Guide to Toquerville Falls

In my last post, I shared my favorite image from our night shooting Toquerville Falls.  In this post, I will share some more of the details about the location.

18 mm: ISO 200: f/16: 1/4 sec.

Getting there

Toquerville Falls is located just north of Toquerville, which is going to be about 20 minutes North of St. George, Utah.  Take highway 17 off Interstate 15 and go east a couple miles before you go over Ash Creek before the town of Toquerville.  Just after going over Ash Creek, you will turn left on Spring Dr.  After a couple miles this turns to a dirt road.  There is a wide spot here where you can park cars and pile into four-wheel drive cars.  That is what we did there as a group of writers from Improve Photography.  This is where the drive gets really fun.  The road to the waterfall has got to be one of the worst roads I have ever been on.  If I remember correctly, it is about a 5 mile drive, but it took us nearly 30 minutes.  Do not attempt this drive without a four-wheel drive vehicle with high clearance.  Once you reach the waterfall, you actually drive over the top of it to get to a good place to park.  With the water flow when we were there, it was not an issue to drive through the water, but be careful if there is a heavy flow.

18 mm: ISO 200: f/16: 1/4 sec.

From the bottom of the falls

From the little parking area, there is a pretty obvious little trail that leads about 15 feet down to a platform area.  You can continue down another 20 feet to the stream and then walk up to the pool that is at the base of the falls.  It is best to have something you do not mind getting wet.  I was able to hop from rock to rock and stand in shallow water with my Garmont shoes (which I love by the way), but some neoprene socks like these would be awesome.  The above image was taken from the base of the pool.  I took several images with different focal points and exposures and then did focus stacking in Photoshop and hdr blending in Lightroom.

18 mm: ISO 200: f/16: 1/2 sec.

the platform

The most obvious and easiest place to shoot Toquerville Falls from is the natural platform that separates the lower part of the falls from the top part.  This area is super easy to get to and gives a great view of the entire falls.  The upper part of the falls is much more interesting than the lower falls so it was a shame to lose most of it from the bottom.  The above image is a combination of three images with different focal points, blended in Photoshop to obtain maximum depth of field.

39 mm: ISO 200: f/16: 1/8 sec.

In the image above, a three-image hdr, I focused just on the upper falls.  The other thing I really like about shooting from this location is you can get a good view of the landscape above the falls.  I especially like the great prominent tree in the above image.  The green against the red background is perfect color theory and very pleasing to the viewer.

18 mm: ISO 200: f/16: 1.0 sec.

above the Falls

The above image wasn’t taken from all the way above the falls, but it was higher up than the platform.  Shooting from above gives another good viewpoint that almost looks like a low aerial view you might get with a drone.  It makes Toquerville Falls a lot smaller part of the image, but is nice to incorporate more of the landscape into the frame.  It also opens up the opportunity to capture some dramatic sky if you get lucky enough to get some good skies, unlike me.  The above image is a six-image panorama.

Gear Used:

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