Fall in Kolob Terrace - Mike Carr

Chasing Fall in Kolob Terrace


For a landscape photographer, Christmas comes early in the form of fall colors. It’s a wonderful gift from nature that calls to me each year as it rolls around.


I’m a firm believer you can never have too many pictures of autumn. The changing of leaves comes a little later where I live in Southern Utah, so I don’t see those golden colors until mid-November some years. Most places have lost their leaves all together by that time, but not here. Come along with me on a tour I did last year of Kolob Terrace and I’ll highlight some of my favorite spots.

Wildcat Falls


The first stop on my tour of Kolob Terrace has to be this sweet little waterfall. It’s pretty easy to spot just off the side of the road but getting up close to take a long exposure with a tripod is a lot more complicated. I had to do some pretty tricky scrambling and rock hopping along the creek to make it to a proper angle to shoot from. My favorite thing about this shot was getting the reflection of the colors off the water. It was totally worth the American Ninja Warrior course I did to get down there.

Groves of Quaking Aspen


These trees are an intriguing organism simply from a biology standpoint for their ability to be interconnected with their root systems. However, my interest lies in a more superficial area, namely their looks. They make for some beautiful models in the fall and go from green to that 24k gold look.


If Where’s Waldo had a horse, I’m pretty sure this would have been it! He hid himself so well among the white bark of these aspens that a person would easily miss him while staring right at him.

The Subway Crack


My fall tour of Kolob Terrace concludes at the famous Subway hike, so named because it looks like a giant tube that a subway car would traverse. The parts that really deserve attention during autumn are the large crack in the stone floor and the waterfalls just south of the tube section.


This shot of the crack rushing with water was in my mind from the moment I returned to the Subway. In that planning, I didn’t even think about the fact that the trees had begun to change colors and and lose their leaves. It was just good luck that those leaves would end up adding a needed splash of color to my shot. Unfortunately, I haven’t successful got my fall shot of Archangel Falls yet, but there’s always another fall coming around! I’ll make it happen next time.

Do you love to hunt down those awesome yellow, red, and orange colors? I highly recommend coming to Zion this autumn and heading up Kolob Terrace to capture this incredible landscape at the height of its color. If you have any questions about where exactly I got these shots, I’m more than happy to share with you in the comments.