100 Days of National Parks: Day 61 – Morning Beneath the Patriarchs, Zion National Park

Morning beneath the Patriarchs

One of the benefits in becoming as familiar with Zion National Park as I have become over the past half decade is the fact that I can go to the park and not feel the need to constantly chase new sights or places I haven’t seen. On my last real trip to the park in November of 2014, I spent two weeks hiking familiar and unfamiliar trails and generally wandering the park freely, as the winter chill had emptied the park of most of its crowds, allowing me the peace of exploring at my own pace in my own manner.

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Morning Beneath the Patriarchs

 

Morning beneath the Patriarchs
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One of the benefits in becoming as familiar with Zion National Park as I have become over the past half decade is the fact that I can go to the park and not feel the need to constantly chase new sights or places I haven’t seen.  On my last real trip to the park in November of 2014, I spent two weeks hiking familiar and unfamiliar trails and generally wandering the park freely, as the winter chill had emptied the park of most of its crowds, allowing me the peace of exploring at my own pace in my own manner.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 61 – Morning Beneath the Patriarchs, Zion National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 57 – Delicate Arch, Arches National Park

There are many reasons in my time as a photographer that I’ve had to sit and wait for a shot to materialize. It could be waiting for the right lighting, or for an animal to turn its head, or snapping away at a particularly large panorama, aligning each shot over the course of an hour to make sure it all lines up in the edit. Then there are those times when you simply know that you’re in a special place, one that is so popular that the people flock to it en masse, and all you can do is sit and wait patiently for the shot to clear so you can get that one clean exposure.

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Delicate Arch

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There are many reasons in my time as a photographer that I’ve had to sit and wait for a shot to materialize.  It could be waiting for the right lighting, or for an animal to turn its head, or snapping away at a particularly large panorama, aligning each shot over the course of an hour to make sure it all lines up in the edit.  Then there are those times when you simply know that you’re in a special place, one that is so popular that the people flock to it en masse, and all you can do is sit and wait patiently for the shot to clear so you can get that one clean exposure.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 57 – Delicate Arch, Arches National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 54 – Hickman Bridge, Capitol Reef National Park

As one of the easier hikes in Capitol Reef National Park, the short 2 mile trail to Hickman Bridge is definitely worth the stop, just for the chance to pass under the impressive natural span of sandstone. Other than Natural Bridges National Monument, I’ve never found a place with a more accessible, and stunning display of a natural bridge. Whether combined with a longer hike out to the Rim Overlook, which looks down upon the orchards of Fruita Valley, or as a short diversion when passing through the park, it’s definitely worth the stop.

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Hickman Bridge

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As one of the easier hikes in Capitol Reef National Park, the short 2 mile trail to Hickman Bridge is definitely worth the stop, just for the chance to pass under the impressive natural span of sandstone.  Other than Natural Bridges National Monument, I’ve never found a place with a more accessible, and stunning display of a natural bridge.  Whether combined with a longer hike out to the Rim Overlook, which looks down upon the orchards of Fruita Valley, or as a short diversion when passing through the park, it’s definitely worth the stop.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 54 – Hickman Bridge, Capitol Reef National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 48 – One of Us, Canyonlands National Park

One of Us

One of the coolest parts of the Joint Trail in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park isn’t the narrow slot canyon itself, but rather the hundreds of stone cairns that litter the canyon walls and floor. Like a village of small rock piles, you walk through the narrow canyon and feel compelled to add to the pile, so to speak. Soon, you’re on your hands and knees, stacking progressively smaller stones atop one another, trying to get as many as possible to balance before stepping away with the satisfaction of a job well done.

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One of Us

 

One of Us
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One of the coolest parts of the Joint Trail in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park isn’t the narrow slot canyon itself, but rather the hundreds of stone cairns that litter the canyon walls and floor.  Like a village of small rock piles, you walk through the narrow canyon and feel compelled to add to the pile, so to speak.  Soon, you’re on your hands and knees, stacking progressively smaller stones atop one another, trying to get as many as possible to balance before stepping away with the satisfaction of a job well done.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 48 – One of Us, Canyonlands National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 45 – The Wave, Vermillion Cliffs National Monument

The Wave

There are few more iconic photography destinations in the American Southwest than the Wave in Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, in Northwest Arizona. It’s a mecca for professional and aspiring amateur photographers, along with scores of regular wanderers who’ve done a little pinterest research before setting out on their southwest road trip. The undulating, seemingly unnatural natural curves and striations in the rock pull in visitors from around the globe, and its extreme exclusivity make its permits the hottest ticket in town (that town being Kanab, Utah).
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The Wave

The Wave
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There are few more iconic photography destinations in the American Southwest than the Wave in Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, in Northwest Arizona.  It’s a mecca for professional and aspiring amateur photographers, along with scores of regular wanderers who’ve done a little pinterest research before setting out on their southwest road trip.  The undulating, seemingly unnatural natural curves and striations in the rock pull in visitors from around the globe, and its extreme exclusivity make its permits the hottest ticket in town (that town being Kanab, Utah).

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 45 – The Wave, Vermillion Cliffs National Monument”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 42 – Landscape Arch, Arches National Park

Sometimes the places you visit are so clearly ephemeral and short-lived that being there takes on added meaning. Walking along the Devil’s Garden Trail in Arches National Park and seeing the long, narrow span of Landscape Arch, the longest freestanding natural arch in the world, is just such an experience.

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Landscape Arch

 

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Sometimes the places you visit are so clearly ephemeral and short-lived that being there takes on added meaning.  Walking along the Devil’s Garden Trail in Arches National Park and seeing the long, narrow span of Landscape Arch, the longest freestanding natural arch in the world, is just such an experience.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 42 – Landscape Arch, Arches National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 37 – Cable Mountain, Zion National Park

Atop Cable Mountain

There’s something about climbing to the top of a mountain or ridgeline and looking out across the landscape laid out below that always appeals to me. I think it’s the sense of perspective, literal and figurative, that I get on the world and the places I travel. There’s no place I like to do this more than along the rims of Zion National Park.

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Cable Mountain

Atop Cable Mountain
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There’s something about climbing to the top of a mountain or ridgeline and looking out across the landscape laid out below that always appeals to me.  I think it’s the sense of perspective, literal and figurative, that I get on the world and the places I travel.  There’s no place I like to do this more than along the rims of Zion National Park.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 37 – Cable Mountain, Zion National Park”