Canyons of Utah: Zion & Bryce

Overview

Discover the heart of canyon country through your lens on this photographic excursion into Zion and Bryce National Parks. We’ll explore the delicate and colorful slot canyons of Zion National Park as well as the ancient weather-worn hoodoo rock formations of Bryce Canyon.

We’ve timed this excursion to coincide with the brilliant Autumn foliage change within Zion Canyon in the Fall. Russ has been hiking & photographing in Southern Utah for well over a decade and has designed this itinerary to arrive at just the right moment for ideal lighting conditions and photographic opportunities.

This landscape photography oriented expedition will put you and your lens in front of some of the most iconic and spectacular rock formations that Southern Utah has to offer. We’ll hike the Zion Narrows, Photograph Angel’s Landing from high above Zion Canyon and squeeze through the most dramatic slot canyons in Utah. We’ll also photograph and hike the Bryce Canyon’s unique and otherworldly hoodoo formations. After dinner we may venture out to capture brilliant, star-filled skies above the canyons.  After long days in the field, we’ll retreat to our historic, comfortable lodges within Zion Canyon and on the rim of Bryce!

Itinerary

Day 1

Travel day. Arrive in Saint George, Utah for an orientation and welcome dinner by 6pm.

Day 2

We’ll catch the sunrise this morning at an iconic spot within Zion Canyon and then tackle the famous Zion Narrows for the soft midday light that can be so perfect in canyon country. We’ll wade through the chilly waters of the Virgin River and spend the afternoon photographing this immense slot canyon system.

Hiking Mileage: 3-5 miles, slick uneven terrain with minimal elevation gain

Day 3

This morning we will set out to do some short hikes to places like Emerald Pools and the Weeping Rock. In the afternoon we’ll ascend the lovely (but steep) West-Rim trail for an incredible overlook of the canyon. Waterfalls can abound in Zion during springtime, and during Autumn the Fall Foliage is brilliant.

Mileage: 5-9 miles, with 400-2,000 feet of elevation gain and loss

Day 4

This morning we will photograph one of the most iconic spots in the park. After our morning session we’ll eat lunch and drive to Bryce canyon to check in to our evening’s accommodation. We’ll have a sunset session tonight overlooking the rim of Bryce Canyon – aptly named Sunset Point!

Mileage: 0-3 miles, 0-600 feet of elevation gain and loss

Day 5

We’ll arise early again this morning as we head out on a short two mile hike to capture the rising sun over the Hoodoos and rock formations of Bryce Canyon National Park. Russ will go over some of the intricacies of capturing desert sunrise shots and then we’ll head in for a late breakfast at our lodge.

During the middle of the day when the light isn’t as good we’ll work on some photographic techniques and hike the Fairyland Trail which features an otherworldly collection of hoodoos and sandstone rock formations. We’ll have another epic vantage point for an evening photography session then it’s off to our cozy lodge nestled in the cool higher elevation pines of Bryce Canyon National Park.

Mileage: 3-8 miles, 0-700 feet of elevation gain and loss

Day 6

Our final morning of shooting will involve one of the most dramatic locations in Southern Utah – Bryce Point. We’ll head out and capture one of the most breath-taking sunrises before heading in for our last breakfast as a group! We will return to Saint George by about 12pm on the last day for flights out.

Hiking Mileage: Minimal

Please Note: Please note that the exact sequence of the itineraries on all photography trips will be based on weather and lighting conditions. The goal on these trips is to make sure we are at the right place at the right time for the perfect light on our subjects. Also, itineraries can change for a variety of other circumstances including floods, forest fires, national park closures, road closures and more.

Details

Physical Requirements
All participants must be in good physical condition and have the ability to hike with a daypack.

Group Size
We keep groups small to maximize your one on one time with the guide / instructor.

Accommodation
We will be staying in comfortable lodges in Bryce & Zion.

