Utah’s national parks are a dream come true for every nature photographer. There are many sunset photo spots in Utah National Parks to capture the beauty of these areas!
There’s something magical about watching the day end with rich golden color at all of the Utah National Parks. Use this guide full of photo tips, best sunset photo spots, and the camera gear you’ll need to take pictures at Utah National Parks!
Once the sun begins its descent, you’ll see the stone features in the National Parks glow with a warm, golden hue. With our guide, you’ll know just where to be when the day ends to capture the landscape bathed in golden light!
We live only a few hours away from the National Parks in Utah so we visit these locations often! The tips we share are based on our experiences taking sunset photos at all five parks over the years.
Be sure to grab a copy of our Camera Gear Checklist so you’re prepared with the right equipment for taking sunset photos. You can get a free printable by clicking the graphic below!
Camera Gear for Landscape Photography
- Tripod: take a look at these compact and lightweight travel tripods!
- Camera Bag: protect your camera from sand and water → We use Lowepro camera backpacks for outdoor photography.
- Neutral density filter: to compensate for variance of light you’ll need to use a neutral density filter. → Check out the Kase magnetic filters we use!
- Camera cleaning kit: remove dust or water that WILL get on your lens. NOTE: this is not for cleaning the sensor.
- Memory cards: purchase name brand memory cards since you’re trusting your images to the card! → We use Lexar and Sandisk!
- External hard drive: copy photos to a portable external hard drive ‘just in case’.
- Headlamp: use when taking sunrise and sunset photos!
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A Photo Tour of Utah National Parks
Take a visual tour through all five Utah National Parks to see the stunning landscapes you’ll see when you visit!
Tips for Taking Utah National Parks Sunset Photos
Here are a few sunset photography tips to help you capture amazing images at Utah’s Mighty 5 National Parks:
- Take advantage of the compositions provided by moving to different viewpoints of the formations.
- Use a sturdy tripod to maximize clarity and sharpness, and to expand creative possibilities.
- From a tripod: ISO 100, Aperture F/11 – F/13, adjust shutter speed to accommodate changing light conditions.
- Handheld: set shutter speed to twice the value of your lens focal length (ex. Lens focal length of 24mm = 1/50 shutter speed). Aperture F/11 – F/13, adjust ISO to accommodate shutter speed.
- Expose for the bright sunlit areas.
Best Sunset Photo Spots in Utah National Parks
Because we live in Utah, one of the questions we get asked often is about our favorite photography spots in Utah National Parks.
As landscape photographers, sunrise and sunset are the best times of day to take pictures. At the Utah National Parks, the golden glow on the stone structures is stunning!!
This article is all about sunset photography, but we must share our list of best sunrise photo spots in Utah National Parks as well so you’re set to take pictures at both times!
Now on to our list of the best places to photograph sunset at these four Utah National Parks: Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion!
Due to the direction of the sun setting at Bryce Canyon, the amphitheater filled with hoodoos is in shadows. You’ll want to capture Bryce Canyon sunrise photos when the light is illuminating the hoodoos!
So grab your camera and take a look at some of our favorite sunset photo spots in Utah’s National Parks!
Arches National Park Sunset Photo Spots
The best sunset photography at Arches happens when the stone structures glow from the golden hour light. You’ll find many easy access sunset photo spots from the parking lots or a short walk.
To reach Delicate Arch, THE best sunset spot in Arches National Park, you’ll need to hike a moderate to strenuous 3 mile roundtrip trail that climbs 480 feet in elevation. Be sure to take a headlamp for the hike down after sunset.
Click the link to get the full list of Arches National Park sunset tips and photo spots:
- Delicate Arch
- Balanced Rock
- Skyline Arch
- Turret Arch
Be sure to grab your free Arches Photo Spots Checklist to download, print, and take with you to the park!
Canyonlands National Park Sunset Photo Spots
When visiting Canyonlands National Park you’ll see exquisite natural canyons, arches, fins, buttes, mesas, and spires that have all been carved out by the awe-inspiring power of the Green and Colorado Rivers.
We focus our photography at Canyonlands Island in the Sky because it’s the most accessible and offers fantastic, panoramic views of the park along the scenic drive.
Click the link to get the full list of Canyonlands sunset tips and photo spots:
- Green River Overlook
- Grand View Point
- Dead Horse Point
Yes, Dead Horse Point State Park isn’t part of Canyonlands, but it’s near the entrance to Island in the Sky. It’s known for its stunning views of the Colorado River, dramatic vertical cliffs, canyons, and vista views that you can’t see from Island in the Sky.
If you only have time to visit one location for sunset in this area, we’d say Dead Horse Point!!
Capitol Reef National Park Sunset Photo Spots
Capitol Reef is filled with steep cliffs and canyons, sandstone domes, natural bridges, and arches. You won’t see the sun setting at most of the locations here, but you’ll capture the golden light on the stone cliffs and landscape!
At many locations we like to wait until the sun sets so the full scene is all in shadow to capture even light during blue hour.
Click the link to get the full list of Capitol Reef National Park photography spots. Here’s our favorite sunset photo spots:
- Sunset Point
- Fruita Barn
- Capitol Reef scenic drive
- Eph Hanks Tower
- Cathedral Valley
Zion National Park Sunset Photo Spots
If your Zion vacation is in the spring, summer or fall when the Zion National Park shuttle is running, you’ll have limited access to sunset photography at the locations in Zion Canyon.
At Zion you won’t see the sun setting on the horizon, but you’ll capture the golden light on the stone cliffs. This is another location that we light to wait until the sun sets when the full scene is in shadow to get even light.
Click the link to get the full list of Zion National Park sunset tips and photo spots:
- Three Patriarchs
- Big Bend & Great White Throne
- Mt. Carmel Road Switchbacks
- Pa’rus Trail / The Watchman
- Kolob Terrace Road / Hoodoo City
Be sure to grab your free Zion Photo Spots Checklist to download, print, and take with you to the park!
Travel Guides for Utah National Parks
Check out our Utah National Park travel guides that detail the best things to see, do and photograph at all 5 parks!
- Arches National Park Travel Guide
- Bryce Canyon Travel Guide
- Canyonlands National Park Guide
- Capitol Reef National Park Guide
- Zion National Park Travel Guide