oasis! Unmatched by any of the landscape I have ever seen in Utah, Zion is truly a sight to behold. However, it is still in the desert and high temps and monsoons are all very familiar. Trying to plan around both these obstacles would prove very difficult.
Zion’s most popular sights are via a shuttle service only, during the popular summer months. There is also a scenic highway that travels along the outskirts of the park and this is where I would spend most of my time during the week. Lines for the shuttle were close to being a 45 minute wait and with the temperature sitting above 105 degrees every day, I was having a hard time convincing myself it would be worth it. To begin with, I have an adversity to shooting the same spot as every tourist before me. While the scenic highway provided the same, air conditioning provided the deciding factor. Sure, it was a little lazy but it just means I need to go back during the fall sometime.
The nigh time, was the reason I was here but the monsoon’s proved to make that just as difficult. I had one clear sky out of all 7 days I was there. Unfortunately, that night came the first night I was there. Exhausted from the drive, I had decided to take that night off and just practice some new techniques from the campsite. Little did I know that every night after that would start the worst monsoon season Zion has seen in a very long time. The storms would roll in around 7 and stick around till about 2 or 3 in the morning. I ventured out a few nights, where the weather said it would clear early, but that never happened. So that makes two reasons to head back to Zion one fall in the not so distant future.
Determined to take pictures and find some originality in a place this popular, I spent one day exploring Kolob Reservoir. Only an hour drive from the main park, the reservoir sits at over 8,000 feet in elevation. I was hoping for a good spot for both sunset and Milky Way photos and I wasn’t let down. I scouted a few locations that would work for both and then proceeded to wait for sunset. However, even at 8,000 feet there was no escaping the monsoons. Another night gone, I headed back to camp hoping my luck would soon change.
My luck would not change and Zion even after 7 days, would end up on the wrong side of my list. I did have a few locals tell me, “This is the worst monsoon season I have ever seen.”
Thoughts from the road:
If you ever want to feel like what your food feels like, try and nap in a tent at Zion during a 110 degree day!
Music from the road:
Oh this week there was so many: The Who, Pearl Jam, Pink Floyd, Metallica, B.B. King, The Record Company, Gin Wigmore……..
Photos from the road:
The main Zion metoo tourist shot:
Sometimes there is a reason they are metoo shots!
My attempt at some originality from the same spot:
Check out all the pics from Zion National Park here!