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Chip Carroon • Photographing Zion’s Rivers in Autumn

Walking through arid canyons to capture the flow of rivers seems unlikely by design – not to mention potentially hazardous – but Chip Carroon tells us how to make a success of your next photography trip

In the arid lands of southern Utah, significant rivers and streams may seem unlikely. However, there are several interesting watercourses in the area. Owing to the spectacular canyon walls in Zion National Park, you might investigate waterways within that park in autumn.

Access to the flat river bottom in the main Zion Canyon may be simple and familiar to many. Deciduous trees and foliage in the fall in the center of the canyon are spectacular since the most impressive towering cliffs are just above. Nevertheless, there are other less-accessible options that will provide unique views of canyon walls, brightly colored leaves and cascades.

There are three treks that involve significant travel within rivers or streams. Two involve traverses of the Virgin River through the Zion Narrows and one is in the left fork of North Creek, a tributary of the Virgin.

The Narrows
Over the course of recent geologic time, the north fork of the Virgin River has carved a 2,000-foot deep, vertical-sided canyon, called the Narrows, through red Jurassic sandstone. There is no access from ...

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