Albion Basin | FAQ’s | Whitney Beth Photography
Albion Basin in bloom is probably one of my top favorite places in the world. It has all my favorite things; mountains, pine trees, wildflowers and greenery everywhere! Understandably so, it is also everyone else’s favorite place to be – and the cause of a lot of heartache and hoops to jump through.
TL;DR – People are making it hard for the park services to continue to allow photographers up at Albion to shoot. In fact, this is only like the 2nd year that we haven’t had to pay an enormous and substantial shooting fee.
At the risk of losing the privilege of shooting at one of my most favorite places ever, I’ve made a little FAQ post to help in navigating going and shooting at this stunning location up Little Cottonwood Canyon. Because the only way to prevent the loss of this great location is to spread helpful information.
- STAY ON THE TRAILS
Honestly, if we could just grasp this concept we would be golden. This is the number one reason why the folks at Albion don’t like photographers. Back when I first started shooting up here (around 8 years ago) there were pretty prominent game trails you could use. But over time and after years of misuse, the trails became larger and more freely made. Flowers were trampled and in turn, didn’t grow back. Causing LOTS of bald spots the next year. The bald spots only spread and grew bigger with each year of abuse.
To combat this, actual trails have been made AND roped off. There are literal signs every so often that say don’t go off the trail.
The people behind this conservation project also realize that there is something magic about being in the wildflowers and know people will still do stuff to get the shot. So they came up with a solution. Purposefully placed little “photo mats” (with accompanying picture sign to let you know it is Ok to do it) where you can stand, and from a certain angle, look like you are in the wildflowers. (Without actually being in the wildflowers.) Genius.
But apparently not smart enough – in the handfuls of times I’ve already been up there this year I have STILL seen people ignore the ropes and signs and go frolic out in the hillside, making it harder for the new baby flowers to grow.
PLEASE DON’T DO THIS.
I really don’t want to have to be the one to tell you to come out of there and stay on the trials. Especially if I’m in the midst of my own sessions with my clients who are following the rules. It’s not fair that they’ve paid for my services and it’s not my job to police you. Please don’t be one of the reasons we lose this locations again.
Bleh. Parking at Albion is a beast and necessary evil of that place. (which is one of the reasons why I always am aiming for morning shoots lol)
Here’s the skinny: they only have so many parking stalls open. (It used to be 60 – thank goodness they added a few more, but still not much more.) Before you’re allowed up the road, you need to pay the $10 parking fee at the toll booth. The ranger will ask where you’re going and if there’s room up there to park, send you on your way. If all the spots are full, however, you have to wait in a line of cars for people to come back down the mountain. Which can be problematic if everyone is there for pictures and you all have the same start time.
To combat this – carpool if you can and get there early!
- RESPECT THE WILDLIFE AND FLOWERS
This is a two part point; don’t pick the flowers and don’t bug the animals.
With Albion’s main energy and efforts going into the rehab of the hillside and trails we are taking it back to grade school where you learn about the lifecycles of plants. If you pick the flower then you are taking away seeds to be used in next years’ crop and slowly, over time, you will wipe out all the flowers.
There’s also the more “instant” consequence of “if you pick the flowers, there won’t be anymore for people to enjoy when they come”
so, just be nice and don’t pick. (Even though it takes every ounce of self control I have to just leave them be!)
The second point I want to touch on is the wildlife. This week I saw THREE moose at one time. We were pretty far away, but I could make out at least one Male, one female and either another female or a baby. So amazing! But SO dangerous!
It’s deceiving, right? They look like such gentle, deer-like, creatures, but they can actually kill you. yikes. One of the most dangerous things I’ve ever seen anyone do is walk closer to the moose to take it’s picture. It’s not worth it. Just don’t do it.
I’ll end at those three things so I don’t overwhelm you. ha. But what did you think? Do you have any other questions about Albion Basin? Let me know if the comments and I’ll respond to you.