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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Nature & Landscapes Talk 
Thread started 05 Nov 2010 (Friday) 02:54
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Zions and Bryce in Mid November?

 
johnny_boy
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Nov 05, 2010 02:54 |  #1

I am thinking about taking some time off and traveling to Zion and Bryce around November 15-19. I've never been out there, although I have been to Moab and Arches area a few years ago in April.

Questions in regards to time and the weather:
1. Is mid november too late for fall foliage in Zion and Bryce?
2. Is it too late in the season to take good pictures?
3. Is it going to be too cold and snowing?

People did recommend October and November as a good time, but I wasn't sure if mid November was getting a bit too late. Anyone who went out there past few days can report on the color change?

(spelling correcton Zion :oops: )




  
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Win
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Nov 05, 2010 09:32 |  #2

OK, the first thing you need to get straight is that it is Zion not Zions.;)

Mid Novemeber shouldn't be too bad. Bryce will be cold and may have some snow but that would be a plus. Hiking down into the canyon may be a problem, though. Fall color will be gone at Bryce.

Zion should still have some Cottonwoods turning. I'm at 3500 ft, 20 miles from Zion and my Cottonwoods are just turning. I plan to be in Zion later today and I'll let you know if they've turned.

Win




  
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Win
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Nov 06, 2010 07:57 as a reply to  @ Win's post |  #3

I did go to Zion late yesterday and it is spectacular right now. I'm afraid that with storms coming all the color will be gone soon. I didn't take any pictures as I was entertaining some folks from NJ. There must have been 75-100 peoples with tripods in the inner canyon.

You can never go wrong visiting Zion and Bryce they are photogenic 12 months of the year, just different seasons.

Win




  
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johnny_boy
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Nov 07, 2010 16:31 |  #4

Thanks Win. I think I am going to fly out there on 11/14 or 11/15 for a few days. Hopefully the weather and scenery will cooperate.

BTW, I didn't realize that there would be that many photographers, wow! I've been to a few national parks, but never saw that many photographers in a small area. Would I be fighting elbow to elbow with most photographers out there this time of the year?




  
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Win
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Nov 08, 2010 09:22 as a reply to  @ johnny_boy's post |  #5

You won't be fighting anyone, except at Canyon Junction, where everyone wants a shot of the river and the Watchman at Sunset. I was back in the park yesterday and it was crowded but I was able to get some decent shots and was never too close to another photographer.

I'd consider renting a dry suit and shoes to hike the Narrows, you'd be almost alone and it should be low water and beautiful. As you drive into the main canyon you gain a bit of elevation, the trees still had a ways to go by Canyon Junction, but it will be colder and wet this week.

I'll update this if I get back to the park this week. Hope you have a successful trip!

Win




  
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johnny_boy
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Nov 10, 2010 02:36 |  #6

I will be in the area for about 6 days (including travel time). How would you break down the number of days between the parks? I was thinking 3 days in Zion and 3 days in Bryce. Would that work or more like 4 days in Zion and 2 in bryce? I was also thinking about hitting the Canyons of Escalante, or Arches if I thought I could be done with Zion and Bryce earlier.

Thougths?




  
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Win
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Nov 10, 2010 11:25 as a reply to  @ johnny_boy's post |  #7

You'd probably want 3 days in Zion to cover a good bit of it. Bryce for a day or two at most should be fine. You would want to see a Sunrise, Sunset and try do a hike if there's not too much snow.

On your way to Bryce you'll pass through Red Canyon, it's worth doing at least one short hike. Also, Kodachrome State Pk is very close to Bryce and worth stopping in.

Escalante is within reach from Bryce but a day won't give you much time. Arches is really way too far, save that area for another trip.

Look at Zion this way: There is the main canyon with many hikes including Angel's Landing, the Riverwalk/Narrows, Hidden Canyon, Observation Pt.

Then there is the East Side with Canyon Overllook and numerous washes to explore. Look up Two Pines Arch and Many Pools as hikes.

Kolob Terrace Rd is worth a late day drive to catch the Sunset, this is 9 miles West of Zion. Might have snow up high, but you can get up far enough.

There is also the Kolob Fingers Section which has a couple of nice viewpoints and a great 5 mile RT hike in Middle Taylor Creek. Might be too cold and wet for this hike.

Here's a great website that a lot of us use:

http://www.zionnationa​l-park.com/ (external link)

Win




  
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ochong
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Nov 22, 2010 08:23 |  #8

This is probably too late for the OPs purposes, but maybe for a future traveler...

Last year I went to Bryce, Zion, Antelope Canyon, and GC over a week spanning the end of October and the beginning of November. The trees in Zion seemed just about right to me, but it sounds as though things occurred a bit later this year from what Win has said.

