|Utah High Desert|
Located in the high desert, Bryce Canyon was in the single digits at night. Because of that, the January crowds were quite minimal. There are no accommodations inside the park in the winter, but there are several motels located just outside of the north entrance. Located at a lower elevation, Zion was much warmer and has cabins available in the heart of the park.
If you’re looking for relatively easy vehicle access for starscape timelapse needs, (equipment loading for camera bags, sliders, motion control motor kits, the ability to leave the camera shooting unmanned, etc.) the Double Arch and Windows arches are located within a 5-10 minute walk of their respective, adjacent parking lots. Shooting other arches at night may require an overnight commitment because they’re located much farther away from the road and desert trails are easy to lose, even in the day. I was the sole photographer at both arches during my trip in early March so the proximity to the road did create any flashlight infiltration issues I’ve experienced elsewhere.
Lighting the Timelapse Foregrounds
I lit the arches with LED light sticks, specifically “OxyLED Q6 Rechargeable LED Lights”. See Cameratown’s Arches-specific lighting instructions at the link below. I highly recommend adhering to the low setting specs advocated, as even a very dim light setting goes a long way in long exposures.
Charging camera batteries was a little problematic in the park. It’s not as developed as Yosemite and there are no facilities with power outlets beyond the park entrance that I know of. There are a couple of outlets in the museum at the entrance that may be available but I did my daily battery charges at Moab Coffee Roasters coffee shop in town. There are multiple power outlets in the seating area, which saved waiting time. See moabcoffeeroasters.com
Located northwest of Moab, Corona Arch is not within the National Park boundaries and is governed by the State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, not the National Parks System.