Home » Winter Wonders in Zion National Park

Winter Wonders in Zion National Park

A Landscape Photography Retreat in Southern Utah’s Colorful Canyon Country

Cool pink winter dawn sky over sandstone cliffs in Zion National Park. © Michael DeYoung

AT A GLANCE

Instructional based photo tour focusing on iconic and backcountry landscape imagery and growing creatively. (Starts & ends in St. George, UT)

WHEN

Jan 26 – 31, 2025
(5 SPOTS AVAILABLE)

Feb 2 – 7, 2025
(6 SPOTS AVAILABLE)

FEE

Single: $3,195
Double: $2,595 each

DEPOSIT: $500

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WHO

Adventurous landscape photographers of all levels willing to challenge themselves creatively.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

Moderate ⓘ

Walking up to 3 miles a day on defined trails
Narrows hike is up to 6 miles for 6 – 8 hours with protective gear with low-water river crossings

Portrait of your trip leaders, Michael and Lauri DeYoung. A veteran-owned, small business.

TRIP LEADERS

Michael DeYoung
Lauri DeYoung

About Your Guides

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 5 nights accommodations in Springdale at Nama-Stay Vacation Retreat.
  • All ground transportation in roomy van.
  • Outfitted hike and shoot in the Narrows and other similar slot canyons.
  • Quiet relaxed atmosphere with minimal winter crowds.
  • Potential for snowfall in red sandstone desert environment.

  • Informative classroom sessions and critique
    • Mastering landscape photography light and design
    • Simple and effective techniques to maximize image quality
    • Learn to recognize and capture the best light
    • Post processing tips in Lightroom to make your images look their best

    • Using windy.com app to find the best light and colorful clouds
    • Equipment selection for backcountry photography

WHAT CLIENTS SAY

“This workshop is one of a kind. Michael tailors his teaching to each participant. I went from a beginner to confidently experiencing as many shot opportunities as possible.

The Zion Landscape Workshop was a great active pace, maximizing shot locations and lighting. I have several photos I treasure, from the single cactus blossom to Angel’s Landing to the reflective lighting in the slot canyons. Michael took us to so many unique special locations, we could not help but develop a great connection with Zion.

I developed new friendships as we helped each other hone our eye and technique. Michael has such a passion for outdoor photography and teaching you can not help but grow as a photographer. We were all planning ways to come back and experience Michael’s Zion Landscape Workshop again!”

– Cyndy S.

WORKSHOP DETAILS

WHERE: Starts & Ends in St. George, UT

ON-LOCATION: Zion National Park & vicinity

GROUP SIZE: 6 Max

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • All transportation provided to and from St. George in a roomy van
  • 5 nights accommodations in Springdale vacation retreat
  • 1 night accommodation in St. George hotel
  • Outfitting for the Narrows and similar canyon hike
  • Permit fees
  • Informative classroom sessions and image critique
  • Michael and Lauri as your guides and instructors

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:

  • Transportation to and from your home to St. George, UT
  • Meals
  • Travel Insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Personal expenses
Zion National Park's famous Virgin River Narrows. © Michael DeYoung

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Nov 1, 2024

DESCRIPTION

Known for its breathtaking and diverse desert landscapes and unique geological formations, Zion National Park and vicinity features towering sandstone cliffs, narrow slot canyons, cascading waterfalls, open forests of maple, aspen and ponderosa pine and the beautiful cottonwood lined Virgin River winding through the canyon. This photo rich landscape affords a wide range of opportunities to capture dramatic and captivating images. Using our 20+ years of experience exploring and photographing the park and surrounding areas we take you to the most photogenic spots, many of which are hidden gems and slightly off the beaten path.

Our shoot days will be fulfilling where participants will have ample opportunities to experiment and practice new lighting and design techniques. We will enjoy quiet and relaxing evenings in our host town of Springdale where most amenities are within easy walking distance. Constructive critiques and informative classroom presentations in between location outings are designed to boost confidence and strengthen your capabilities taking your landscape and outdoor photography to the next level.

ITINERARY

(Subject to Change)

Plan on arriving St. George on the night before posted tour start date. This night’s lodging at La Quinta by Wyndham (91 East 2680 South, St. George, UT) is included in the workshop fee.

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN ST. GEORGE AND ON TO ZION

Meet at 9AM in hotel conference room for 2 hour workshop orientation and creative presentations. Transfer to Springdale for lunch, some scouting and checking into our accommodations at Nama-Stay Vacation Retreat. After check in, we head out into the park for our first afternoon and sunset shoot.

If you wish to arrive a day or two earlier to explore the area, we will be happy to assist you with booking additional lodging in St. George or in Springdale.

DAYS 2 – 5: SUNRISE AND SUNSET SHOOTS & MID-DAY CLASS SESSIONS ON 1 OR 2 OF OUR 4 FULL DAYS.

Since most locations we will shoot are within 1 hour drive from Springdale, this workshop has maximum flexibility. Exact locations will be dependent upon weather, light, trail conditions, and road accessibility. Top priority will be capturing any new snowfall in the area – especially in Zion Canyon. Expect at least one hike where we travel to our destination at dawn or return to the vehicles at dusk after sunset on well defined trails, where a headlamp is required.

THE NARROWS HIKE (Up to 6 miles Round Trip) We will pick the best day (hopefully clear for the best mid-day light) to hike up and photograph the spectacular Narrows and will get outfitted (included in workshop fee) the afternoon before. This hike will start around 10-11AM and last most of the afternoon, usually getting out around 4PM. (We will bring snacks.) Along the way we spend time photographing Mystery Falls, Narrows Alcove, Grotto Alcove, Wall Street near Orderville Canyon Confluence, and points in between. In cold spells there are some great icicles and icefalls in the Narrows. A complete list of recommended gear for hiking in the Narrows and other wet canyons will be sent to registered participants.

