The Watchman, Zion NP, Utah, USA by Chip Carroon

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Picture Story

Zion National Park, in large part, has been formed by the erosion of the Virgin River over millions of years as the land has been uplifted. The spectacular landforms in the area are a result of these competing forces.

Just south of the main Zion Canyon, the river flows past the edge of the uplifted plateau. The prominent peak in view at this point is the Watchman. This classic scene is viewed by most visitors as they traverse the main access road to the park. Owing to the prominence of the view and its accessibility, many photographers have captured this scene over time. Nevertheless, the constantly changing conditions provide ample opportunities for a different glimpse of the landscape.

The typical scene at the bridge over the Virgin River at this location is often busy. The crowd usually starts gathering a couple of hours before sunset. Owing to the fact that the scene is attractive and since it is easily accessible, it is crowded. Traffic flow is slowed. Visitors jockey for position. It has reminded me of national park jams in other places. It is all a little repulsive, and I rarely get involved with such combat photography. I purposefully choose relatively unknown locations since the arbitrary viewer of my photography may be more interested in a new situation. Nevertheless, I have been chummed into this event a couple of times, and I have enjoyed the spectacular landscape unfold before me. Choose a time at the end of October or the first of November.

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