During July, I had the opportunity to spend 10 days at some of the most incredible national parks in the western United States. The sites ranged from the bleeding red sandstone in Zion, the Grand Canyon’s stunning views of never-ending gorges, the impossibly crystal-clear view of the galaxy in Arches and the astounding layered hoodoos of Bryce Canyon.

Traveling through these astonishing parks during a global pandemic may seem like a challenge. However, there is no better time for such a trip. According to some recent statistics, visitation rates at national parks have been down by almost 50%. Although the trip consisted of slightly uncomfortable mask-wearing, a lack of hotel breakfast buffets and limits on which attractions were open, there was significantly less traffic.

Overall, I had a remarkable time visiting these gorgeous national parks, taking in the beauty of the outdoors and capturing its uniqueness through the art of photography. (And, you can enjoy more of my photos from this trip on Instagram by @davidgrigg_photos.)

David Grigg is a 2020 graduate of Zillah High School.