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The Narrows Of Zion

Published September 9th, 2013

I've struggled to define my experience hiking the Zion Narrows, I've had few experiences so profound.

It was an absolute gift to be able to have spent the amount of solitary time I had here in the morning hours this week. I often stood in awe and in a complete state of humbleness, reveling in the very moment. Often stopping to look behind me with a bit of disbelief as to my own comings and goings. Suddenly your own life becomes bigger than the character you play.

Physically challenging at times and footing that requires constant mental awareness in order to protect my camera gear. Most of the hike is in water often waist deep and contatntly flowing over large often slippery boulders.

What I found was the most amazingly soft bounce light on the canyon walls and reflected water. At times, the slot canyon walls were so steep that, in the interior it became quite dark, then around the next corner I would see this ethereal glow beckon me around one more and then one more... It's one of those hikes that becomes metaphoric in a way. I'd hoped as I left I'd done some justice to the light but mostly I came away knowing a lot more about myself than when I went in.

That's a pretty heavy trip!

The Boys Of Summer

As I was leaving the Narrows hike in Zion National Park, this beautiful canyon light caught my eye. Even though I was tired, wet, sandy and my feet had taken a beating, I had to photograph this.

I dropped my gear and set up my camera and tripod. As soon as I started to shoot, I noticed I had company. Rounding the corner, came a large group of very young boy scouts. At first they didn't see me but then a few noticed I was set up and pointing my camera in their direction.

Of course they all started "falling" in the water.

As they passed by me, they would impishly ask "Did you get a picture of me falling?"

Soon, my little pool of perfect light looks like something out of a Three Stooges movie.

Finally, several of the troop leader "dads" pulled the jokesters out of my line of fire and apologized. I didn't mind at all. I found the whole scene incredibly amusing. From a sociological stand point, there was a lot going on! All of this, because some girl was armed with a camera. (Won't be the first time they'll make fools of themselves in front of the opposite sex)

The water is now calm and the beautiful glow of the canyon wall is perfect and casting it's magic on the Virgin River. It appears isolated and harmonious. All is right with the world. What is missing from the photograph is the little group of 30 or so little men now standing behind me.

After I finished, they all walked up and looked at the final shot, then carried on with their hike, as men do.

  • June 20th, 2013
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 87mm / f/18 / 1 sec

Find Your Light

“When you get to the end of all the light you know and it's time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.” ― Edward TellerEntering the Narrows of Zion

  • June 20th, 2013
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 32mm / f/9 / 1 sec

Somewhere in Zion

  • June 21st, 2013
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 32mm / f/22 / 6 sec

The Narrows

Heaven on Earth is called Zion

  • June 20th, 2013
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 40mm / f/18 / 5 sec

Canyon Light

What I really loved about hiking the Narrows, aside from just being able to spend hours here alone, was the lighting.

The canyon walls are so high that there is almost no direct light. It's diffuse, bouncing and reflecting all the beautiful colors of the canyon walls, especially early in the morning.

The play of light among the little pools of water were exquisite. I plan to return soon and explore Orderville canyon next

  • June 20th, 2013
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 40mm / f/9 / 2 sec

So I Wander

  • June 20th, 2013
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 27mm / f/22 / 10 sec

Warm Sandy Passages

Warm sandy passages, swirling pools of turquoise that play under ancient sandstone towers. Every turn becomes a different world, every bend a different time and place and when you walk're a different person

  • June 20th, 2013
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 19mm / f/9 / 2 sec


  • June 20th, 2013
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 70mm / f/18 / 10 sec

Finding Grace

"I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us." Anne Lamott

  • June 20th, 2013
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 28mm / f/18 / 6 sec


  • June 20th, 2013
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 91mm / f/22 / 5 sec

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Kat Paleckova  over 2 years ago

Beautiful! I am inspired by you-I am making my first trip to Zion and Bryce after Christmas...

Brett Barden  over 4 years ago

Wonderful, awesome, attractive

Jag Fergus (inactive)  over 4 years ago

Wow! Amazing photos!

Fernando Guerrero  over 4 years ago


Roderick Stent  over 4 years ago

beautiful collection.