Tips To Take Stunning Zion National Park Photos

We’ve asked fellow photographers to share their tips for taking Zion National Park photos!

Use this list of tips and photo spots along with our Zion National Park travel guide to plan your vacation. It includes things to do, what to pack, where to stay and more!

Below you’ll see inspiring pictures of Zion National Park with tips to capture your own images, and the camera gear you’ll need.

zion national park photo tips
Zion National Park photo spots checklist Optin
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Camera Gear for Landscape Photography

DOWNLOAD: Camera Gear Checklist 

  • Camera: check out the compact travel cameras we recommend!
  • 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!

Camera Gear at Amazon | Camera Gear at B&H Photo

camera accessories

Prepare To Visit Zion

When visiting Zion National Park you need to know if the shuttle running. If so, you’ll have limited access to sunrise and sunset photography at the locations in Zion Canyon.

You can still get nice morning or late afternoon photos at these spots if your Zion vacation is in the spring, summer or fall when the Zion National Park shuttle is running.

When planning your Zion National Park photography, be sure to note each “location” for the photo spots. If it’s in Zion Canyon, then it’s only accessible via the shuttle during shuttle season.

ZION PHOTO SPOTS MAP

CLICK HERE to access the Zion National Park photos spots Google Map with the pinned locations.

Zion Photo Spots Map

→ CHECK OUT our Zion National Park Photography Guide with detailed information and tips about taking photos at each spot. It’s a great resource to download, print and take with you on your trip!

ZION NATIONAL PARK PHOTO TIPS

Below are tips from fellow photographers to capture amazing Zion National Park images!

Iconic Photo Spots

Roy Goldsberry: There are iconic photo spots at Zion National Park like this one of the Three Patriarchs seen from the overlook.

Three Patriarchs photo in the fall at Zion

Zion National Park in the fall is a wonderful time to visit to see and photograph the leaves changing color.

Zion photo of the Watchman and Virgin River

When you think of Zion National Park photography, the image above of the Virgin River and The Watchman at sunset is one you’ll see. There are many places along the Pa’rus Trail to capture this iconic image.

Zion photo of the Virgin River

The Virgin River that runs through the steep Zion Canyon walls is a terrific subject to photograph. Riverside Walk and The Narrows are great locations to photograph waterfalls and the river.

Finding Perspectives

Kevin Hehl: The Highway 9 Zion National Park scenic drive is a super awesome road with a lot of places to stop and enjoy some wonderful views.

Hoodoos at Zion National Park along Highway 9

When you stop, take time to hike around the area to find unique formations. You may also see bighorn sheep so watch the cliffs!

There’s a lot of talk that the Angel’s Landing hike isn’t for the faint of heart. I found the hike very safe and not difficult.

Chains along Angels Landing hike at Zion

Capturing a perspective of the trail from the hiker’s view makes a great photo, and tells a story!

Enjoy The Beauty

Matt Graham: I’m NOT a photographer so I see things a little different. Slow down and enjoy the beauty with your eyes as much, if not more, than you look through the lens.

Zion on a rainy day

If you’re visiting Zion National Park when it rains, you’re in for a treat! Be on the lookout for pop-up rivers and waterfalls. If you and your camera are protected with rain gear, then brave the wet conditions and take those photos!

Hiking the Subway

Daniel Garcia: I took a trip to Zion National Park in October and found it a great time to visit. One of the most photographic Zion National Park hikes is The Subway.

Zion photo: Subway hike

My tips for this strenuous hike are: start early, carry snacks, and pack a water filtration system so as you can drink the water from the river if you have to.

Zion photograph of The Subway hike

And make sure your camera stays dry while you’re taking photos along this amazing hike!

Try Telephoto

Joe Morris: A wide angle lens is good for most Zion National Park photography to capture the landscapes there.

Zion landscape color contrast

But don’t forget to capture the patterns, details and contrasts you see at the park with a telephoto lens.

Zion national park photo

By filling the frame with a small part of the landscape, the viewer’s focus will be drawn to those smaller details and create interest.

Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel

David Joyner: Drive the Highway 9 Zion National Park scenic drive and stop along the pullouts to photograph this part of the park!!

view of Zion near the Mount Carmel Tunnel

The stretch of road between Zion Canyon and the tunnel provides wonderful sunrise photography views to capture the light on the tops of the cliffs.

sunrise near Mount Carmel Tunnel at Zion

At dawn and sunrise you can photograph the glow on the tops of the mountains across the valley. In the morning there won’t be as much traffic on the road making it easier to find an open pullout.

Kolob Terrace Road

David Joyner: The Kolob Terrace Road is a Zion National Park scenic drive that’s accessed near the town of Virgin, just west of Springdale.

Kolob Terrace at sunset

This area is amazing in the late afternoon and around sunset to capture the reflected light on the landscape!

There’s also a fun area known as “Hoodoo City”, just east of the Hop Valley Trailhead. You can hike from the trailhead, or park at a pull-off about ½ mile to the east.

hoodoo city at Zion in Kolob Terrace

Hike along the shelf above the valley until you find a spot to access the hoodoo formations below.

BUY AT AMAZON: Zion National Park Guides and Maps

Zion national park guides and maps

Plan Your Vacation To Zion National Park

Where to Stay Near Zion National Park

You definitely want to stay in Springdale which borders the entrance to Zion.

  • Holiday Inn Express – our favorite place to stay with an outdoor pool and amenities you’d find in a high end hotel
  • Zion Lodge – we haven’t had a chance to stay here yet, but you can’t go wrong staying right IN the park!
  • Under Canvas Zion – if you want to experience a less crowded part of Zion, this is the place! It’s in the Kolob section of the park.
  • Vacation Rentals in Springdale – you’ll want to stay in Springdale so you’re close to the park entrance and can walk to shopping and restaurants. 

Resources for camping near Zion:

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