Guide to exploring the desert of | Zion National Park & Antelope Canyon

Zion National Park

Zion National Park is one of the busiest parks to visit in the U.S. with approximately 3 million tourist flocking to adventure out per year. With long lines accruing at the entrance, here is the best way to see the park with nobody else around. 

  1. Enter the park around 10pm as this time at night the gates will be open, however there will be no ranger to check for passes so you are able to drive right through.
  2. Make your way in about 5-10 miles to the Watchman trail (as seen in the above photo) there will be a ledge on the right hand side you are able to set up your camera and get amazing views of the stars. You are able to park your car on the opposite, left hand side of the street.
  3. From there, continue in your car a few feet and make your first left which signs will lead you to the narrows, there are a few different trails along this road Pa'rus is a nice easy trail that is great for hiking at night.
  4. Catch up on your sleep and wake early morning before sunrise (around 3-4am) and hit angels landing. Once you get to the top of Walter's wiggles you will be half way to the top as sunrise (depending on the time of year) will start to peak over the valley and you can catch one of the most beautiful views you can imagine over the entire park.
  5. Lastly, remember to come prepared: Flashlight, water, food, proper hiking gear etc. 
Antelope Canyon

Antelope canyon is hands down one of the most incredible sights I have seen. There are two different parts of Antelope, lower and upper to see how to visit Antelope with the most few people in the canyons check out the following:

  1. Like any major landscape, the season and time you plan to visit will dramatically impact the amount of tourists. We strongly suggest checking out Antelope between the months of September-November and March-April. This will decrease the amount of Summer visitors and families who are vacationing when kids are off school. It will also be much cooler, as temps can soar easily to tripple digits. Another reason we recommend these months as it does snow in the winter and would not be a good idea to hike through these canyons at this time. 
  2. Hire a tour guide: Photo Tour's allow you an extra hour to experience the light and colors of the canyon walls and are very small groups (average 6 photographers). When we went, we were the only two people with our tour guide and had free reigns to capture whatever we wanted. I want to share that this does Not reduce the number of people in the canyon as there are still other tours that are going on, however the photo tour separates you from that group and allows shots that you could not get otherwise. 
  3. Bring a tripod: We did not bring a tripod and highly recommend it. The light was perfect and we did not need to lower our shutter, however it would have been nice to get more crisp shots and show movement with the sand and light illuminating off the walls. 
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