Meals

All meals are included during the trip dates and we typically eat at park lodges in the evening as well as a hand picked local restaurants. We often do snacks on the trail and then return for a late breakfast during photography trips as we are often out early to capture the morning light.

Weather
Expect warm pleasant days and chilly nights. The weather is generally very dry and stable in Southern Utah however it can change on a moments notice. Remember some of the best photographs are made before, during and immediately after a storm cycle. There is no such thing as bad weather just poor layering and gear choices – please plan accordingly! For more info on what to bring please email or call us.

Price Includes
Meals, ground transportation, accommodation during the trip dates, professional photography instruction, medically certified wilderness guide.

Price Does Not Include
Airfare, alcoholic beverages, accommodations before or after the trip dates, guide & staff gratuities

Travel Details
Departure city is Saint George, Utah

What to Bring

Photo & Field Gear for Canyons of Utah: Zion & Bryce

Required Camera Gear:

  • DSLR or Mirrorless Camera. (Nikon, Canon, Sony, Panasonic etc.)
  • Medium telephoto zoom lens (100–400mm zoom or equivalent)
  • Normal Lens (50mm or equivalent zoom)
  • Wide-angle lens (10-20mm, 16-35mm or equivalent zoom)
  • Sturdy but lightweight Tripod (must be able to carry this for hikes)
  • Memory Cards
  • Batteries, batteries, batteries (enough said?)
  • Battery Chargers
  • Filters such as a circular polarizer and neutral density are a must.
  • Lens cleaning pen & cloth
  • Camera Day Pack (this should appropriately carry all your camera & hiking gear)
  • Camera Rain Sleeve

Optional (but recommended) Camera Gear:

  • Back-Up Camera Body
  • Macro-capable lens
  • 1.4x tele converter
  • Extension tubes
  • Laptop Computer with Lightroom / Photoshop Pre-Installed
  • External Hard Drives
  • Bean bag
  • Remote Shutter Trigger
  • TTL Flash Unit
  • Camera’s Instruction Manual
  • Panorama Gear

Suggested Field Gear & Clothing:

  • Personal Field Clothing (think layers)
  • Warm top, such as a long-sleeved sweater or fleece jacket
  • Long pants, one pair of leggings or lightweight trousers to block sun and give warmth at night
  • Warm Hat & Gloves
  • Down Jacket
  • Long Underwear
  • Shorts & T-Shirts for on the trail during warmer months
  • Hiking Socks (Smartwool, Darn Tough etc.)
  • Brimmed Sun Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sturdy Hiking Boots
  • Casual wear, for your evenings off the trail
  • Water Bottle or Hydration System
  • Rain shell, waterproof/breathable jacket
  • Rain Pants
  • Shooting Gloves
  • Pocket knife
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Knee pads (for low-angle shooting)
This is a general list. Before we actually depart let’s have a quick chat or email about what you are planning to bring!

Highlights

  • Zion & Bryce National Parks
  • Zion Narrows
  • Photograph narrow Slot Canyons & otherworldly hoodoos
  • Stunning Hikes
  • Small Groups
  • Cozy lodges
  • All-Inclusive Trip, including top-notch meals
  • Learn from & shoot alongside a seasoned pro

Canyons of Utah: Zion & Bryce

6 Days

$2795

Deposit: $1000

+$550 Single Occupany

Saint George, Utah


2017 Dates

November 6th to 11th, 2017

2018 Dates

This trip will not be running in 2018 as we will be doing a similar trip in Arches & Canyonlands

2019 Dates

November 4th to 9th, 2019


“This trip was really a great escape. Russ runs an excellent workshop that errs more on the side of fun, adventure and getting the shot! We had so many amazing experiences I can’t even begin to thank you enough. Utah and Zion in particular is one of the most strange and beautiful places I have ever seen. Going in the fall was excellent as the leaves begin to change down in the canyons.”

Lisa HSeattle, Washington