Day 278: June 30, 2005 - Dandilion Fluff


by Christian Williams
We have all seen dandilions. We used to scatter the little fluffy seeds everywhere as children. But as I looked closer at some dandilions I found today, I was fascinated by the shapes and details that each seed holds.

Day 277: June 29, 2005 - Mountain Sheep


by Christian Williams
We were driving through Zion when we noticed a traffic jam ahead. When we pulled the car over, we saw a herd of mountain sheep up on the cliffs, with a whole bunch of tourists down below trying to snap some pictures. We decided to hike right up after them, and were rewarded with some close encounters with the wildlife.


by Karen Williams
As we stood watching the sheep, we heard some more sheep calling from behind us. The sheep on the mountain top came running down the mountain side to join the rest of the herd.

Day 276: June 28, 2005 - Purple Flowers


by Karen Williams
So you have probably noticed by now that I love flowers. I love to photograph them. Big, small, weed, tropical, I like them all. This one doesn't really look like a desert plant to me, the leaves have such a deep green color, and the blossom itself is a vivid shade of violet. Zion is like that though. You will be hiking along, and in a secluded corner of a canyon where the water from spring is slower to dissipate you will find a blossoming oasis of flowers and plants. Maybe that is why this desert landscape fascinates me so much. You never know what to expect - and are often pleasantly surprised at the enormous amount of life that thrives here.

Day 275: June 27, 2005 - Jumbles, Crumbles, and Stripes


by Karen Williams
While hiking I came across this mountain, which is so jumbled and crumbling that it almost seems like it should come tumbling down into the wash.


by Karen Williams
This large striped rock struck me as rather interesting, so I set about to photograph it. I found that it fit into a larger scene with the tree next to it and mountains behind it, that is a nice representation of the beautiful colors and patterns of rock found in east Zion.

Day 274: June 26, 2005 - Solitude


by Karen Williams
I hiked up to a point where I could overlook a beautiful section of east Zion. This side of Zion is my favorite - it is less crowded, and it is easy to hike off into a canyon or up the side of one of the many mountains to find a secluded place to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Day 273: June 25, 2005 - Butterflies


by Karen Williams
While driving along the highway, I spotted a bright patch of orange down in the wash, and decided to explore. I found a small group of butterfly weed plants growing in the sandy soil. There are relatively few flowers that grow in this area, so I was surprised to see these bright flowers in this spot. There were beautiful butterflies dancing around the flowers.


by Karen Williams
This butterfly is a Tiger Swallowtail, which is my favorite butterfly. I had never seen them before hiking in Zion National Park. They also love butterfly weed, and anytime I find a patch of these flowers in Zion, I can wait and the expected butterflies will appear. As it turns out, this spot was an unusual place for butterfly weed. I have never seen butterfly weed grow so large in this place, if it blooms at all, in all the years since I took these photos.

Day 272: June 24, 2005 - Yellow Flower


by Karen Williams
I found these little flowers growing down by the wash. The warm colors of the scene felt warmer with the soft sunlight glowing through the mostly cloudy skies.

Day 271: June 23, 2005 - Forbidding Skies


by Karen Williams
The forbidding storm clouds boiling over Zion today created a dark and moody Zion, with shadows dominating the normally shining cliffs of east Zion.

Day 270: June 22, 2005 - Clouds Gather Above White Cliffs


by Karen Williams
As I took photos, the storm clouds rolled in to bring a summer storm to Zion.

Day 269: June 28, 2005 - Butterfly Weed


by Karen Williams
These beautiful orange flowers look too tropical to be found in the Utah desert. They are a favorite for butterflies, and are often called butterfly weed. This is one weed I wouldn't mind having in my garden!

Day 268: June 20, 2005 - Slot Canyon Bridge


by Christian Williams


We returned to the same slot canyon underneath the Hwy 9 bridge, just before it goes through the 1mile long tunnel through the mountain. In the middle of taking pictures, the man in the foreground suddenly appeared. He must have been taking a break out of sight behind one of the rocks, but it was a bit startling at first to have someone appear in the middle of a narrow canyon all of the sudden!

Day 267: June 19, 2010 - Highway over the Canyon

by Karen Williams
This is the highway that runs through Zion, just before it enters the Zion tunnel. There is a canyon below that can be walked through to a certain point, and at this time of year it was filled with water. I loved being down below the road in a place I had never explored before. This canyon can be hiked all the way down to the main canyon if you have repelling gear and skills, which I totally don't. Someday I would love to do that hike though. On this day I simply sat in the canyon, looking up at the canyon walls, the highway crossing the chasm, and the sliver of blue sky.

