Zion National Park black and white landscapes

 Zion National Park and Ansel Adams

Zion National Park black and white landscapes

Can you imagined what Zion National Park must have looked like for the early Mormons who entered the valley for the first time and considered this sacred place as their Zion, or place of peace and refuge. I would have to agree with the reference to this area’s spiritual place  – the entire park emits this powerful energy  and grandeur throughout the  canyon and surrounding rocky plateaus and outcrops. I can see why the early Mormon settlers considered this their Zion, a land they considered paradise and a synonym for the holy city of Jerusalem.



Black and white photos Zion National Park and Ansel Adams


Even though the canyon and surrounding areas of the park are spectacular to visit and witness in full color, there’s something just as special in viewing and presenting Zion classically in black and white images.  Even the well known photographer Ansel Adams spend some time exploring the famous monuments of Zion. In fact he was commissioned by the National Park service to create a photo mural of one of the landmarks for their Interior building in Washington.  In addition, he also photographed several iconic monuments including: Carlsbad Caverns, Glacier, Yellowstone, The Grand Canyon and Grand Teton, Rocky Mountain and a series of national park treasures.

I’m not sure why Adam’s work on Zion was so limited, maybe it was because the source of commissions for some of the rest of the US other park systems were so limited and Zion not as well known as Yosemite during that timeframe. Or maybe it was his obsession with Yosemite, a close proximity to travel to and understanding all the photo conditions that drew him to visit Yosemite regularly – but I think he would also have found some inspiration here if he had more time, don’t you?


Here are some of my favorite landscapes at Zion

If you take any of the trails around the park, you will always find amazing landscapes and panoramic views along the way. The light constantly changes and creates different highlights walking through certain trails and clouds swirling above create even more drama and spectacular light like some of the images below along the Virgin River,  the Kayenta trail below and other popular trails in the park.


Kayenta trail Zion National Park Utah



Hiking up the Kayenta trail to the Emerald Pools


Kayenta trail Zion National Park Utah






Overlook canyon views Zion National Park Utah


Sunrise over the Canyon Overlook Trail in black and white

I woke up early to drive up the canyon road and tunnel to hike on the overlook trail and capture sunrise coming over the canyon. Unfortunately, you cannot always time the weather at the park especially on cloudy or rainy days. Still , I decided to go for it and hike up to the canyon overlook, only having less than a few minutes to take a photograph when the clouds briefly cleared to highlight some of the canyon walls. Sometimes it truly is luck or having the time to come back regularly to get just the right conditions to capture a spectacular photograph.

For anyone interested in learning more about landscape photography, check out some of my tips below

15 photography trips on your road trip

Black and white photo tips for beginners

10 Photography tips for grey sky or rainy days

Flower and nature photography – tips on making your images pop

Photography tips for travel Photography






Overlook trail canyon views Zion National Park Utah

Overlook trail views of Zion canyon



If you enjoyed this post on Zion National park, please check out my other articles on Utah’s national parks and monuments below

Visiting Zion National Park and popular hikes

American Southwest road tour

Visiting Bryce Canyon National Park

American Southwest road tour



Pa'rus trail views Zion National Park Utah

Pa’rus trail views at Zion National Park




Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on Zion National Park black and white landscapes, hopefully you will be able to see and experience this amazing national park and explore the amazing landmarks and scenic points around the park. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post.

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16 Responses to Zion National Park black and white landscapes

  1. Jennifer November 28, 2016 at 12:36 am #

    I’d love to see all these images in color, though! I’m trying to imagine the colors of those mountains and such.

  2. Rhonda Albom November 27, 2016 at 7:12 pm #

    Your color photos of Zion were magnificent but now, you’ve upped it a level. Your Zion National Park in B&W reminds me of Ansell Adams photos of Yosemite.

  3. Brenda Tolentino November 27, 2016 at 4:33 pm #

    These black and white photos of Zion are truly wonderful. Ansel Adams is a photographer I admire, thank you for educating us about his work.

  4. Nancy November 27, 2016 at 9:28 am #

    Beautiful photos and interesting post, Noel. I didn’t realize that Ansel Adams worked in Zion National Park. It is a place I would love to explore.

  5. RaW | Ramble and Wander November 27, 2016 at 6:12 am #

    Great views aside, I must say that I was surprised to find out that these B&W photos were taken with an S6. Maybe I shouldn’t have been – because I recently had the chance to shoot with an S7 edge and got to experience its features – but still, amazing to know that these were taken using a phone.

    • Noel November 27, 2016 at 6:54 am #

      Thanks, yes it really is about training your eye to see, the equipment helps but it isn’t the decision maker

  6. katja November 27, 2016 at 6:02 am #

    Beautiful photos Noel! I’m so used to seeing these landscapes in bold colours but there’s something really timeless about these shots. I’ve not been to Zion NP but I would love to visit one day. How long did you spend there?

    • Noel November 27, 2016 at 6:55 am #

      Yes landscapes are stunning in color but done in black and white, it forces the photographer to focus on composition and rules/elements that make an image outstanding

  7. Dana November 27, 2016 at 4:13 am #

    My husband has wanted us to take a family trip to Zion National Park for years. Your photos in Black & White make it look even more amazing.

    • Noel November 27, 2016 at 6:56 am #

      Definitely a great family oriented park to explore and enjoy this amazing place

  8. Natasha November 26, 2016 at 11:54 am #

    Just absolutely stunning photos of Zion. What kind of camera do you primarily shoot with?

    • Noel November 26, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

      I change around typically I shoot with Cannon DSLR cameras but have switched to mirrorless Samsung. This series of black and whites where done with a Samsung s6 smart phone.

  9. Brianna November 26, 2016 at 10:33 am #

    For me the reds and oranges are an integral part of Zion. The Black and white images have a very Ansel Adams feel.

  10. Carole Terwilliger Meyers November 23, 2016 at 4:13 pm #

    Though your images of Zion in black and white are striking, I do so prefer it in color! I hope you’ll also post some color shots soon.

  11. Doreen Pendgracs November 21, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

    It’s so amazing how the B&W photos look vintage! Really nice job of capturing the big and bold beauty of Zion NP, Noel. Thx for sharing.

  12. Vicki Winters November 21, 2016 at 10:12 am #

    As always…beautiful photos Noel. I love the black and whites.

I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our discussion with any comment you would like to add

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