This article is the second Zion National Park photo journal that has been featured in this website. The photos for both articles were taken in late summer while passing through Zion National Park on the way to other destinations. A contrast can be seen when comparing the photos from the two different dates, because one trip was photographed when the weather was hot and dry, while the second set of photos were taken when it was drizzling rain. The overcast skies and misty rain added an ominous effect to the Zion visual experience, because the moisture reveals the bright colors of the rock strata, which is star of the show!
Along with the gloomy rainy weather comes plenty of elbow room and lots of empty parking spots! For a road weary tourist visiting this popular National Park, this is something to get excited about, because it is a rare event to find even one solitary empty parking space when Zion National Park is at full capacity. For example, my first trip through Zion was on Labor Day and most of the photos were actually taken while stuck in traffic jams. The park was practically empty on a rainy weekday, so if you can put up with a little bit of wet weather, there will be far more freedom to roam.
Because this was such a rare opportunity, I decided to just make the best of it and stop at nearly every scenic overlook while passing through. The moisture from the misty overcast certainly made the visual experience more interesting and it also helped to define the microclimate environments in this vast wilderness area. Pockets of lush green growth on the canyon floors is quite a contrast to the dried up sage brush that is usually seen here during the blistering hot summer months.
On a misty overcast day, the colors of Zion National Park sure do come to life! With the misty overcast, the temperatures are cooler and the stress on the eyes is far less than on a bright sunny day. Zion can become quite muddy and there are severe flash flood areas to watch out for if heavy rain is in the forecast, so days like this it is best to put the trip off. On the other hand, a gentle misty rain only refreshes the living beauty of this majestic place and there will be more opportunities to enjoy the scenic splendor!
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