Zion National Park – The Watchman – Autumn

Everyone wants an iconic image of the Watchman. An hour or more before sunset, people line up on a bridge that provides the viewpoint. You will stand shoulder to shoulder, assuming you can find a parking spot and photography spot.

There are white painted lines on the bridge that give each photographer his 24 inches of space or whatever it is. Spots directly over the Virgin River are the most coveted spots. To get a good spot, you may need to be two or more hours early.

Feature Image Details

The guidebooks all say to be on the bridge at sunset. Phooey. I took the feature image in the early afternoon. I had the entire bridge to myself.

There was nothing in the near foreground so F8 was quite adequate. Shortly after I took the above image, the clouds dissipated but the crowds came pouring in.

At sunset, in November, there is no light at all on the cottonwood trees. And if there are no clouds coupled with deep shadows on the trees, there is not much of an image. Nonetheless, nearly every day, people stacked up, waiting hours for a shot could not happen under the existing light.

In such conditions, I suggest doing something else. Anything else. We went hiking on the Emerald Pools trails for the second time rather than fight the crowds.

Other Zion National Park Images

  1. Zion National Park – Subway Trek Part Three – Inside the Subway
  2. Zion National Park – Subway Trek Part Two – The Crack
  3. Zion National Park – Subway Trek Part One – Archangel Falls
  4. Zion National Park Autumn – Great White Throne
  5. Zion National Park – Autumn – Lower Emerald Pools Part 1
  6. Zion National Park – Autumn – Lower Emerald Pools Part 2 (After a Rainfall)
  7. Zion National Park – Autumn – Middle and Upper Emerald Pools


Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

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Coming up: Hiking the Narrows.

The Narrows is a premier hike in Zion, second only to “The Subway” see links 1-3 above.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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