We drove from Flagstaff to Monument Valley and the next day, onto Moab to experience Arches and Canyonlands in Southern Utah. Quite an overwhelming experience, indeed.
Arches National Park – This relatively small park is spectacular with its concentration of arches, fantastic monoliths and fins with the La Sal Mountains in the background (snowcapped and especially stunning in winter). The scenic paved road is only a 45-mile round trip.
The Balanced Rock defies the unstoppable forces of nature.
The Windows in winter is even more magical!
Delicate arch is hard to photograph unless you hike, and thus was disappointing.
Canyonlands National Park – This is a huge park with three districts separated by an impassible river system (the Colorado River and Green River), so plan wisely. The Upper section – Island in the Sky - is the most approachable and easy to visit without the need for hiking. It has sweeping canyon vistas, outstand rock formations with some arches as well. Mesa Arch is a classic photo opportunity, especially at sunrise, with canyons and the La Sal Mountains seen through the arch, but requires a hike up hill in the dark. I did it and not easy.
Take a side trip to Dead Horse Point in this state park for two panoramic views, one with a view of the bend in the Colorado River.
The other two districts (the Maze- wild and desolate and Needles- known for its diversity of pinnacles, arches, grabens and canyons) are more adventurous, requiring hiking, 4x4 vehicles or backpacking. Thus, we did not try to visit them.
I hope you get a chance to visit Moab and the other parks in Southern Utah.
Keywords: Arches, Canyonlands, Judith M Photography, Landscapes, photo tips, Photography instruction, photography tips, Southern Utah, Utah
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