Zion National Park

Every year, Adam works at the Outdoor Retailer Expo in Salt Lake City with his company, so it’s sort of our tradition to spend some time exploring Utah either before or after the trade show. (Last year, we just hung around SLC after the show.) This year, we chose to head down beforehand and visited Salt Lake City, Park City, Midway, and St. George. We stayed at three different AirBnB rentals this trip and really enjoyed every one. We always love getting to know people through AirBnB!

At our rental in St. George, our hosts were a sweet older couple who had the most beautiful home. We stayed two nights there and couldn’t get over the view we had from our bedroom. They even made homemade waffles for us in the morning, complete with fresh fruit, homemade whipped cream, and freshly squeezed orange juice. We didn’t visit with them for very long though because we spent practically all of our time at Zion. Luckily, because winter isn’t the most popular time of year for people to visit, the park was pretty dead and not very crowded.

Adam used to live in Utah, so he’s been all over the state and has visited Zion a handful of times, but I had only been there once before. I went on a month long camping trip in high school where I got to visit 14 or 15 different National Parks around the country, and Zion was one of them. That was quite a long time ago though, so I don’t really remember a lot of it. Seeing Zion again was pretty awesome. I think it’s one of my favorite National Parks.

Have I mentioned before how much I LOVE Utah? There’s something really magical about that state and the way its colors and rock formations produce such an unbelievably gorgeous scene. It almost feels like you’re on another planet! Not that I know what that feels like…

It was chilly outside, but not too bad. We had just come from Park City where it was -8 on New Years Eve, so the 45-50 degree weather felt like a heatwave to us! A lot of the trails were closed because of the ice though. Every now and then we would hear something that sounded like a crack of thunder, but it was just a huge ice chunk falling off a rock somewhere in the distance.

If you look closely, you’ll see a family of bighorn sheep! Adam and I were heading over to search for the opening of a slot canyon and ran into these guys. It was crazy because they blend in so well! We saw one, and then one turned into six, and then I said, “Oh, shit! Let’s get the hell out of here,” and scurried our way back up the icy hill. It was terrifying, though I later found out that they probably would have left us alone, but you never know. Whenever I see an animal in the wild with babies, I stay far, far away! Those horns are pretty intimidating.

This trip was a much needed mini-vacation before I started up at school full-time on January 4th. It’s been a rough week trying to adjust to work and school… I’m already exhausted, but I’m sure I’ll manage and get into the groove soon. Looking at these photos again sure does make me wish we could just turn around and go right back, though!

Have you ever been to Zion?

By amandaaude@gmail.com

"That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet." - Emily Dickinson


  1. Reply

    Josie Donaldson

    I had literally never heard of Zion before except briefly in Fallout: New Vegas. After seeing these photos I definitely want to make the trip there sometime in my lifetime. It’s so strange seeing the ice formations on these otherwise dry-looking rocks. You have an awesome eye for nature shots. x

    1. Reply


      Ahhh, yes! It’s so strange but so awesome!

  2. Reply

    Craig Aude

    As always, beautiful. Thanks for the geography lesson.

  3. Reply


    Wow!! I’ve never been but it’s on my list now! So majestic. And your photography skills are impressive!

    1. Reply


      Thank you!!! You should definitely check it out!

  4. Reply


    Goodness – what gorgeous photos!! I really need to step up my park game…I haven’t gone in such a long time.

    1. Reply


      Thanks! :) There are soooo many to explore!!

  5. Reply

    Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

    These pictures, seriously so gorgeous Amanda!!!

    1. Reply


      Thanks so much, Kaelene! I love photographing Utah – there are just SO many amazing things there!

  6. Reply

    Damaris / The cat, you and us

    Aaaawwww Zion is so breathtaking! We missed this one during our last road tip, but certainly would love to visit again and explore more of Utah. Your pictures are so gorgeous Amanda!

    1. Reply


      I know!! I want to live there, haha. You must explore more of Utah! And thank you!!!! <3

  7. Reply


    These photographs are so beautiful! Aw the home you stayed at in St.George sounds so lovely

    1. Reply


      Thank you!! And yes, it so was! Airbnb can be pretty awesome sometimes. :)

  8. Reply

    Mitzie Mee

    What a beautiful place! I’ve never been to Zion but after seeing your photos, I would really love to visit someday. Your AirBnb hosts also sounds really amazing.

    1. Reply


      They always are! We get so lucky with AirBnB. Zion is so beautiful – I hope you can make it there for a visit!

  9. Reply


    Gorgeous photos!!! Looks stunning in the winter. We were there in high season in May (after housesitting for 3 months in SLC), and it was insanely crowded, so much so that it was not enjoyable at all, and if I went off that experience alone, I’d say it was my least favorite national park! But I take all the blame and definitely want to go back in the winter! Utah absolutely blew my mind with the landscapes, I’m from the East Coast so we really have nothing like it!

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