Utah Trip–Friday Morning, Zion | Jim Kofron Photography | Jim Kofron

Utah Trip–Friday Morning, Zion

Oh no—it’s Friday, and this is our last day at Zion! No more luxurious cabins, no more Cafe del Soleil, no more Sol Foods!! It’s been an incredible three days in this area—made more so because this really wasn’t on the initial plan. Sometimes it’s best to just show up, and make the best of the environment and the light! So, Rick’s plan this morning was to head east out of the park, and stop for a while at a spot he knew near Checkerboard Mesa. Checkerboard Mesa and the unnamed mesa next to it are impressive sandstone formations; 900’ tall, and striated in all sorts of interesting ways. We parked at (1) below, crossed the road, and headed a bit west to shoot the sandstone flats.

The walk in. Have I mentioned how fantastic these rocks are?

Hey look, it’s moon over mesa!

The wind blows around these pieces of sandstone, and it ends up making these little marbles, which congregate at downwind low spots.

Once you climb over the rise, you’ve got a gorgeous view of the white cliffs to the west.

And these rock patterns look great in B/W.

Moon over mesa, plus Rick!

Now, I started to head back east, towards Checkerboard Mesa, and came across these super cool pools...

Thanks to Google Earth, you can see the shot from space… I’m shooting the top pair.


Reflections are very fine. Very fine indeed. Finding water for landscape shots is a definite plus in this environment.

You can see how the water would run down. As you can see from the top map, we’re moving into a valley between two 900’ formations that are basically impervious to water. Do not stand here in a thunderstorm!

This was an area Rick hadn’t been to, so we decided to do some exploring!

This is Checkerboard Mesa

These two trees were growing crossed, and they were too cool. Bonus points if you find the moon.

Why, what’s that white stuff? It looks like ICE. 

So, if you’ve made it this far—this is the funniest movie ever!

Reflected light in these sandstone areas brings out crazy oranges and reds. Not unlike Antelope canyon. This valley isn’t a slot canyon, but there’s a ton of debris high up on the walls, so it’s clear that this is not the place to be in a thunderstorm.

iPhone shot. This was basically the end of the line for us. I climbed up the chockstones, but the other side was going to be a scramble, and it didn’t look like anything particularly interesting, and we needed to hit the road to make our next destination (Grand Staircase-Escalante).

Rick’s working the macro, I’m working the reflection. 

Selfie time. Damn these cell phones—they take pretty nice photos!

Case in point. Below is the iPhone.

And this is the sd Quattro. And as beautiful as this is with the gorgeous colors...

It’s probably better in black and white.

So, with that fine morning of photography, exploring, and nearly wrecking Rick’s 50 mm lens, we packed up our gear and headed east, to the beautiful Grand Staircase!

Copyright 2014, Jim Kofron. All rights reserved.