“The mountains are calling and I must go.” John Muir
As expected, the weather was great today, primarily for ducks and firefighters. Fairly constant rain tried to stop us, but we decided to make lemonade from the lemons and do some exploring by car. Because the satellite showed more rain near Escalante than in the south, we decided to shift our plans and head out to Zion. As it turned out we caught a small window of sunshine and blue sky before the clouds rolled back in.
We entered Zion from the east entrance which, it turns out, is the most scenic route. The rain ended before we reached the park and didn’t start again until we had completed the drive and finished our lunch at a lovely picnic area facing The Watchman, one of Zion’s most iconic landmarks. We were astounded at the beauty of the park and cannot wait to explore it more thoroughly on foot.
Once we finished our picnic we decided to hop on the park’s shuttle which took us on a route closed to cars during the peak season. It was a nice opportunity for Bailey to observe rather than drive, and featured a nice overview of the park’s history and the features of each of the scenic stops.
While today’s window was small, I did manage to capture a few lovely scenes along our drive (no tripod this time out) from the small turnout areas. Hopefully these will whet your appetite as they have mine.
I must admit that given the limitations of the weather and the roadside restrictions, I have fallen short of conveying the grandeur of Zion. The colors, the massive peaks, the shear rock walls, the textures, all combine in a breathtaking array of beauty. Hopefully our next foray into the heart of the park will better reveal its splendor.
Note: All photos taken with Nikon D/300s and circular polarizer
- Roadside Scenery: Nikkor 10-24mm @24mm, ISO 200, f/11, 1/125
- Scenic Route 9: Nikkor 10-24mm @24mm, ISO 200, f/11, 1/125
- Granite and Flowers: Nikkor 10-24mm @22mm, ISO 200, f/11, 1/80
- Pancake Rocks: Nikkor 70-200mm @120mm, ISO 200, f/11, 1/400
- Stubborn Pine: Nikkor 10-24mm @24mm, ISO 200, f/11, 1/80