Utah has some of the most photograph worthy places in the United States. Anywhere on in this list is a good place to take pictures in the Kanab and Zion National Park area. With the right lighting and angles, you can snap a photo of beautiful areas surrounding you. There are majestic views, a never-ending range of textures, an array of plant-life, and 68 species of mammals. You will find the most amazing subjects for photography. You can also be the subject and use these areas as a breathtaking background. No matter the reason, you’ll find the most amazing places to take Instagram worthy pics.
There is no shortage of places for you to visit in order to capture breathtaking images. Those places include The Caves at Kanab, Peek-a-Boo Slot Canyon, Nature Trail Loop, Red Caves (Sand Wash), The Moccasin Mountain Dinosaur Tracksite, Red Hollow Slot Canyon, The East Rim Trail at Zion, Water Canyon Trail in the Canaan Mountain Wilderness, Keyhole Canyon, The Many Pools Trailhead, The Canyon Overlook Trail, The East Temple Saddle Loop, Pine Creek Canyon, Birch Hollow, The Buckskin Mountain Passage, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Lake Powell, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, The Wave, White Pocket, Buckskin Gulch, The Great Chamber, Belly of the Dragon, Moqui Cave, Toadstool Hoodoos, and The Little Hollywood Museum and Trading Post. There are five national parks in Utah, and three are a short distance away from Kanab.
Best Photo Locations In Kanab
Paria Canyon’s stunning Cobra Arch is located in the Paria Canyon Wilderness just north of Buckskin Gulch. The structure has a unique shape that is a height of 30’ from the ground and has a span of 35’. The name speaks for itself as it has a hood at the crest of the rock formation and serpent-like striations down the length of the arch. As you head to the location you will also experience a beautiful display of cross bedded sandstone and a scattering of perilously stacked rocks.
The Nautilus is a hidden gem. It is a beautiful piece of nature, formed from water rushing through soft sandstone for thousands of years. The Nautilus is a fragile rock formation that has a unique shape. It is a smooth sided, thin layered rock with a rippled texture, which curves and looks shell like. You can take the wash all of the way to Toadstools trailhead, which spans about 3 miles each way.
Buckskin Gulch / Paria Canyon
The stunning beauty of Buckskin Gulch is located in The Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. You will experience one of the longest and deepest slot canyons in the world. There are spectacular sandstone walls that resemble waves that travel 13 miles upwards. Canyon walls often soar many feet above the wash and are sometimes only a few feet apart. Pay attention to flash food warnings as they are important.
Old Paria Townsite
The Old Town of Paria was a small western outpost inhabited in the 1920’s. It was abandoned and turned into a ghost town. This site has the most incredible views, that include a majestic mountain range of a beautiful array of colors. The scenery attracted the movie industry. Many Western films were filmed at this site including Clint Eastwood’s The Outlaw Josey Wales.
Wire Pass Slot Canyon
Wire pass is a short drainage that joins Buckskin Gulch slot canyon. Wire pass permits an entrance point for visitors to bypass the upper four miles of the shallow gulch. The sun illuminates sandstone walls that have extensive curving which can sometimes touch the canyon floor and produce reflective effects. You will capture beautiful photographs, although different from the gulch.
Edmaiers Secret is located just east of Buckskin Gulch, between the Gulch and the Paria River. Here you will find sandstone domes, hoodoos, brain rock, and lace rock and fins. There are two routes into Edmaiers Secret. Park at the Trailhead and to Buckskin Gulch and hike two miles downstream to the wide sandy wash entrance on the left and BG to the right. The second route is through Long Valley Road also known as Long Canyon Road. This route is no longer recommended due to the closure of BLM road closures. Edmaiers Secret is better photographed later in the day as the sun will not hit parts until several hours after sunrise.
High Heel Arch
The photogenic High Heel Arch is a part of the multi-foot High Heel Arch that collapsed in previous years. The arch is located in the NorthCoyote Butts area.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park opened to the public in 1963 and is located near the town of Kanab, southeast of Zion National Park. The park is a beautiful scenic area of dunes of warm pink sand. The dunes were formed by the continuous erosion of Navajo sandstone cliffs, which are said to be 10,000 to 15,000 years old. You can create your own adventure by leaving your footprints in the sand or visit ponderosa and pinion pines, as well as old juniper trees. The park is open year-round, seven days a week, during daylight hours.
