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  • Writer's pictureEmma Dickenson

Utah Trip on Film

This isn't a flower post but please stick around to see some really cool pictures of a really fun trip to Utah!

I'm just so thrilled with how this film turned out I couldn't not share.

This is the first time my dad and I have taken a trip that I have deliberately shot film on. When we went to Yosemite in 2019, I had just found a rickety film camera at an antique store that I brought to experiment with. I shot about half the frames at Yosemite because I didn't know if they would even show up. When I finally got them developed, I was so surprised and wished I had shot so much more!

Fast forward 2 years and I am happy to say I have continued learning about film. I have invested in another, more reliable camera. And even when my light meter decides to not work, I can still shoot and get some really cool shots to turn out.

Zion National Park:

Zion National Park was our favorite. The area was so friendly. Thankfully, the weather was beautiful while we were there. Everyone was just happy to be in Zion.

Our first event was shuttling to Angel's Landing for a hike. All of the advice we had read said to take way more water than you think you would need, so our packs were very weighed down. It was hot and the trail was steep, but there was so much beauty to look at. The landscape was unlike anything I'd ever seen and much different than the Smokies!

After some switchbacks, we reached what seemed like a halfway point. It was then when I fully realized what the main attraction was...hiking up the ridge to the Angel's Landing high in the distance. This part of the trek included holding on to chains bolted into the rock for "safety measures." A signed warned of the risk and informed us that 13 people had lost their lives on the trail before. So, naturally, my dad set off without a second thought. I, however, had to convince my slightly trembling legs to start moving one in front of the other. We would have to stop on the trail to let descending hikers pass by; I wondered how they were acting so nonchalant about the hike down.

I can happily say that I made it to the top. The view was beautiful from all sides. The wind was a bit strong for my liking, but we survived. There was even a newlywed couple and their photographer who hiked up and changed clothes for the epic adventure photos.

Once we started climbing back down, I understood why the hikers had been acting so relaxed. I think the general consensus was you use up all your fear on the climb up and by the time you come down you're confident because the most difficult part is finished.

Grand Canyon:

This was a late addition to the itinerary but I'm happy we added it in! We stayed in a neat historic cabin near Jacob Lake. It had a great breakfast! After getting our coffee fix, we drove to the North Rim...and got a snow flurry shower on the way! The North Rim is the quiet side of the Grand Canyon. It has a historic inn that reminded us of the Grove Park Inn in Asheville. The views were incredible. The right picture below is of the dining room. The left photo is a picture of the inn from a distance although it's a little tough to see.

Seeing all of the layers in the Grand Canyon was unreal. I'd love a geology lesson on the different rock types and when they were formed. The fact that you can hike down there is pretty cool too...maybe we'll do it some day!

Bryce Canyon:

Bryce Canyon was very unique. Driving into the area, we saw what we thought were some pretty cool hoodoos. It wasn't until we drove into the actual park and decided to do an evening hike that we realized what the hoodoo stacks really were!

Hiking in the evening was a great decision because we basically had the place to ourselves! While other people were enjoying dinner in town, we were shutting down the park like we usually do. It was unusual to be down in the canyon where it felt eerily quiet. Hiking down and seeing the natural amphitheater formation was neat. And of course the fingernail moon was there with us again!


Moab was definitely a place I wish we had had more time to explore. The downtown area looked like it had so many cute places to eat. We visited the food truck park and a few restaurants. If we had more time we would have visited Deadhorse Point Park and some slot canyons!

The flowers in Moab made me so happy. I'd love to know what they were all called. It's amazing such pretty flowers can be found in such extreme environments. Slickrock, I'll be back for you one day when my mountain bike skills are better!

Arches National Park:

Arches National Park was my second favorite spot we visited. We didn't realize how close to Moab it was! After visiting a bike shop and letting my dad bike on the Slickrock Trail, we headed to Arches. It felt very dramatic because there was a storm rolling in in the distance. The contrast between the dark gray-blue skies and the red rock formations was incredible.

We stopped to see the Double Arch and continued to see the Parade of Elephants. Both were stunning. The middle photo below is a view of Double Arch from Parade of Elephants.

Although we didn't get to stand under Delicate Arch, we did manage to see if from a distance. If I ever go back I would save time to hike up to it for sunset!

The In-between:

Most people that have been to or live in Utah know how much the landscape varies. It's incredible. Deserts, mountains, snow-covered mountains, hoodoos, plateaus, arches...we saw it all. That's one thing I love about driving places; you really get a feel for the area and get to experience things up close. My dad and I really know how to break in a rental car!

If you made it this far, thank you for sticking around! Film photography is just a hobby but I love sharing how the rolls turn out!


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