Landscape Photography
of James L. Snyder

Court of the Patriarchs
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Court of the Patriarchs
Linhof Master Technika 2000 camera, 75mm Rodenstock Grandagon-N f/6.8 lens, polarizer, Fujicolor Pro 160S film, 55 megapixels
All Images ©Copyright 2010 James L. Snyder. All Rights Reserved

Court of the Patriarchs

North Fork Virgin River by Birch Creek, Zion National Park, UT, 11/6/2006

While driving along Zion Canyon Road this autumn afternoon, I saw an older photographer meticulously aiming his camera over some shrubs. I decided to stop and see what he was looking at. Not being fully content with the roadside perspective, I walked downhill to the shore of the Virgin River where I found this great view of the Court of the Patriarchs. From left to right, these Navajo Sandstone buttes are Abraham Peak (elevation 6,990 feet), Isaac Peak (6,825 feet), and Mount Moroni (5,690 feet). Mount Moroni is named for a Book of Mormon prophet and angel. A fourth butte barely visible (in white) behind Mount Moroni is Jacob Peak (6,831 feet). Collectively Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob form The Three Patriarchs. Named for three towering figures of the Old Testament, these sandstone towers hold court over Birch Creek Canyon and this part of the Virgin River. Birch Creek flows into the river just beyond the bend seen here, which is at an elevation of about 4,230 feet above sea level. In 1916 Methodist minister and explorer Frederick Vining Fisher gave these peaks their religious names. Upon discovering this riverside setting I immediately understood how the grandeur of this scene could inspire such reverence.

Court of the Patriarchs

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