Best Photo Locations Around Zion National Park
Snow Canyon State Park consists of many geological features and formations. It is small in acreage, but is 4 miles in length and has various trails for you to choose from. Here you will find cross-bedded domes with cyclic black lava fields and tunnels, pink sand dunes, colorful sandstone cliffs that range in color from deep red to white, eroded slick rock, arches, canyons and so much more. There are beautiful views that you can elevate yourself to experience. Overall Snow Canyon is an ideal place to go for breathtaking instagram photography.
The Narrows are the narrowest section of Zion Canyon. This popular area has 1000 foot walls, and the river spans about 20 to 30 feet wide. In The Virgin Narrows you can become one with The Virgin River. The river can reach your knees or higher. This should be taken into consideration when visiting as when the water level is higher, going against the current walking upstream can be a task.
Kanarra Creek Slot Canyon
Kanarra Creek Canyon is located just outside of the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park. In The Kanarra Creek Narrows there are tall red walls, reflective light, waterfalls, and shallow water crossings. You will encounter fun slot canyons, alternate between the stream bed, the banks, and crossing the creek multiple times before you get to the narrows. Access has changed quite a bit over the years as the area has become quite popular and has become over-crowded by visitors. This area has become one of the most Instagrammed destinations for photographers and hikers.
Peekaboo Slot Canyon
Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon, also known as Red Canyon, is easy access into one of the most beautiful slot canyons in the area. There are stunning orange hued sandstone walls that create the perfect backdrop for photographs. The canyon has ancient Moqui Steps that span the canyon wall, and logs that are positioned between the walls above you. The canyon can be difficult to navigate and sometimes impassable due to flash floods. Floods frequently change the difficulty and height due to the depositing or washing away of debris and sediment.
Angels Landing is the most beautiful view of Zion Canyon. The vista from the top of Angels Landing is breathtaking and worth the visit. The views to the top right are the canyon meanders toward the Temple of Sinawava, to the center is the beautiful Great White Throne, and right is Zion Canyon. Access requires you to be in good physical condition. If you’re in average physical condition you can participate in the hike, just pace yourself and use caution. It may be difficult, but it’s one of the top photogenic places.
Court of the Patriarchs
The Court of the Patriarchs is considered to be the shortest trail in Zion National Park. If you are just going for photos this will be the perfect area. The Court of Patriarchs sits just high enough to get great views over the trees at the surrounding mountains and canyon walls. The Patriarchs consist of three neighboring peaks made of sandstone on the westside of Zion. They have biblical names Isaac Peak, Jacob Peak, and Abraham Peak.
Best Photo Locations Near Bryce Canyon National Park
The Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive
The Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive is known for its majestic scenery. On this drive you can experience Swamp Canyon Trailhead, Farview Point, Natural Bridge, Agua Canyon, Ponderosa Canyon, Rainbow Point, Yovimpa Point, and the Highway 12 Area.
Rainbow and Yovimpa Points
At the top of the pink cliffs you can look over The Grand Staircase from Yovimpa Points as it’s the highest elevation viewpoint in Bryce Canyon National Park. Below this point are the Gray Cliffs, in the distance are the White Cliffs, The Vermilion Cliffs, and just out of view are The Chocolate Cliffs. The views are described as spectacular.
Located in Bryce Canyon National Park is Agua Canyon. The canyon runs along the canyon rim. You will have a viewpoint of the magnificent vista of red rock hoodoo formations. You also get a viewpoint of the rims of southern canyons and plateaus in the distance.
In The Natural Bridges there are three large stream-carved natural bridges as well as Ancestral Puebloan ruins. The multi-colored bridges all have Hopi Indian names.
Bryce Point overlooks a massive amphitheater that has an abundance of hoodoos and grottoes.You can view the beautiful red rock hoodoos and the magnificent geological formations within the natural amphitheater.
For a view of the beautiful sunsets, paria view is an ideal spot for photographs. The small amphitheater faces west toward the paria river making it perfect for sunsets. Most of the hoodoo amphitheaters face east which give them great views at sunrise.
Inspiration Point is one of the many viewpoints on the rim at Bryce Canyon National Park. Here you will find a series of beautiful viewpoints
Sunset Point offers the most breathtaking display of rock colors. This is also a great place to bird watch.
Thor’s Hammer also known as The Norse God of Thunder who controlled the air and storms. Thor’s hammer is the best known hoodoo in Bryce Canyon National Park. A favorite thing to do in Thor’s Hammer is watch the sunrise over the Bryce Canyon Formations.