Biweekly Wow: Bryce Canyon’s Fire & Ice

About two months later, and we’re finally to Part II of our little trip to Bryce and Zion National Parks.  Much like Yosemite, we ventured out to these parks in late winter not only to avoid crowds but also in the hopes of finding snow.  We were pretty disappointed in that endeavor with Zion, but Bryce was ready to deliver.

If Bryce Canyon is beautiful in the summertime, with its rust-red hoodoos and fiery vistas, snow only takes it up a notch by contrasting those rich colors with its pure white.  Continue reading

Zion’s Emerald Pools

Day 2 of our stay in Zion National Park was fairly low-key.  After all, we were pretty beat after the crazy climb to the top of Angels Landing!  We started the day with a cold wait for sunrise at the Canyon Overlook, and then we took a leisurely stroll to see the Zion’s Emerald Pools.

The muddy path that winds behind the trickling waterfalls at the lower of Zion's Emerald Pools

Spoiler alert: It was somewhat disappointing.

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Biweekly Wow: Zion’s Canyon Overlook

I’m somewhat beginning to adopt a habit of posting my “weekly wow”s every other week, so I suppose they’re more of a “biweekly wow.”  I still have so much to share from this trip!  I hope you’re enjoying the journey.

After our rainy bust at Zion’s Canyon Overlook the morning prior, we had to give it another chance.  After all, the golden rays of dawn are supposed to be spectacular on this national park’s red rocks.

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Angels Landing rock formation in Zion National Park | LotsaSmiles Photography

Photostory: Angels Landing

So I love surprises.  But sometimes, that affinity comes at my own detriment.  Because of this proclivity, I was hardly involved in the planning for our recent trip to Bryce and Zion, and I didn’t know anything about the Angels Landing hike.

I had no idea what I was about to experience.

Black and white image of the Angels Landing rock formation | LotsaSmiles Photography

We set out for a 5-mile hike.  That’s fine.  I can handle that, no problem.  There would be some elevation gain.  That’s fine, too; I’m used to such hikes from Colorado.  There will be epic views.  Awesome!  Sign me up!

Somewhere in there, I either didn’t hear or forgot all mention of chains.
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The Zion valley floor from atop the Angels Landing hike with the canyon walls dappled in spotty sunlight | LotsaSmiles Photography

Weekly Wow: Atop Angels Landing

After such a rainy start to our trip to Zion National Park, we didn’t expect the sky to clear out so beautifully.  And when it did, we further didn’t expect it to invite a few elite clouds back into the scene to perfectly diffuse the harsh sun at just the right moment, providing a spectacular view of the valley below.

Yes, we survived the famed (infamous?) Angels Landing Hike (though six people, sadly, have not), and we were in for quite a treat when we reached the top.  I have a more in-depth photostory to share with you about the full hike next week, but for now, I wanted to focus on this one photo.

View of a valley far below the summit of the Angels Landing hike in Zion National Park - Weekly Wow: Atop Angels Landing | LotsaSmiles Photography

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Photostory: Zion’s Canyon Overlook

I have fallen in love with Utah and its many national parks, and I seek to add many more from across the country to my list.  We were in Utah quite recently to explore Arches National Park and Canyonlands, and we couldn’t wait to return.

Photostory: Canyon Overlook | LotsaSmiles Photography | Click through to read all about our exciting adventure hiking in the dark and shooting a Zion sunrise in the rain!

We had arrived in the famed Zion National Park, and we were ready.  After a long, five-hour drive in from the Salt Lake City airport (word to the wise: Las Vegas is actually much closer), our fingers were itching for our shutters.

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Weekly Wow: Zion’s Watchman

A visit to Zion National Park often comes with seeking out the iconic shot of The Watchman.  Generally viewed from atop the Canyon Junction Bridge, I wanted to (excuse the pun) shoot for something different.  I love getting close to my foreground so I can make full use of my wide angle, so I ventured down to the riverside.

Weekly Wow: Zion's Watchman | LotsaSmiles Photography | Every photographer takes the same picture of Zion's famous Watchman landmark.  Click to see a different point of view!

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