I’ve just uploaded a gallery of photos from my trip to USA last November/December.
The gallery can be found at Winter in the Canyons
The same gallery of photos is also available via my Flickr account.
More details on the trip can be read here
Between 22 November and 5 December I was lucky enough to travel to USA for second time in 2015. The trip focused primarily on the national and state parks found in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. I’d travelled to the same area in the spring of 2011 and enjoyed it a lot. As with many of my previous trips to the US this one was arranged by Roger Reynolds at PhotoVentures. In total, the group was made up of 8 photographers from various parts of the UK, although we had all travelled together on previous occasions.
On the morning of our first day we spent a few hours near Sedona in Red Rock Park by the Oak River, the area may remind you of scenes from the film ‘How the West was won’ and the many other westerns that were filmed close by. It was a beautiful morning with glorious light mixing with the trees and late fall colours along the river.
From Sedona we made our way via Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon National Park where we would close out the day photographing the canyon from one of the viewpoints near Grand Canyon Village.
The second day began with an early start photographing the sunrise and morning light along the Grand Canyon rim.
Later that morning we visited Desert View before heading off on our journey to Page. Along the way we stopped at Cameron for few shots of the Little Colorado River Gorge. We passed through the outskirts of The Painted Desert, the towns of The Gap, Cedar Ridge and Bitter Springs before climbing onto the Colorado Plateau with its magnificent views of Page and Lake Powell in the distance. After checking into our hotel we travelled to an overlook above Waheap bay, which has spectacular views of Lake Powell. The sunset and afterglow was well worth the trip.
Our third day was spent photographing Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon near Page. Originally, we had planned to split this over two days, but on arrival at the upper canyon we realised that this wouldn’t be possible due to the large number of visitors taking advantage of the excellent weather and Thanksgiving holiday.
Our fourth day was spent photographing around the Glen Canyon Dam at Page and Horseshoe Bend then on to photograph the Toadstools of the Grand Staircase-Escalente National Monument.
Having spent 3 day at Page it was now time to on to our next destination – Zion National Park. We travelled through spectacular areas such as Vermilion Cliff Wilderness and the Paria Canyon Wilderness. We also managed a short detour to the Johnson Canyon Movie set before travelling on to the town of Springdale near Zion National Park
We spent the next 3 days photographing in Zion National Park. As with the previous days the weather and lighting was kind to us.
On our last day at Zion we went into the park very early hoping for a few good sunrise photos.
Having had a good breakfast we began out journey Bryce. This took us past Checkerboard Mesa to Carmel Junction giving us a final opportunity to capture images of the amazing rock formations and landscapes of Zion.
By this stage the weather was getting much colder, and we’d been told that there was heavy snow at Bryce. We arrived at Bryce as the light was fading having stopped along the way to photograph the hoodoos and snow at Red Rock Canyon.
Next morning we were made our way to Sunset Point to photograph the Sunrise (crazy, but true).
Having spent two full days at Bryce we made an early start on the third. We began our journey to Hanksville taking Route 12 through Tropic to Cannonville. We continued on to Escalante. Our journey was through the heart of Garfield County and its many photographic opportunities. Along the way we passed along the Escalante River and into the heart of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This National Monument was only designated just a few years ago. On leaving the town of Escalante we travelled the 6 miles to ‘Hole in the Rock Road’ where we divert south to visit Devils Garden where we photographed the hoodoos.
From the Grand Staircase-Escalante we travelled on to Hanksville where we spent the night. Next morning we travelled the few miles from Hanksville to Frutia and into Capitol Reef National Park. We spent a good few hours in the park visiting amazing rock formations in various canyons and gorges.
Having spent just over a week in Southern Utah it was now time to head back into Arizona where we spent the next few days photographing in Monument Valley and then Canyon de Chelly.
Our first stop was Monument Valley. We arrived in good time for sunset, although the best shots were captured after the sun had dropped below the horizon. The red rocks glowed in the dying light.
It was an early rise next morning to photograph the sunrise. Fortunately, I only needed to walk a few steps across the bedroom to capture them.
We spent the remainder of the morning in the park with a Navajo guide before travelling on to Chinle where we spend the next day photographing in Canyon de Chelly.
As with Monument Valley we had to arrange for a Navajo guide to take us into the canyon. As we travelled along the Chinle Wash the guide pointed out many of the Anasazi Cliff dwellings, Petroglyphs and Pictographs. The principal ruins are the White House, Antelope House, Standing Cow and Mummy Cave.
Having spent 13 days travelling through Southern Utah and Northern Arizona it was now time to make our way back to Phoenix via Flagstaff. We headed south along Route 89a for through Sedona to the town of Jerome. This amazing mining town appears to have remained unchanged since it was built in the previous century. From Jerome we took the short drive to the Gold King Mine & Ghost Town. This is an abandoned mining village. Here we were able to capture some the many classic american cars that are stored there.
Of course, we also managed to get a few photographs of the owner – Don Robertson.
The gallery can be found at Winter in the Canyons
All photographs were processed using Adobe Lightroom 6.3 on my Apple MacBook Pro. Obviously, being a laptop the display is far from ideal for serious photos editing.
Days 11 through 14 have been mostly spent travelling from Wyoming through Colorado. We also made short excursions into Utah and New Mexico. Planned stops along the way included the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, Maroon Bells National Recreation Area near Aspen, Red Mountain Pass, the Million Dollar Highway, the Silverton and Durango Railroad, Chimney Rock, the Cumbres & Toltec Steam Railroad (Chama, New Mexico), and the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The choice of such a long and at times out of the way route was to provide ourselves with as many opportunities to capture the golden colours of aspens and cottonwoods.
Flaming Gorge Lake from Sheep Creek Overlook
Obviously, any other opportunity to snap a few photographs was also taken. One such occasion was when part of the group decided to take a trip on the steam train between Silverton and Durango. The line was constructed in 1892 to haul silver & gold ore from the San Juan Mountains, but passengers soon realised it was the view that was truly precious. This historic train has been in continuous operation ever since, carrying passengers behind vintage steam locomotives and rolling stock indigenous to the line.We’d been told beforehand that it would we probably take a lot of photographs, and as it turned out, we did. The following is one of my favourites.
Silverton and Durango Railroad, San Juan Mountains
Our last stop on this leg of the journey was to photograph the sun setting at the Great Sand Dunes National Park. We did get a quite spectacular sunset, but my favourite shots were of the afterglow.
Tomorrow we begin the long trek back to Denver. Hopefully, the weather stays in our favour.
** Disclaimer** Above images are quick previews specifically for this blog so that friends and family can see how I’m getting on.
I’ll shortly be leaving on a spring photo shoot in the canyon lands of Arizona and Utah in USA. So, I thought I’d freshen up the home page images. During this exercise I realised that I had forgotten to upload the formal gallery from my trip to the US last November/December. Anyway, it’s posted here. Hopefully, it was worth the delay.
Note, most of the images have been hosted on my Flickr site for some time.