Winter sunrise over snow covered Zion Canyon. © Michael DeYoung
Hiking up the Zion Narrows in winter. © Michael DeYoung

OTHER CANYONS If conditions prevent access to the Narrows or the group is stoked for another epic slot canyon hike, there are other canyons outside the park such as Buckskin Gulch, that are extremely photogenic and still have good reflected light in winter. They require a longer drive, up to 2..5 hours, and will only be attempted if road conditions allow.

DAY 6: CHECK OUT & TRAVEL BACK TO ST GEORGE

Today is the end of this adventure. After our last sunrise/morning shoot and a leisurely breakfast/brunch, and, if time allows, one last classroom session, we head back to St. George in time for your late-afternoon flight or check in to your hotel (on your own).

SPECIAL NOTES ABOUT THIS WORKSHOP

GEAR AND CLOTHING LISTS will be sent to registered participants. The list will include specific recommendations for photographing in the Narrows and how to reduce your gear to only what you need and how to keep it dry. Included in the workshop fee is gear rental for Narrows hiking that usually includes dry bibs (waterproof-breathable flyfishing chest waders with neoprene insulated booties) or a dry suit, and special river shoes. Dry bags and backpacks are available to rent as well, or, you can bring your own and we will make some suggestions.

WEATHER CONDITIONS: Zion has elevations that range from 4000’ to 8000’ and weather conditions vary greatly from elevation. Snow pack is common in the upper elevations of the park but doesn’t last long on the canyon bottom at 4000’. Early February can still see snowfall in Zion Canyon but it usually doesn’t last long. So if it snows overnight we will jump on it first thing the next morning. Like much of the lower elevation Southwest U.S., Zion has a mild winter climate. Expect temperatures in Springdale and Zion Canyon to range from 20F to 65F. It’s colder toward the Narrows due to less sun and not higher elevation. Colder weather usually results in better winter conditions in the Narrows. Any storm system that moves through the area during our retreat is a bonus and usually results in dramatic light and conditions.

Snow melt over sandstone cliffs creates temporary waterfalls. © Michael DeYoung

ICE: We plan to avoid trails and areas that are steep and icy like Angel’s Landing. However, encountering some ice/packed snow is possible and traction devices that slip on over hiking boots are helpful is all that’s really needed.

GETTING HERE/EXTEND YOUR STAY

There are several airports you can fly to. The closest airport is located in St. George (SGU), but we understand the flight schedule may not work with your departing city.

Airport Options:

  • St. George, UT (Regional Airport (SGU))
  • Las Vegas, NV (Harry Reid International Airport (LAS)) – approximately 130 miles from St. George
  • Salt Lake City, UT (Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)) – approximately 310 miles from St. George
  • Cedar City, UT (Regional Airport (CDC)) – approximately 55 miles from St. George

There is a shuttle service from these airports to the main St. George Shuttle office. Check shuttle times, locations, and make your reservation with them at: St. George Shuttle

Frosted trees after a fresh snow in Zion Canyon. © Michael DeYoung

The first night’s lodging in St. George has a shuttle service to the St. George airport. If you fly into a different airport and take the St. George Shuttle, you’ll need to catch a taxi, Uber, or Lyft from the shuttle office to get to the hotel.

Lodging from Feb 1 – 6, 2025 is included in your workshop fee. If you plan to arrive earlier and/or stay later you will need to make your own additional reservations. We will provide to you the group reservation information if you wish to stay longer in either Springdale or St. George.

PAYMENT & CANCELLATION POLICIES

PAYMENT TERMS: A minimum deposit is due at registration to reserve your space. Required deposit amount is $500. Final payments, which can be made in installments, are due 90 days prior to tour start date. Invoices for final balances will be emailed to registered participants approximately 120 days prior to tour start date to allow time to spread out making payments.

CANCELLATION POLICY:

When a participant cancels a reserved spot in a regularly scheduled (i.e., non-custom) photo tour, it takes time and effort to fill the vacancy. Please be sure to check your personal schedule well ahead of the dates of the trip to make sure there are no conflicts. If you discover that you will not be able to attend we would very much appreciate knowing this as soon as possible.

The following fee schedule applies:

Because of the unique nature of this workshop, If your cancellation is received more than 120 days prior to the beginning of a tour or workshop, we will refund your registration fee less a 5% of your initial deposit. Any fees paid up to this point, less 5% of your initial deposit, can be applied to another scheduled tour or converted to a private photo tour or private photography instruction session.

As other vendors we book with have limited refund policies, if your cancellation is received less than 120 days prior to the beginning of a tour or workshop, we will retain the entire balance paid to date unless you are able to locate someone who will fill your position.

If the photo workshop or tour is full and someone from the waiting list can take your spot, we will refund your entire balance paid to date less 5% of your initial deposit.

No refund of any fees will be made for cancellations after the tour begins.

TRIP INSURANCE

In the event that a tour must be cancelled due to inadequate enrollment, all registration fees received by us will be refunded in full or, if you prefer, your registration fees paid up to this point can be applied to another scheduled tour or converted to a private photo tour.

We are not responsible for reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets or lodging arrangements you made in the event of a tour cancellation. Please do not make any travel arrangements until you have received notification that the tour has met its minimal participant requirement which will be known at least 90 days prior to the start date OR consider the purchase of trip insurance.

We highly suggest TravelGuard® or similar travel insurance policies to assist you in case of last minute plan changes and emergencies.

 

Have a Question About This Tour? Send us an email.

DeYoung Photo Workshops, LLC