We have updated out section of Grand Canyon National Park photos thanks to our time there this past May. Love this Park and can’t wait to go back!
Camping under the stars in our version of a Lake Powell houseboat.
Lake Powell from last May – as I sit here in my office on a cool, rainy day in Alaska, this seems like ages ago!
Now that Janine has adjusted images from our Spring trip I thought I would share another one from Antelope – this is a beautiful canyon.
Here you see the bottom of the South Kaibab Trail into the Grand Canyon. As you hike down, you get more and more glimpses of the Colorado River – on a hot day, that becomes a real magnet towards the final destination. But, the final arrival is a real show stopper. You literally enter into a tunnel blasted into the side of a rock face. Once you reach the other side of the tunnel, you emerge straight onto a suspension bridge hanging directly over the Colorado River! It’s awesome!
On the right side of this image you can see where the bridge lines up with the tunnel – this bridge takes you to the far side of the canyon to Phantom Ranch and the Angel Bright Campground.
Editing through our images from our May backpacking trip to the Grand Canyon National Park has me excited to return for more!
The Colorado River last week near Page, Arizona.
Funny, between a backpacking trip to the river in the Grand Canyon, and two separate trips to the Page area – I have photographed the Colorado River a lot this year. It didn’t start out as part of a plan at the beginning of the year, just sorta worked out that way.
I usually don’t post on the weekends, nor do I post snap shots captured mid day, but I thought it was worth doing a quick post to get the word out on how great the wildflowers are in Northern Arizona right now.
Heavy rain in August has lead to what most people are telling me is an unprecedented Autumn wildflower bloom. I do know this, the wildflowers were way better then they were this past May – better then I have seen in the desert for a number of Springs. And there were fields with a variety a species including common spring flowers like verbena and primrose. In some areas, the desert sunflowers were just thick. In the wash where Antelope Canyon crosses under the highway is by far the best field of Sacred Datura I have ever seen! And as local were pointing out – the wildflowers that normally get cooked by rising spring temperatures are continuing to look great thanks to the cooling fall temps – I thought they were getting better as the week went on. So if you are in the area, check it out!
I have visited the Page Arizona area many times over the years, but until May, had never ventured into the Upper Antelope Slot Canyon. The stories of the crowds of people kept me away. On my May visit, I figured if I was going to be offering a photo tour in the area, I should at least visit the areas most popular attraction. I must admit, the canyon itself was stunning. But, the huge crowds and chaos ruined the experience for me. At times guides were yelling at guests to stay out of the view – it was crazy, and not the kind of environment in which I like to spend my time.
After that experience, I really didn’t think it would work to bring a group to such a crazy canyon. But, while in the canyon I got talking to a couple of the Navajo guides and learned that another Navajo was doing an occasional night tour into the canyon with very small groups. This sounded like the perfect solution, and after a bit of leg work, was able to make the arrangements.
I must say, this was a far better experience! Looking up at the stars through those beautiful red rock walls was magical, and hearing one of our Navajo guides quietly chanting to himself added more to the experience! Definitely one of the many highlights of this trip!
Back from a great trip to Arizona. The slot canyon photo tour went great – I really had a fun group of photographers that made a cool experience just that much more enjoyable! Funny, I thought escaping the long days of the Alaska Summer might make the hours a bit easier, but with such an enthusiastic group we kept an aggressive pace including a 19 hour day that started with a 5:30 a.m. meet for sunrise at Horseshoe Bend, included an extended stay in our own slot canyon, followed by a boat tour on Lake Powell, and finishing with a night shoot until mid-night in Antelope Slot Canyon – it was a blast!
Having an amazing slot canyon all to ourselves – and spending time in the Upper Antelope Canyon at night with a small group might have been the highlight.
I’ll have more photos to share over the next couple of days. If you are interested, stay tuned – I intend to offer the same tour next year.
I have been doing some pre-tour scouting for my Slot Canyon Tour that begins tonight. I must say, I knew this area had received a lot of rain, but I’m shocked out how many wildflowers there are in places. Much better then it was in May – better then I have seen in a couple of years. I have heard the same is true on other areas as well.
I checked out the Horseshoe Bend today as we plan on a sunset / sunrise here. Back when I first visited this spot, you had to really know where you where going. Today, it is signed, with a paved parking lot and a well marked trail. There are also lots of people including tour bus!
I have one spot left for my Arizona Slot Canyon Photography Tour for later this month. I am excited about this tour – we will have exclusive use of some of the slots we visit like Canyon x pictured above. Plus, we will be making a night time visit to Upper Antelope Slot Canyon in which the canyon will be illuminated with LED lights just enough so that the stars will show above! Throw in other local highlights like Horseshoe Bend and Lake Powell and you can see we have an action packed couple of days. You can read more here or call if you have any questions: Arizona Slot Canyon Photo Tour.
