Mountain Wonder Photography

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Back to Zion National Park

By Jim Smith   Apr 12, 2014

Back to Zion National Park – The cold front I mentioned in my Kodachrome blog moved in for a week, so we retreated back down to lower elevation and returned to Zion on March 31. When we got up on April 1st the shuttle buses were running and the congestion of vehicles in the canyon was gone. Wonderful! And how nice to ride the bus and be able to look around instead of super concentrate on driving that curvy road in traffic.

So we had a chance to hike some of our favorite places from two weeks ago. I think our favorite hike is the trail up to Observation Point. It's a fairly tough hike but the views are fantastic. This time we hiked a short way out on to the East Rim trail and onto the seemingly endless light tan slickrock which is sprinkled with Utah juniper and Pinion pine. But a squall was approaching so we hustled back down. As we came through Echo canyon and broke out into the main Zion canyon I had to stop and shoot the incredible view of the Organ and Angle's Landing as well as the virgin river bottom. Again the clouds were helping make the scene more dramatic. I just love it when a weather system is approaching for the clouds preceding the main event.

Just down the trail I had wonderful experience watching a Turkey Vulture ride the uplifting wind. The huge wall of Cable mountain forced the coming squall winds straight up and this vulture knew exactly what was going on. He road that invisible elevator over 2000 feet in less than 3 minutes. His wings were nearly touching the cliff face and he turned tight circles, up and up and finally over the top! Wow!!! I was elated to be a witness to such skill and knowledge. A video would have been nice to capture that display of expert soaring....

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