The Island in the Sky region of Canyonlands National Park is one of our favorite locations. The views from the top out across the river canyons is unbelievably amazing. You can see a long way.
As you can see in this image the different rock formations create the opportunity for some very unique photographs.
Canyonlands National Park
I highly recommend that if you are traveling in the Moab area that you should take the time to go to Canyonlands National Park. Right now is a good time to see the park. The weather is great with comfortable temperatures and no large crowds of tourists.
One of the major attractions is Mesa Arch. I have seen online several recommendations that photographers get there early because there will be a crowd. I have been there several times in late October or early November and I was the only person there.
This is not your typical view of Balanced Rock in Arches National Park. There is a path around this rock formation that provides different angles and views of Balanced Rock. I happen to like this view and the clouds add to the image. At this angle it looks like it would not take much for it to fall. It would not be a good idea to be there when this happens. As usual click on the image to enlarge.
By the way, winter is a good time to go Arches. There are no crowds to contend with as there are in the summer. The temperature is more comfortable. Best of all the snow on the red rocks makes for some very impressive photography.
We plan to visit there some time during the winter this year. So come back here again for some snow scenes in Arches.
Fall color on Grand Mesa can be very spectacular. I love the Aspen trees. The white bark and bright yellow leaves in the fall make some great images. Right now the winter snow storms have started. Grand Mesa is a very magical place.
Click on this image to enlarge.
Also check out my new book on 3D photography. Go to the ”my books” page on my website,
Canyonlands National Park is divided into three regions: Island in the Sky, Needles and the Maze. This photograph was taken in the Island in the Sky area. This part of Canyonlands is the most popular and gets the most visitors. Part of the reason for this is the access is easier than the other regions of the park.
Click on the image to enlarge.
Canyonlands has several trails that have lots of these potholes. They fill from rain storms or melting snow and can contain some very interesting invertebrate life forms. In this desert environment the creatures in these potholes have to complete their life cycle rapidly before the water dries up.
The potholes in this image are along the White Rim Overlook Trail. There are lots of interesting potholes along this trail. Of course they are only interesting when they have water in them. Not so interesting when they are dry and waiting for rain.
Here is a link to Canyonlands National Park. http://www.nps.gov/cany/index.htm
A couple of weeks ago we went up onto Grand Mesa. From where we live we can be up on Grand Mesa in an hour or less. We are fortunate to live very close to some amazing locations in both Colorado and Utah.
The lake in this photograph is one of several hundred on top of the Mesa. As you can see the aspen trees were in full fall color mode. At the moment I believe there is several feet of snow up there already. Grand Mesa gets to an elevation of over 11,000 feet. It is the largest flattop mountain in the world. Don’t forget to click on the image to enlarge.
We go up to the Mesa a lot. The fishing is very good up there and I have caught my limit a number of times. We also go cross country skiing on Grand Mesa.
When we are skiing it is so quiet and peaceful. You feel like you are the only person in the world. The snow can be very deep and the trees are covered with snow. It can look like a winter wonder land.
Some people from the Grand Junction area go south for the winter to get away from the snow (we get very little snow because we live in the banana belt of western Colorado) but we stay here because we love the snow. Come on SNOW!!!!
As you can tell today we are back to my favorite park. The Colorado National Monument is a wonderful place full of magnificent scenery and great opportunities for hiking.
I recently participated in an event in Fruita, CO along with other photographers who have photographs in the new 2014 Calendar. If you don’t have one of these Colorado National Monument Calendars you should rush right out and buy one.
This photo is one of my photographs that are in the new calendar. Click on the image to enlarge.
No Thoroughfare Arch
This arch is located in No Thoroughfare Canyon . Most people walk right by it without seeing it. If you would like to purchase one of the photos in the calendar go to the tab in my website titled how to buy my photographs.
Here is a link to purchase the 2014 Calendar. They will even sell you more than one calendar so you can purchase some for your friends. Why not buy a couple hundred calendars and give them out to friends in your neighborhood!
We recently camped for a week in Zion National Park and had a wonderful time hiking, sighting and photographing the wonderful scenery. Rather than go directly back home we decided to camp for a couple of nights in Bryce National Park. Bryce probably has some of the most unusual rock formations of any park we have ever visited.
There are two campgrounds in Bryce and we camped at Sunset campground. It is very conveniently located to some of the area trails we like to hike. The campgrounds are first come first serve but we had no problem getting a very nice camping spot. One interesting thing was that there was a mountain lion warning. Apparently a mountain lion was spotted in the campground the week before we arrived. We saw lots of deer but no mountain lion.
