What better way to meet this week’s challenge than with a place actually called “the Narrows”. This is a very popular hike within the Zion National Park in Utah. The hike is actually in the water of a slot canyon that cuts through the incredible geography of the area. At one point in the hike, where the canyon walls close in to only a few yards across, it is an incredible sight – especially in the morning light. I took this photo of my wife Dee and our friend Sarah standing in the Narrows a few years back. Hope you enjoy the scene as much as we did during our perfect hike.
There are few scenes as “Vivid” as a sunset over the red rocks areas in Utah. This photo was taken towards the west (obviously into the sun), just as the sun was going down behind the landscape near Dead Horse State Park. At that instant the colors in the sky and in the orange rocks are incredible. This photo is “blown out” by the sun flare but I think it still portrays the drama of the scene and scenery.
I was looking though some old photos for ones that I hadn’t really developed or posted. This photo was taken in the evening at Zion National Park in Utah. I was actually hanging off the side of a steep sandy slope trying to get the “star” effect off the sun setting behind another mountain. It was a lovely evening and I was trying to capture both the beauty and the quiet of the moment.
Since I was already looking at some of my “old west” photos for this week’s challenge, I thought I’d just include one more….. This photo was taken further along the same drive as the road starts into the river canyon. This was an active farm but they obviously wanted to showcase some of their old “relics”.
As soon as I saw the subject of this week’s challenge, I immediately thought of a series of photos I took outside of Moab, Utah a few years ago. Coming back from a ski trip to Colorado, we decided to go through Moab via the beautiful highway 128. Along the way we came across this old ghost town right by the side of the road. Although we didn’t spend much time there, I did snap a few photos of these relics (houses and vehicles) of days gone by.
I’m actually on the road again – to the Grand Canyon this time – but I thought I’d leave you with another view of the area around Canyonlands, Arches and Moab Utah. This photo was taken in the Colorado River Valley just outside of Moab. It is a beautiful canyon with many iconic views of the surrounding mesas. I saw this rickety old fence as we were driving down the road along the river and used it as a foreground to some of the majestic mesas that seem to be everywhere in this area. It was kind of a dull, cloudy day so I thought I’d process the photo as a B&W (with a little sepia thrown in). Looks like something out of an old western movie to me.
I’ve already posted about my experience taking a picture in crowded circumstances at the Mesa Arch in the morning. I wanted to post about a completely different hike and photo opportunity at Canyonlands – the false Kiva. This is an unadvertised hike – you won’t find it anywhere in the normal documentation of the park. A ranger told us (after we had made the hike) that they have tried to limit the visitors to this site due to the ongoing archeological efforts there. We found it in a book called “Photographing the Southwest – Southern Utah” which not only described the scene, it gave some pretty detailed direction on the hike and how to get there. It took us about 2 hours (roundtrip) and it was a moderate hike with some difficult areas of loose shale and rock. You descend down a canyon and then must climb back up to a huge, domed alcove where there is a kiva which has been built by visitors over the years. Although the kiva itself is not authentic, there are areas within the alcove that are still being excavated and examined. Once in the alcove, you are treated to a great vista of the surrounding mesas and valleys – both above and below. If you ever get a chance to visit the canyonlands, this is a hike worth taking…..
I should add that we only saw two other hikers during our visit to this beautiful site – a father and his daughter. Otherwise, we had the entire experience to ourselves.
There are Utah Juniper trees all around the Canyonlands area. They are uniquely beautiful with their twisty trunks and with their craggley branches. This one was at the edge of the Canyon near our campsite at Dead Horse Point.
I mentioned last week that we were heading for the Canyonlands area of Utah for a few days. We camped in a campground at the Dead Horse Point State Park near the Canyonlands Island in the Sky region. This is a relatively small park but with spectacular views of the canyons carved by the Colorado River as it winds through the area. This photo was taken looking down where the river makes a “u” in the valley right under the point lookout area. It was just at sunset so the nearby cliffs were lit by the fading sun while most of the valley had already faded into the shadows. The sunset colors on the clouds were spectacular. A beautiful quiet moment (I was the only one on this particular lookout).
We’re on the road again – this time headed up to the Canyonlands and Arches National Parks in Utah. We stopped for a couple of quick photos on the way up – just outside of St. George, Utah. Here’s a taste of things to come later this week (we’ll be out of connectivity until at least Thursday night).