Photographing the Sunset at Canyon Junction Bridge
Utah › The Watchman Trail via the Canyon Junction Bridge
Added by Tiffany Nguyen
- Best spot to photograph the Watchman, the most iconic peak in Zion National Park
- During sunset, the sandstone face of the Watchman glows red-orange when the sun hits it
- Sunset is a very popular time for photographers here so take the shuttle since there are limited spaces
- River access to get down to the Virgin River to explore more
The view of the Watchman from Canyon Junction Bridge is one of the most highly photographed views in Zion National Park. Located nearby the South Visitor Center, this beautiful and easily accessible viewpoint is frequented by many visitors of Zion National Park. Parking is sparse so be sure to go early or you can walk from the visitor center. It’s not uncommon to find nearly 50 photographers at Canyon Junction Bridge during sunset so be sure to get here well before sunset to post up in the perfect spot for your shot.
Without a doubt, the best time to shoot at Canyon Junction Bridge is during sunset. As the sun sets in the West, you will see the Watchman light up with a golden glow against the red colored sandstone walls. No matter what time of year you’re visiting, you won’t be disappointed by the dynamic scenery of the valley. Be sure to walk down to the Virgin River to explore and find other shots as well. Night photography is also popular at this spot, but not nearly as crowded as sunset. Be sure to bring flashlights as it is difficult for cars to spot you while standing on the bridge at night.
- Neutral density filters
- Snacks and water
- Warm clothes
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Avoid the sunset crowds by going in December.
I went to this bridge when I was in Zion with my family for Christmas. It was a beautiful sunset, and to top it off the cold weather scared everyone else inside so I was the only one on the bridge.
Kind of a boring shot
It's good if you want to stand around and take a predictable photo, but Zion has way more to offer. Get out and do some of the high-elevation hikes and you'll have a much more unforgettable experience.
Utah has some of the most amazing sunsets!
Tiffany is correct the best time to photograph this place is at sunset but arrive at least an hour before to claim your spot maybe even 2 hours in the spring through fall months! I live in Vegas and often make this drive because the sunsets in Utah are some of the best I've seen in the United States! Great post Tiffany!
Zion National Park is such an amazing place, especially this spot. I remember when I started this hike how awesome the view was from the bridge. Definitely recommend checking out this spot. Tiffany captured it perfectly at sunset.
If you're in Zion you have to get this obligatory shot. Your photos won't look any different than every other shot I've ever seen of this, but it's a beautiful view in person.
A Great Night Photography Spot!
The view from the Canyon Junction Bridge is phenomenal in either direction for night photography. Besides being a great location you also won't have to compete with all the photographers and tourists who show up for sunset or watch your back for the shuttle buses! I was heading to the airport at night and was driving across this bridge and it was so beautiful I had to stop. It wasn't even a planned stop and the photos I got from this spot during a full moon are some of my favorite night photos to date!
Aim to visit this spot in winter or early Spring. The view is one of a kind no matter what but you will be fighting a large crowd during peak months. I was here in December and there were maybe a dozen people taking pictures
I actually just happened to drive across the bridge right before sunset with no prior knowledge of it. I immediately pulled over after seeing the view and set up my tripod. It must have been a fluke night because only one other person joined me about 10 minutes after I got there. So if you want solitude to enjoy this beautiful spot, I suggest going in February.
Heaven on Earth
I agree that this is a fantastic experience any time of day, but especially as the sun is setting! Whether or not you're there to photograph, just watching and appreciating it in the moment is awesome.
Hike Down To The River
Incredible sunset view. If you want to avoid multiple people on the bridge, hike down to the water's edge and get some good long exposure shots of the river flowing and still get the the amazing view.
One of the most iconic locations in Zion's National Park. It does get crowded quickly, so plan ahead.
This spot is unfortunately overrun so be courteous and alert for cars. You'll be ticketed if you're standing to far out in the road.
Excellent spot for classic photos
This place is popular for a reason - be kind to the other photogs setting up, there will be many, and it's not as fun when people are arguing. Enjoy the beauty!
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