This photo shows some of the rocks formations. To really appreciate Bryce you need to hike down into the canyon and not just view it from the rim of the canyon. Click on the image to enlarge.
Bryce National Park
We enjoy Bryce best in the spring and fall. During the summer it can get very hot which can make the hike out of the canyon difficult.
Our favorite trails include Queens Garden, Navajo and Peekaboo. Another good way to see the canyon is by a horse or mule ride. These rides can be arranged at the lodge.
We have also been to Bryce when there is snow on the ground. Winter is a great season because the snow on the red rocks makes for very impressive scenery.
Here is a link to the park website for more information.
Zion National Park is a great place to hike. One of our favorite hikes is the Narrows. This hike follows the Virgin River through a narrow canyon for about 16 miles. We hiked this canyon for about 2 hours in and 2 hours out. In many places you have to wade across the river or walk in the river. On this hike we crossed the Virgin River 40 times in four hours.
Here is a shot of the river near the beginning of the hike. Later the water gets much deeper and covers the entire bottom of the canyon. At one place we were almost waist deep in water. This is definitely lots of fun.
At the moment you can not enter Zion National Park due the government shutdown. At least you are not suppose to enter the park. If I were not fighting a bad cold at the ,moment, I would say to hell with them and enter our local Colorado National Monument anyway. People at other parks have been doing just that. I would say more but this blog is suppose to be about photography and not a place for political discussion. So, I will bite my tongue and not say which political party I blame. We are definitely a nation that is bitterly divided. Our representatives in Washington reflect this deep divide.
Here is a link that will tell you more about Zion. http://www.utah.com/nationalparks/zion.htm
This is a revised version of the original posting. As you can probably tell I have been very busy lately. We returned recently from a trip to Zion National Park and Bryce National Park. However, today we going to talk about Yellowstone National Park. My next blog posting will move on to Zion and Bryce.
Yellowstone is a magnificent place with many natural wonders. It was the first National Park and is one of my favorites. I think many other people would agree with me and rank this park number one.
Yellowstone can actually be a little scary if you stop to think about where you are and what is under your feet. When in Yellowstone you are basically sitting on top of a dormant volcano and you hope it stays that way during your visit. There are lots of pools of boiling hot water, hot mud, geysers and tons of steam. Many of the pools of boiling hot water are very colorful. In this image for example the water is bright blue and extremely hot. If you fell in you would be killed instantly by being boiled alive. Not a fun idea. Click on the image to enlarge.
Yellowstone also has some incredible wildlife. The wildlife includes wolves, mountain lions, grizzly bears, black bears, elk, deer and of course bison or buffalo. When you drive into the park from the town of West Yellowstone you will almost always see elk. Bison can also be seen throughout the park. My favorite place for bison is the Lamar Valley. This is also the location you are most likely to see grizzly bears and wolves. This photo of a bison was shot in Lamar Valley. They are very interesting creatures to watch.
A couple of years ago we went to Yellowstone with some friends and had a very interesting encounter with a buffalo. We were staying at the Old Faithful Inn and we decided we wanted to go to the Lamar Valley to see wolves. That is suppose to be the best area to find them. Of course early morning can be the best time to see wildlife as well as the best time for photography. We left the Inn while it was still very dark. On our drive that morning we happened upon a buffalo bull in the middle of the road. He was walking down the highway in front of us and dead center in the road. He would look over his shoulder at us but would not move over. Finally we were able to very carefully drive around him . He clearly thought the road belonged to him.
Here is a link to the Yellowstone National Park website. http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm
We determined during our recent visit to Glacier National Park that our favorite area in the park is Many Glaciers. There is a very nice hotel or lodge there that was built in 1915 by the Great Northern Railroad. We had breakfast there one morning because I needed to be in the area for early morning photography. The best landscape photos are usually taken at or near sunrise or sunset. The photograph below was taken early in the morning from the balcony of this hotel. Be sure to click on the image to enlarge.
We hiked along the shore of the lake which is famous for having grizzly bears. We didn’t happen to see any on the hike but the day before we did some grizzly bears from a boat ride on the lake. They were just above the trail and the hikers on the trail had no idea there were bears near them.
This photograph shows the Many Glaciers Hotel. As you can tell, the view from this hotel is fantastic.
Here is a link to more information on the hotel: http://www.nationalparkreservations.com/glacier_many.php?gclid=CP_TxMmGv7kCFe1AMgodbxwAxA
Hope you enjoy the photos. Check out my main pages for more images. You can also purchase any photo you see on my blog or website.