regrouping and ready to attack! : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

LF and I have made amends (again) and we are enjoying a 2nd honeymoon of sorts. I have been shooting more lately than when I first began.
My main love is landscapes - not so much the grand, sweeping types as the more medium to intimate sort.
I live in the west, and have always made a point of staying away from NPs and other "touristy", crowded places - plus I try to avoid cliche subjects.
However, I will be in the Salt Lake area in early July, and can arrange for a week or so of personal photography. Considering that, I would like to visit a few parks and shoot some 4x5.
Anyway, here are my questions - (Yes, I looked in the archives).
I am considering driving down to Bryce or Zion for a few days and am wondering if those of you who have "been-there-done-that" can offer advice. I do not anticipate (or want) to take more than a short hike at a stretch ( a couple miles )

At Zion -
1. Is it worthwhile staying at the Zion Lodge? Does this significantly shorten travel times to the benefit of camera time?
2. With the recent road closure, is waiting for shuttles to get from point-to-point fruitless? and is it better to just hike there?
3. I live in the west, and have backpacked extensively through much of the mountain west, but have never seen a cougar. The NPS states that cougars are "fairly common through-out the park". Anyone every had an encounter? Got a photo?

At Bryce-
Just one question - Go to Zion instead?

-- Matt O. (, March 11, 2002


Go to Bryce instead! Get one of the "cabins" built in the 1930's by the UPRR for tourism if you can. At Bryce you stand at the top and look down, at Zion you stand at the bottum and look up. I'm a Nevadan. I've always preferred Bryce and North Rim to Zion. That's just one guys subjective opinion FWIW. Won't be hard to get differing ones at this forum. Oddly I haven't been back to either as a photographer!

-- Jim Galli (, March 11, 2002.


I don't have as much experience in Bryce as Zion but, the whole region is stunning so you'll find good things to shoot no matter which park you choose. With regard to Zion,

If you can stay in the Lodge or one of the adjacent cabins I would do so. The park at night is really spectacular.

The road closure doesn't begin until April and is only in affect in the canyon. If you stay in the Lodge I believe you can still take your car there but not drive around in the canyon. FWIW the shuttle bus has significantly improved the quality of experience in the canyon.

Cougars. Haven't seen one. I would imagine you need to get well away from the trails to find one, although with the limited access road in the summer there is much more wildlife present in the canyon floor.

Two last thoughts. Zion Canyon is pretty narrow and deep so there isn't as much opportunity for late morning early eveing light. Upper Zion, on top of the mesa is mostly slickrock on the eastern edge and meadow on the western edge. Both provide strong landscape possibilties. As for hiking, If you hike down you have to come back up and if you hike up you have to hike down. Check out the websites for each park. They can be accessed through

Have fun

-- Kevin (, March 11, 2002.


I have been to Zion, nice place however, as mention in the last post catching beautiful light in the actually canyon could be a challenge, the poster's comments are very detailed and you should be fine. One other park that I have read a lot and have been toying with the idea of visiting in the Grant Escalante NP. It is not as developed and not your "wippy" tourist destination. If you are a hardcore hiker and love the vistas theis will be your fiesta. Do a search on Yahoo and you will possibly change your mind and head there instead of Bryce and Zion.



-- Adrian Ng'asi (, March 11, 2002.

I mean Grand Escalante and not Grant Escalante!



-- Adrian Ng'asi (, March 11, 2002.

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