Canyonlands National Park: Green River Overlook, Clearing Storm at Sunset

Feature Image Details

This is a panorama composite of 12 vertical images taken with a Canon 16-35MM F4 L Lens.

In my previous post I showed a “Green River Overlook”. It is the same “Green River” but a completely different overlook.

This one you can drive right up to with no problem, get out of your car, walk a short distance and take pictures.

But you do need dramatic light, clouds, clear air, and good technique.

I merged 12 different images into that panorama. The right hand side of the image was the most difficult part. Contrast between the sun and the sky was intense.  6 of the 12 images contained various exposures of the sun.

Here is my panorama split into three equal parts.

Other Canyonlands Images

Mesa Arch, Murphy Point, the Grand View Overlook, and the Green River Overlook are all easy hikes.

False Kiva is a difficult hike and now closed by the park because of vandalism.

Shafer Road is an adventure, not a hike.


If you are at the Canyonlands Island in the Sky district, then Arches National Park is nearby.

For most, it’s probably the reverse, visiting Arches then going to Canyonlands as a side trip.

Arches National Park Images

Equipment List

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

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11 thoughts on “Canyonlands National Park: Green River Overlook, Clearing Storm at Sunset

  1. We are going to visit the Grand Canyon and the Utah parks this spring! These photos are beautiful! I hope mine turn out half as good :)! I will be checking out more of your photos. Thank you!

    1. Hi Lisa
      Grand Canyon is generally best in the summer and Autumn for clouds, rainbows, etc. Summer is hot but clouds, storms, and lighting and rainbows in early August are great.
      Spring can be windy, cold, and few clouds.

      I have some amazing GC pictures from this past August that I have not posted yet. Huge thunderheads and lightning.

      Also, I suggest not trying to do too much in one trip. Not sure your timeline but if you only have 1 week, then I would suggest Arches and Canyonlands – or Zion and Bryce

      Scroll back through my site for Arches, Canyonlands, and Zion. I have Bryce too, just not posted.

      Zion fantastic in the Autumn. That’s early November. The lodge is great and there are no shuttles to deal with. In the summer, Zion has mandatory shuttles. Spring waterfalls may be nice.

      If you have two weeks, lots more options. Minimums: Figure 3 days for Bryce. 3 Days for Arches. 3 Days for Canyonlands. 2 Days for the North Rim, 2 Days for South Rim .

      Depends on your goals. If you want to hike to Delicate Arch that will take you most of a day unless you rush. Even If you just stop at all the short hot spots and don’t really care for pictures, and don’t do many hikes, you are still going to need 3 days in Arches with another 2 in Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point.
      If you try to do 4 parks in a week you are making a mistake. Even two weeks is somewhat of a stretch.


      1. Mish, thank you for this great feedback! We actually have two weeks. I will use your recommendations above as I try and work the schedule. I know we will still miss a lot, but hopefully still see a lot. We were going to go in June, but decided to move back to May because of the heat. Taking photos will be a big part of it, but we also love to explore. I look forward to seeing more of your photos.

        1. May is excellent Time
          Now you can have a chance to do 5 parks but it will be a rush.

          Lodge at Zion, Bryce and North Rim are excellent. And those 3 can easily be done in two weeks with plenty of time to see other things or just relax.
          Fly into Vegas and do Bryce then North Rim then Zion. You will have the shortest time to airport on way out. To avoid snow issues, consider North Rim last. See comments below.

          If you want to add Arches and Canyonlands expect a lot more drive time.

          To cut down Travel time, I recommend North not South Rim. Also there are only 2 main views on North Rim so need less time.
          Snow might be an issue. Check with the park and see if Cape Royal will be open or if it might be closed to snow. That is the key overlook. It’s about 45-50 minutes from the lodge by car, but a short 1 mile or so hike to the point. Easy and level hike. Imperial point also nice. Two days sufficient for North Rim if you are in a rush.

          If you are flying in, fly in to Vegas, go to Zion last. North Rim second to last.
          Do most of driving at the start. Heading to Moab adds lots of time but also two parks right together.

          If just doing Zion, Bryce, and North Rim 5-5-3 seems right for a very leisurely schedule

          If five, then Zion-3, Bryce-3, Canyonlands and Arches 5, North Rim 2-3.

          Secure the lodging at Zion, Bryce, and North Rim in the park ASAP. Moab will have a lot more choices. Nice thing about the National Parks is you can cancel without penalty. So book more dates than you need if you can only get one park when you start. Then keep checking the openings. Then cancel what you do not need at the end.

          No lodging in the park at Arches.
          Delicate arch is definitely a sunset shot not a sunrise one, but Delicate Arch will be in shadow right at sunset during May. But the earlier the better so another reason to go to Arches first. I am trying to remember – You might have until May 11 – cannot recall – Anyway the earlier the better.

          Quick check says April 13 is right

          I believe I took those on the last possible day. So in early May might be an hour or so before sunset for the best light. Guessing.

        2. Wow, you have given me a lot of info. Thanks! We are driving up from Southern AZ so no flying. I’m going to check the Park lodging right away, thanks for the tips on those. I all ready reserved a room at the South side of Grand Canyon (almost sold out) for night one, but nothing more yet. We’ve been there before. Good thing I love to plan vacations. I appreciate your advice!

        3. One more set of Zion Tips.
          The Narrows hike at Zion is a must.
          The hike is rated moderate to strenuous.
          More accurately, it is easy to impossible.

          In high water conditions the “trail” is not open. If the flow is high it cannot be done. If the flow is low, it’s an easy hike.

          The trail is in the water, no matter what the water level.

          Rent equipment at any of the places. I recommend a half-suit not a full. If you have a dry bag for your camera bring it or buy one. You can also rent those but better to bring them. I have a lot of them but forgot to bring them.

          Bring your camera but keep it in the dry bag. A 24-105mm lens on a full frame camera is about all you will need. On a crop sensor, 18 to 70 is good enough.
          Look for reflected light. Have no sky or hot spots in the frame. Best to use a polarizer and best to have a tripod. But if that is too much stuff just a camera can work. But long exposures better at least 1 second but that means having a tripod.

          The light changes all the time, if you find a nice scene and the light is wrong go back to it after exploring around.

          no direct light – no direct light – no direct light on any canyon walls
          Those are the three keys
          Crop out the tops of canyons if necessary

          Go back through my Narrows images for more tips.

          Water conditions permitting, the Narrows is one of the premiere hikes and it is not that difficult.

          One final thing. Get there as soon as you can after sunrise. Best to be there at sunrise.
          That is a lot easier if you are staying in the park.
          If you have a parking pass – the advantage of staying in the park – you can be there at the crack of dawn.
          By mid day there will be swarms of people everywhere. Mid-week may be best.

          If you are a bit intimidated, just wait for some people and hike with them for a while. You will get the hang of it.

        4. Well, thank you again! I have added this all to my list. After Christmas I’ll be working on this more. I’m going to check out the lodging right away though. Thank you so much and Merry Christmas! I will for sure be checking out more of you pictures 🙂

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