I’m choosing to share only one image from March 2021, although it was a spectacular stretch of great conditions in Southern Utah. Winter had been fairly mild up to that point but Winter decided to show up in Zion National Park in early March. Snow blanketed the canyon and peaks, even snowing in St. George on one of the days (rare).
One of the snowy days brought an incredible display of light at sunrise over Zion National Park (not shown) with a wild show of light I’ve only seen happen once. As the storms cleared, the clouds and fog swirled among the grand walls of Zion for another full day. Another snowstorm brought the rare opportunity to photograph a landscape near St. George with Winter conditions and was definitely a highlight of 2021 for me.
The image I’m sharing from March is from a different day than the ones described above. A day in Zion National Park, hiking the most popular trail yet the image is anything but common. I wanted to go up the Angels Landing trail for sunrise to photograph Angels Landing, not climb it, with snow and winter conditions. I made my way up past Scout’s Lookout and up the West Rim Trail which offers a massive view of Angels Landing and the Virgin River 1500 feet below. The sunrise in the canyon was beautiful as I made fresh tracks up the trail, arriving before anyone else.
The sky cleared a little as I approached the West Rim Trail and was able to capture the image I was looking for. I began to hike down as groups of people began coming up the trail and the snow began to fall yet again. I’d already captured the image I was seeking but seldom does Nature give you what you’re looking for and instead, often shows you what you did’t imagine. This was the case this time as I walked down the crowded trail and was stopped in my tracks.
Above me, a scene unfolded which took my breath away and instinct took over. This image has become one of my favorites I’ve ever made in Zion National Park, surprising me, hiding in plain sight and a scene hundreds of thousands of people with cameras have passed by.
It’s been there the whole time, all it took was to not look for it at all.