Day 266: June 18, 2005 - Angel's Landing

by Christian Williams
Angel's Landing is one of the iconic hikes at Zion National Park. Tragically, every few years it seems, someone gets a bit too careless and falls to their death. As you can see from this photo, it's a long narrow walk across with steep falls on both sides.

by Karen Williams
Angel's Landing juts out in the middle of main canyon, and provides 360 degrees of stunning views.

by Christian Williams
Look back toward the north, with the Virgin river winding through the shadows below.

by Christian Williams
The hike up and back down can be accomplished in half a day, but is a bit strenuous and definitely takes some care. The view from the trail along the entire way is definitely rewarding.

Day 265: June 17, 2005 - View of Zion from Springdale


by Karen Williams
This is a view seen while exiting Zion's main canyon and driving into the lovely town of Springdale.

Day 264: June 16, 2005 - Kolob

by Christian Williams
We don't get over to Kolob very often, so we spent some time walking around out at some of the scene view points. The scenery bares some similarities to Zion in some respects, but is also quite unique.

Day 263: June 15, 2005 - Mountain Sheep in the Canyon


by Christian Williams
I was hiking through a side canyon in East Zion when I came across a family of mountain sheep. I counted at least 6 in all. This one caught my attention by separating from the pack and walking straight across a 1 inch band of rock in a vertical wall.


by Christian Williams
On the way out of the canyon, I was interested in the way the walls of the canyon left only a narrow opening through which to see the Zion landscape.

Day 262: June 14, 2005 - White Cliffs with Brilliant Blue Skies


by Christian Williams
Today the skies were a brilliant blue, with fantastic white clouds. The beautiful skies contrasted nicely with the expansive white cliffs below. I hiked up one of the mountains and took some photos of the breathtaking views in east Zion.


by Christian Williams
My goal here was to reveal a little bit of Hwy9, as it winds in between the towering canyons. Certainly, one of the best scenic drives in the world.

Day 261: June 13, 2005 - Roadside Flowers


by Karen Williams
Zion National Park is a wonderful place, where you can just stop by the roadside and take in some amazing scenery. The road was lined with these beautiful flowers, so I pulled over and spent some time taking pictures.


by Karen Williams
On closer inspection large bumblebees were swarming all over the flowers.

Day 260: June 12, 2005 - Striking Blue Skies

by Karen Williams
We hiked to a familiar location in East Zion today. The sun had come out after the freezing rain and snow storm the previous day. Strange weather indeed, but the perfect blue skies helped make this a striking photograph.

by Christian Williams
After she took a few pictures near the river, Karen disappeared further down the canyon. I found her crouched over a small pond taking pictures of a frog. The symmetry of the scene with her reflection in the water was crystal clear, so I spent a few minutes taking pictures of her taking pictures.

Day 259: June 11, 2005 - June Snow on the West Rim


by Karen Williams
We got up this morning and packed our tents. In the middle of our hike, the mother of all freezing rain storms poured down on us; worse than we have ever seen it. With the weather we figured now wasn't the time to descend down 2000 feet of narrow rock ledges. So we turned and hiked back out to the range station at Kolob campgrounds to beg a ranger for a ride to our car. Before long the freezing rain turned to snow. It was very cold and wet. We hadn't taken any pictures at this point, so we stopped by Kolob after getting our car and took a few shots just to say we did.

by Karen Williams
On the way back over Cedar mountain, we documented the snow with cousin Amy. None of us had winter clothes, as it was almost the middle of June! Here's the Zion overlook, which on a clear day you can see all the way down into Zion, but it was now being hammered with freezing rain and snow.


by Christian Williams
Nothing to do with Zion, but we were cold, wet, miserable and hungry. So, with the day over, we decided to head down to St. George and stop byOutback Steakhouse. The camera was so soaking wet by this time the sensor and lenses were completely fogged up, but it was good enough for a "Toyota!" jump shot. With the prospect of a steak dinner and cheese fries a head, no one was feeling unhappy by this point.

Day 258: June 10, 2005 - Wildcat Connector Trail

by Karen Williams
Here is Uncle Bill hiking his way out of an old lava spill on the Wildcat Connector Trail. This trail offered some unique scenery in Zion, with the black rock surrounded by green brush and trees.

by Christian Williams
Along the trail we found some old pioneer farm equipment. There are many interesting pioneer sights in the Zion backcountry, from old farm equipment, to cable mountain, to ruins of old mines and mills.

Day 257: June 9, 2005 - Pink Phlox


by Karen Williams
It rained all morning, so the scenery looked a bit dreary. However, these beautiful Phlox flowers came alive with the fresh rain fall.

