Zion National Park

For my fall break I thought a visit to a National Park was in order. My first choice was American’s first National Park, Yellowstone. But after further research I found out that most of the lodging options within the park were shut down by late October, so I headed south. And the one park that immediately came to mind was Southern Utah’s Zion National Park.

I was most interesting in a park that would lend itself to my sketchbooks and Zion, with itself vertical landscapes, provided it’s own challenges. I brought a Stillman & Birn Beta Series 9 by 12 spiral sketchbook. In retrospect a panoramic watercolor sketchbook would have suited Zion’s landforms better but I had to make due with what I had. (I did bring a Stillman & Birn Gamma Series landscape book but the paper was not up to take multiple watercolor washes.)

One pleasurable Zion sketching experience was sitting on the banks of the Virgin River, with an American dipper as my companion, sketching the Pulpit at the Temple of Sinawava. In the morning the sun was just hitting the golden cliffs in the background leaving the Pupil in rich, velvety shadow.


A little behind-the-scenes in the making of a sketch. Here perched on the peaceful banks of the Virgin River, with an American dipper at my feet (more about these amazing birds in another post).

I later took a drive out on the scenic Zion-Mt Carmel Highway (Highway 9) in eastern Zion. I sketched the Checkerboard Mesa.


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