I agree with the suggested schedule. I was at Bryce for 2 days and was happy, but wished I had a day or two more at Zion (was only there 2 days).

How did the trip go?


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MCAsan
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Nov 22, 2010 08:31 as a reply to  @ ochong's post |  #9

Last year the cottonwoods in Zion along the river were bright yellow and good for shoots in the first two weeks of November.




  
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johnny_boy
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Nov 22, 2010 13:30 |  #10

Hi guys,

Thanks for the tip. I just came back in yesterday from a full week and I enjoyed the trip. It was hard work of minimum 12 hours a day hiking and taking photos with probably less than 6 hours of sleep every night.

The locals told me that this past week was the peak for the foliage color. They said a lot of photographers came in 2 weeks before that, but it was actually not the peak, and they had to chase up the canyon to get the color. It did sound like generally the first week of November is the peak in Zion, but it was closer to 3rd week in November for this year.

The colors were very good everywhere in the park, but I would say up near the canyon riverwalk area, it has passed the peak and the leaves were half gone on the trees. But anything below that it was good.

I ended up spending 4 days in Zion and 2 days in Bryce. I think generally that is a good break down. Unfortunately the weather in Bryce wasn't very good (the winter storm was coming in, and so I did not have much of sunrise or sunset) so I am not sure if I am going to get much of a keeper shots out of there.

Some random thoughts in Zion
- I wish I had a wider angle than 24mm. This was the first time shooting inside the canyon for me, and did not realize how close I would be to these peaks. It was hard to capture the images that I envisioned because I was too close to the peaks, and I couldn't get the foreground and the peaks in the same picture. I had to do some work around by doing panorama shots with my 24mm and stitching it later, which doesn't always work out. Next time I would like to have a 16-35mm, 17-40mm, or 17mm TS-E with me and it would make my lifer easier.
- The park is beautiful, but I find that it was harder to capture them, compared to other national parks, in order to do a justice to that place. It might be because I am down deep in the canyon, and you are always looking way up to see things that are beautiful. I wanted a bit more space between me and my subject :)
- The sky is generally really boring clear blue which makes it a bit of challenge. I am used to a ton of clouds in the sky, so this was a challenge.
- While many trails were great for hiking purpose, I would say they are not that photogenic, and I could have skipped those to approach other parts of the park. For example, Watchmen trail. I went up to take this great photo of watchmen at the sunset time, then I realized that the peak is right in front of me, the side facing the sun is facing away from me, and there is really no interesting foreground to take a picture of with the peak.

Quick thoughts on Bryce
- I was standing at the Sunset Point, waiting to take this great sunset photo. Then I realized that Sunset Point was not a very good location for sunset shots. There was no warm lights on the hoodoos at all. In fact, I realized the next evening that the entire park is not a very good place for sunset shots. You need to hit them during the sunrise. I wish people would have told me this. I could have gotten an OK sunset shots at the Sunrise Point, where the colors will be behind the hoodoos in the sky over the ridges, but overall, these warm glow of lights on hoodoos are all shot in the sunrise and not at sunset.
- While the whole park is nice, I would only concentrate on the main amphitheater covering the Sunrise, Sunset, Inspiration and Bryce Point and the rim trails that connects those, plus the down the canyon shots in the queens trails and Navajo trails, especially if you are going to only spend 2 days.
- I went out to the Red Canyon, and while it was good, I preferred the queens and Navajo trails within Bryce better. They have similar feel to them, but I think Bryce was slightly better.
- I was taking way too many wide vista shots of from the view points, until I realized that I need to zoom in a lot tighter and show less of it.
- At Zion, you can take pictures pretty much throughout the day, because the best light and time changes depends on which part of the canyon you are in. In Bryce, you really only have from the sunrise time until early/mid morning. After that the light gets flat and the hoodoos do not glow. This makes it a bit more challenging to shoot in the park when you only have 2 days.




  
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Win
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Nov 23, 2010 08:13 as a reply to  @ johnny_boy's post |  #11

Glad you had a good trip, thanks for letting us know your take on the parks. You had great weather in Zion, I know how you feel about the blue sky. The trees really did hold on for longer than expected, I was in Zion over the weekend and there was still a little color around Canyon Jct.

Win




  
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johnny_boy
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Nov 23, 2010 20:48 |  #12

Thanks Win. I really enjoyed the park. I think it was absolutely beautiful and quite different from what I am used to seeing in the pacific northwest areas. I am thinking about going back to Zion next year, now I know the park better and knows what I want to go after. Debating whether I should go again in November or go during the spring wild flower time (late April?). Any suggestions? I am assuming things are more colorful during the fall rather than spring?




  
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