Daydreaming of grandeur, expansive and once-in-a-lifetime landscapes weigh heavy on any photographers mind; getting the angle no one else has captured, sunrise the others slept through, moments lifetimes can revel in or just the perfect instant encompassing the ultimate adventure. Racing beyond the ordinary, already photographed and over exposed, every sing click of a camera sends a youthful excitement to the bone of any adventure photographer – feelings that cannot be explained.
The Southwest corner of the United States is the best kept secret in the photographer’s world: full of endless horizons, plentiful deserts, bottomless valleys, the bluest waters, and waterfalls only the lucky know where to find.
Havasupai, derived from the word, Havasu, meaning the “blue-green water,” is exactly that but also so much more. Offering the photographer’s dream, contrast so strong it brings to life the vast rarity of the desert oasis: blue-green water reflects the red walls of the Grand Canyon, the yellow-orange of the passing sunset and the ever growing travertine columns reaching towards the valley floor. Each artist, with every click of their camera, is offered two great realities; endless angles on the walls of the towering benches above, giving the ability to capture the newest scene only their eyes have seen, while the ever-changing landscape, brought by floods, travertine and waters wear changes every destination by the day, month and year. Havasupai is a photographers dream.
282 feet below sea level is an experience and landscape indescribable by just merely words and Badwater Basin lives up to every bit of that expectation; with a seemingly never-ending salt flat and rugged mountains rising around every twist; capturing the sky is a battle of blown out proportions. Deep below the endless space, clouds, colors and atmosphere any photographer has endless opportunities to a build great scene. From a sunrise to yourself, to the night sky’s darkest opportunities, be sure to bring your tripod and capture the amazing array of the universe. Beyond the Badwater Basin, be sure to trek out to Scotty’s Castle – a mirage in the desert – where photos of the unbelievable castle from nowhere will exceed all expectations.
Utah, known as one of the most active states, is also one of the most versatile as a photographer. Beyond the canyons, arches and well-traveled Rocky Mountains, there is an ultimate hidden paradise for the adventure photographer; Bryce and Zion National Parks. Full of steep canyon walls, columns stretching towards the Rocky Mountain Sky and the reddest landscape to build a photo against. When in Bryce and Zion, it is important to not shy away from the amazing hikes and adventures; these are the key to the photos not many others have experienced. Peek-A-Boon, Queens Garden and Timber Creek trail all offer panorama views of an otherwise top heavy photo, while the Virgin River in Zion offers a beautiful entrance into the vast canyon system only this Utah landscape can endure.
A photographer is a different bread, sleeping less, hiking more and adventuring to corners no one would of imagined all get the blood pumping, the South West is continuing to be the escape of less traveled with far more trails and canyons than ever expected. Truly offering the photo of a year and the adventure of a lifetime, the South West is a must-do adventure vacation.
To learn about going on your own Southwest adventure, visit our Southwest Adventure Tours page!