Witness the red Navajo Sandstone cliffs attentively listening to the Virgin River recite the unspoken stories of time from the canyon floor. Experience the autumn colors in one of the world’s most majestic national parks. Zion National Park.

On this tour we will explore Zion by car and by foot. Get to know the lesser-known nooks and grow to love the famous ones. With the colors of fall in full swing, capture Zion in pictures like you’d never imagined. And if we’re lucky, we’ll catch a winter dusting of snow.

This tour will focus on flowing water and swaying color as the Cottonwood trees lining the Virgin River dance to the autumn breezes.

The views of Zion are breathtaking any time of the year—however, fall elevates this visual and visceral experience to another level. The fall colors peak in early November and add new tones to the color palette—contrasting vividly against the red sandstone rock.

Watchman, Zion NP Fall Photo Tour

November 9 – 13, 2022

1595 USD

6-8 participants + 2 instructors

Intermediate to advanced photography level. Moderate hiking involved.

Program

During the photo tour, we will take advantage of the best light during daylight hours to take advantage of our time in the park. We will be shooting sunrises and sunsets as well as scenes during the day. We make one afternoon free of shooting—for resting and learning how to improve post-processing skills in Adobe Lightroom.

Day 1 - 5

Our first photo excursion will be sunset on day 1.

On day 5, the photo tour will end after the sunrise shoot.

All scheduled photoshoots are subject to change. We will do our best to utilize given weather conditions to maximize shooting opportunities for each day. We will provide a tentative itinerary and meeting times at our initial meeting. The itinerary will remain flexible according to conditions on any given day.

Extra activities

On one dedicated afternoon, we’ll be available to help you improve your post-processing skills in Adobe Lightroom and streamline your photography management.

If so desired, we will also be holding portfolio reviews on a one-by-one basis providing honest and constructive feedback.

Planning Your Trip
Flights

The closest airport is Las Vegas, Nevada (LAS). It’s a 3-hour drive to Zion National Park. Other airports to consider are Salt Lake City International airport (4-hour drive), St. George airport (1-hour drive) and Cedar City airport (1.5-hour drive).

Car transportation

We recommend renting a vehicle at the airport. It will also give you the ability to explore other unique locations around Utah before and/or after the photo tour. We recommend renting an SUV-type vehicle in case we do an adventure south of the park.

We will be carpooling during the photo tour. However, you are welcome to use your own vehicle if conditions permit.

Accommodation

We will be staying in Springdale, Utah. Upon photo tour reservation, we will recommend hotels where we have booked out a certain number of rooms. However, you are free to secure your own accommodations if you so desire. Be advised, options are limited so do not postpone securing lodging accommodations.

Food and beverages

Since we will be shooting sunrises, sunsets and throughout the day, normal eating schedules may be compromised during this photo tour. We may go as a group for a dinner here and a breakfast there (after photographing), but for the most part each participant will be on their own food-wise. On some days, we’ll pack our own meals for the day. We will provide complimentary water and snacks at each shoot location.

Canyon, Zion NP Fall Photo Tour
Zion NP Fall Photo Tour
Included & Excluded

Included

  • Guidance and instruction from two professional photographers
  • Classroom lessons
  • Portfolio feedback sessions
  • Zion National Park entrance fee
  • Snacks and water

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Transportation
  • Hotel
  • Food and beverages
  • Waterproof gear (for the Narrows hike, approx. $100)
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Visa (if applicable)
Meet your instructors
Jan Miřacký

Jan is an award-winning landscape and travel photographer based in the Czech Republic who has a passion for long exposure photography. Jan regularly runs photography tours in different locations in the world as well as more adventurous photo expeditions in places such as Peru. Jan’s instruction on multi-day tours focuses on training each participant in seeing hidden compositions otherwise not seen. Jan’s goal is to ensure each participant comes to understand proper metering and exposure yielding more desirable results.

A.J. Rich

Growing up on the edge of St. George, Utah, A.J. spent countless hours around his childhood home climbing rock mesas and exploring the unknown, including at nearby Zion National Park. After graduating with a degree in graphic design from Brigham Young University in 2001, A.J. is currently working in the graphic design field with over 20 years of award-winning experience. In 2006 A.J. picked up a camera and, drawing on his art background, has been a successful Getty Images contributor. In recent years, he has focused on landscape photography—where his true passion lies. A.J. is excited to share his knowledge of Utah and the surrounding area with others.

2014-profile-photo-webres-1
A.J. Rich
Final notes
Difficulty & Terrain

Participants do not need to be in prime physical shape, but one’s enjoyment will be based on good health and preparation. Participants should expect to walk up to 4 miles per day. Please consult with your doctor before attending our photo tour or venturing on your own before and/or after the photo tour.

Proper hydration is a must in desert locations. It is expected that each participant fully understands they will be out in the remote desert. Please bring plenty of water (which will be provided) and drink often. We recommend participants start hydrating (drinking at least 150 ounces per day / 4.4 liters) one week prior to the tour.

Terrain is considered moderate to difficult. This photo tour involves some trail hiking (as well as off-camber rock scrambling) and elevation gain (up to 500 feet / 150 m) to arrive at certain shooting locations. Some shooting locations will be easily accessible from a parking lot or roadside.

The trail hiking may be deemed vigorous activity based upon the participant’s physical condition. Trail hiking surfaces and those beyond the parking lot are generally uneven—thus hiking boots are recommended. If you are not comfortable with your hiking fitness, it is recommended that you ‘train up’ for the hiking portions.

Experience level

Intermediate to advanced. Each participant is expected to know the basics regarding proper exposure and composition as well as being comfortable operating their camera in manual mode or aperture priority.

Weather & Clothing

Come prepared with clothing layers as mornings can be quite chilly, even frigid. We plan on arriving up to an hour before sunrise and staying beyond sunset and into the crisp nights when temperatures can rapidly shift in this desert environment. Weather can also be unpredictable, so please plan accordingly. It is not uncommon for it to snow in the overnights.

November is a temperature swing month in the high desert as winter begins to set in. Highs average around 60°F (15°C) during the day and regularly dip below freezing (32°F / 0°C) at night. The elevation of the surrounding area where we will be shooting is between 3,000 and 7,000 feet (915 and 2,133 meters).

Cold water hiking gear is required for our Narrows hike. We will be making time to stop at Zion Outfitters one of the workshop days to rent insulated waders, waterproof canyoneering boots, and wooden hiking pole for the Narrows. The Virgin River water—which comes from a deep, shadowy canyon—can be in the low 40s/upper 30s Fahrenheit (0-5°C) in November.

Sunrise & Sunset Times

Sunrise is approximately at 7:05 a.m and sunset is approximately at 5:27 p.m daylight savings time.

Legal Information

The Zion Fall Photo Tour is organized by A.J. Rich and operated with the help of Action Photo Tours.

Narrows, Zion NP Fall Photo Tour
Angels Landing, Zion NP Fall Photo Tour
Road, Zion NP Fall Photo Tour
Canyon, Zion NP Fall Photo Tour