Zion National Park, a magic oasis along the Virgin river is home to the largest sandstone cliffs on earth. While the park is most popular during the warm seasons it is still magical in winter, especially with new snowfall. Winter storms are always welcome here as they promise magical photo ops in their wake.
This workshop will explore the wonders of Zion Canyon, the Zion Plateau, and surrounding areas during the quiet and relaxed months of late winter. The workshop is timed to take place before the Zion Canyon shuttle is scheduled to begin which will allow more freedom to operate in Zion Canyon and also while daylight is gaining and good potential exists for snowstorms. New snow in Zion is absolute magic and doesn’t last long. Even without snow, there are many great locations to photograph as sunlit walls still reflect warm glowing light onto the normally clear and slow Virgin River.
Our group will be properly outfitted to explore and photograph the Virgin River Narrows in winter wonderland conditions. Fantastic shooting locations within Zion Canyon and the East Mesa area are within 10 miles of Springdale and allow for a great deal of flexibility on the daily itinerary with sunrise and sunset shoots with relaxed mid-days in town for editing and image critique. We will pick the best day of three in the canyon to explore the Narrows. On two of our days, we will make longer excursions to other parts of the park, such as Kolob Terrace area above the town of Virgin, or the Kolob Canyons section near New Harmony to take advantage of higher and potentially snowier parts of Zion.
- Roundtrip transportation from St. George, UT
- Four nights lodging based on double occupancy
- Water, snacks, one boxed lunch, and one group dinner
- Narrows package of: dry suit, canyon boots, neoprene socks & hiking pole
- Park entrance fees, permits, guide fees
- Pre-workshop webinar
- Post-workshop critique
Please be aware that shooting locations stated in this itinerary may change. Each day we will determine which locations are best based on lighting and weather conditions. We want to give you the best possible photo opportunities.
Day 1 – Sunday, February 23, 2020
- Group meets in St. George and prepares to transfer to Springdale in time for lunch.
- Early afternoon Michael will hold a 2-3 hour orientation and presentation on landscape photography in Zion.
- Check into our lodging.
- Depart for our first evening shoot.
- Return for Dinner.
Day 2-4 – Monday-Wednesday, February 24-26, 2020
- Based on weather conditions we will select the best weather day out of the three to spend most of the day hiking the Virgin River Narrows.
- On the other two non-Narrows days, we will venture into the park for sunrise and sunset shoots with at least one group edit session and critique.
- One afternoon/evening shoot will be to either Kolob Terrace (about 45 minutes drive to Cave Valley), or 1.5 hour drive to Kolob Canyons. Since there is no shuttle during the week in mid-winter, we will shoot night scenes somewhere in Zion Canyon away from the lights of town.
- The other non-narrow day we will take in sunrise at Canyon Overlook. Our group will leave 2 hours before sunrise to drive and hike in time for sunrise light after hiking to overlook. Back in town for late breakfast. Rest of day into Big Bend area shooting reflected light on the Virgin River.
Day 5 – Thursday, February 27, 2020
- Our last morning will include a final sunrise shoot followed by breakfast, and one last critique before check out.
- After lunch in Springdale, the group will transfer back to St. George where the workshop will end early afternoon.
Physical Strenuousness: Moderate to Difficult
The physical rating is a combination of terrain and weather. Individuals should be in very fit condition capable of hiking in water, snow, cold temperatures and some uneven terrain.
Weather permitting, a popular sunrise destination is Canyon Overlook, a 1-mile round trip with a few hundred feet elevation gain. Depending upon the energy of the group and trail conditions we may also explore partial or complete hikes to Scout’s Lookout and Angel’s Landing, and Observation Point Trails.
The Kayenta Trail is a short steep climb at the beginning then levels out and is about 2 miles round-trip. The Virgin River Narrows is 6 miles round-trip with negligible elevation gain with up to 4 miles where the river is the trail and you will hike and cross the river hundreds of times. There is no destination in the Narrows only a limit to how far up we can hike which is the confluence with Orderville Canyon. Individuals can go up as far as they like and return to the sheltered area with restrooms at the Temple of Sinewava.
The Workshop will Depart from / Return to:
Best Western Plus Abbey Inn
1129 S Bluff Street
St. George, UT 84770
Phone: (435) 652-1234
Pre-night and post-night rooms are available for this workshop by contacting the hotel directly. Participants are required to make their own reservations and pay for these dates.
Lodging During the Workshop
Cable Mountain Inn
147 Zion Park Blvd.
Springdale, UT 84767
Phone: (435) 772.3366
During our time in Zion we will be based at the Cable Mountain Inn. Four nights lodging is included in your workshop fee based on double occupancy. Single room supplements are available for an additional fee and may be selected at registration.
- 91 days or more prior to the start of the workshop your deposit will be refunded less $100
- 90 days full payment is due
- 61-90 days your workshop fees will be refunded in the form of an AHPS Store Credit Voucher less $100 administrative fee. Voucher is good for 18 months.
- * 60 days or less until departure – No refund.
* If we are able to fill your seat and the workshop runs at full enrollment we will refund your workshop fees less $100 administrative fee.
NOTE: Workshop bookings including, but not limited to, outfitters, permit agencies, lodging and more are requiring firm financial commitments at 90 days. Therefore, in order to continue to bring you to great destinations, we must strictly adhere to our cancellation policy as outlined above. We recognize cancellations can some time be unavoidable that is why securing a Travel Protection Plan is highly encouraged.
Arizona Highways PhotoScapes reserves the right to cancel any workshop if our minimum student enrollment is not met. In the event AHPS cancels a workshop, participants will be given the option to reschedule to a later date or receive a full refund for the workshop components booked directly with AHPS. Please Note: we are not liable for the additional expenses incurred such as airfare, hotel accommodations or any other components booked outside of the workshop.
PAYMENT TERMS: A minimum deposit is due at registration to reserve your space. Please refer to the specific workshop for the required deposit. Final payments are due 90 days prior to departure. Approximately 15 days prior to the due date you will receive a reminder email that your balance is coming due.