Silken Stairway-Archangel Falls in Zion National Park

Left Fork Creek cascades down the red rock steps of Archangel Falls in a canyon punctuated by golden fall color in Zion National Park, Utah.
Left Fork Creek cascades down the red rock steps of Archangel Falls in a canyon punctuated by golden fall color in Zion National Park, Utah.

After a busy summer last year getting started in the art show scene, I was anxious to get out and do some shooting in the fall. One of the quick trips I took was down to Zion National Park in southwest Utah in early November. I always enjoy this park, especially in the fall. I met up with my good friends and fellow photographers Rod Hanna, Jim Talaric, and Luke Tingley and spent a couple of days exploring the area.

One place I had never been to in the park was the Subway area. I was looking forward to the opportunity and lined up permits for the four of us well in advance. Conveniently, Jim and Luke had been there before so they would be guides for Rod and I. I realized how fortunate that was as we set out that morning before sunrise. The trail wandered along the top of the canyon for a ways before plunging down the side to meet up with Left Fork Creek at the bottom. All I could think of as we hiked down was how much fun it was going to be coming back up! Reaching the bottom was only the beginning of a long hike. From there on, we clambered our way over rocks and back and forth across the creek. We were finally rewarded for the journey when we came upon Archangel Falls.

The falls were as beautiful as I had imagined. They gingerly cascaded down what appeared to be a stairway made of red rock. The canyon walls glowed in the late morning light and the surrounding trees and foliage were at their peak fall color. I took my time composing a variety of images since this was the main focus of the trip for me. This is one of my favorites along with a horizontal shot that has yet to be processed. What’s interesting is that this was only the second shot I took. I see now what naturally drew me to this composition. I like how the sweeping curve of the rock showing through the sandy bottom leads your eye on a journey up the falls and into the canyon above.
It was a long and arduous trek back out of canyon and up the steep path to our cars. It seemed to be twice as far out as it was coming out. How can that be? I can tell you this, my knees still aren’t the same since that trip!

Click on the image to view a larger version in the galleries.

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