Day 256: June 8, 2005 - Hike to Northgate Peaks

by Christian Williams
One side of Zion is covered in red rock, the other side in white rock. It's stunning to see miles of rough tumultuous landscape streching out before your eyes. Plus the rock formation on the right looks like snoopy.

by Christian Williams
Hiking up out of Hop Valley with one last look at Kolob. This area was interesting to hike in, as it was a cow pasture in pioneer times, and still leased out to ranchers part of the year even though it's technically inside the National Park.

by Christian Williams
Sunset at Northgate Peaks point brings out a rainbow of colors in the landscape.

Day 255: June 7, 2005 - Entering Hop Valley


by Christian Williams
This interesting circular pattern on the rock caught my eye as we hiked through Kolob this morning. In the background, the beautiful red mountains of Kolob can be seen.


by Christian Williams
This beautiful stretch of trail leading out of Kolob and into Hop Valley had the feeling of crossing a large desert. We entered a beautiful wide open valley completely surrounded by tall red rock cliffs, but instead of finding a field of flowers, the valley was full of soft, hot, red sand. Great scenery, but tougher to hike than the trails normally found in Zion. Here is Karen hamming it up - don't worry, it was not really like crossing the Sahara Desert, and we had plenty of water.


by Christian Williams

This star trails photo consists of 3 seperate 15 minute exposures overlayed on top of each other. With the camera on the tripod and the shutter left wide open for 15 minute intervals, the stars appear to shot across the sky as the earth rotates in orbit. The foreground is light because an initial exposure was taken just as the sun was setting.

Day 254: June 6, 2005 - Lee Pass - La Verkin Creek Trail


by Karen Williams
Kolob is an area of Zion that is less explored, but offers stunning views of red rock, beautiful rivers, plantlife, and other stunning views of valleys and mountains. It is less crowded than the main area of Zion, and most of the best trails are only accessible during long day hikes or backpacking trips. We spend the next few days exploring some of the less seen areas of Zion in the backcountry.


by Christian Williams
As we were setting up camp for the evening, I noticed this large black beetle, with its back cracked open and a spider feeding on its insides. The beetles legs, mouth and antlers were still moving.

Day 253: June 5, 2005 - Dry Creek Bed


by Christian Williams
The colors in Zion come to life under a mid-day partly cloudy sky.

Day 252: June 4, 2005 - Echo Canyon and Observation Point Trail


by Christian Williams
Hiking down the Observation Point trail is rewarded with a spectacular view of the Big Bend in the Virgin River and the stunning white cliffs of Cathedral mountain behind it. Notice the switchbacks from the trail to Hidden Canyon in the bottom left.


by Christian Williams
This photo was taken further back in Echo Canyon, as we hiked down from the East Rim, looking out across Echo Canyon in into Main Canyon.


by Christian Williams
Normally we only post 1-2 pictures per day, even though it's often hard to pick. But today, we are including a few extra since Echo Canyon is an area of Zion we didn't photograph very often since it requires a long overnight hike.


by Karen Williams
The trail to Oberservation Point and Hidden Canyon is spectacular. And dangerous if you're not careful.


by Christian Williams
The intrepid hiking crew. Karen on the left, cousin Amy, uncle Bill, and Chris on the right. We spent a week together hiking in Zion, and this was just day 2.

Day 251: June 3, 2005 - Cable Mountain


by Christian Williams
We started our backpacking trip by hiking the East Rim trail. We set up camp, and took a day hike out to Cable Mountain Viewpoint. It is 2,000 feet up from the Main Canyon floor. This view is of Observation Point, which is across a small valley from the East Rim. Off to the left you can see a small bit of the Virgin River.


by Christian Williams
Here are the ruins of the Cable Mountain Draw Works at the viewpoint. The inscription on the sign reads:

Cable Mountain Draw Works

In 1901, David Flanigan built a cable (or "draw") works here to quickly move lumber from the East Rim to the floor of Zion Canyon. The cable could lower lumber in two minues, saving many days of travel by wagon over rough roads. From 1904 to 1907, Flanigan ran a steam-powered sawmill at nearby Stave Springs, sending his milled lumber and shingles down the 2,000 foot cable.

The draw works burned in 1911, after being struck by lightning. A second fire destroyed the rebuilt frame in the early 1920s. After reconstruction, the draw works lowered the lumber used for the original Zion Lodge and cabins. Dwindling timber supplies eventually closed the East Rim sawmills and eliminated the need for the draw works. It was no longer operated after 1930.

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365 IN ZION

365 Days in Zion is a photo experience by Karen and Christian Williams. Together, we spent an entire year in Zion National Park amidst snow, rain, flash floods, brush fires, and the beautiful sunny blue skies that typify Southern Utah in the United States of America.

365 Days in Zion National Park

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