I know, late in the day Friday is a terrible time to announce a new photo tour – so for those that missed it, I thought I would mention it again.
Looks like we are down to two spots for this Fall’s Arizona Slot Canyon Photo Tour. I’m excited about this one, we are going to hit all the hot spots including Canyon X, Surprise Canyon, Lower Antelope, and maybe most exciting, Upper Antelope Slot at night! Click the link for details, or call if you have questions.
My 2013 photo tour schedule has been full for some time, but I have decided to change that - I’m really excited to be offering an Arizona Slot Canyon Photo Tour for this upcoming fall! This is a semi-exclusive photo tour because in many cases, like Canyon X pictured above, we will be the only ones there! Imagine exploring and photographing this wonderful slot without battling dozens and dozens of other people trying to get just one photo!
Along with other sites around Page, Arizona like Horseshoe Bend, we will be visiting Canon X, Surprise Canyon, Lower Antelope Canyon, and Upper Antelope Slot Canyon at night! Yes I said at night – we will have LED lighting to illuminate the inside of this world famous slot canyon, while the moonless night sky will allow the stars to shine brightly through the opening above!
I have been to Page a couple of times in the Fall, but returned there this May to scout, with the thought of offering this photo tour in May of 2014. What I found is that I much prefer the Page area in Autumn since you don’t have to contend with the strong winds that can be so prevalent in Spring.
I haven’t seen another photo tour like this, how can I offer so much? I’ll be permitted through the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and will be contracting through 4 separate Navajo permitted operators all to provide what I think will be a unique, fun packed 3 plus days!
Here are the details: Slot Canyon Photo Tour
Looking down at a houseboat at Lake Powell a couple of weeks ago.
An aerial of the Grand Canyon taken at around 20,000 feet on my flight back to Alaska.
We are now in Phoenix getting our RV ready for storage and preparing for the long trip home. Since it is approaching 110 here today – looking forward to getting back to Alaska!
This was from Upper Antelope Canyon. I have always avoided this place on my earlier trips to Page because of the huge crowds this place attracts. The crowds were worse then I imagine, but the scenery was amazing!
Janine exploring a lesser known slot canyon near Page, Arizona a couple of days ago.
This was a wonderful sunrise while camping near West Canyon on Lake Powell last weekend. Our tent and a Lund skiff is our version of a house boat. It was a great time!
A ladder leading into the lower portion of the amazing Lower Antelope Slot Canyon near Page, Arizona.
Last Thursday night in Williams, Arizona.
We moved to Williams, Arizona – a cute, little historic town that has done a great job at embracing its Route 66 history. Tomorrow we head up to Page and Northern Arizona red rock country!
We moved here partly because campground reservations weren’t available for the weekend in the Grand Canyon -and it put me closer to some other places I wanted to photograph.
It also put me closer to Phoenix, which is where I was for my nature photography seminar Saturday at the Desert Botanical Gardens. I had a great time, and meet a bunch of really nice, passionate photographers. I look forward to doing more.
A couple of people enjoying a sandy beach along the Colorado River, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.
Descending into the Grand Canyon is such a different experience then standing on the rim. It is far more then escaping the crowds. It is feeling and seeing the river up close. It is the change in perspective – looking up at the massive canyon walls instead of down into them. Your perspective changes with every step into the Canyon – it is an amazing experience!
Sunset last night over the Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.
By the way, in case you are in the area, I’m doing a nature photography workshop at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens this Saturday. It will be a three hour workshop followed by a two hour photo walk afterwards where you can practice what you just learned. The price includes admission into the gardens. I have more then 40 signed up with room for a few more.
We just spent a wonderful couple of nights camped along Bright Angel Creek – the brown tent is ours although we put it away for the second night so that we could sleep under the stars.
Staying in good shape is a requirement of the occupation of outdoor photographer, and we try to either run, ski, bike or hit the gym daily. Unfortunately Janine and I have both battled some kind of lung infection and haven’t been able to work out at all for a couple of months. Despite looking forward to this hike for months, we almost pulled the plug fearing we couldn’t pull it off. At the last minute, we decided to suck it up and do it, hoping our prior conditioning would be enough, and we are both so glad we did!
I’ll share more about the trail in the future, but it is challenging. The top is over 7,200 feet and morning temps were near freezing. At the bottom, almost 4,800 feet down, the afternoon temps reached 97! Like most hikers, we spent a good portion of the afternoon sitting in the creek to cool off.
We hiked down on the South Kaibab Trail, but returned on the Bright Angel Trail. At over nine miles, the hike out on the Bright Angel Trail is two miles longer then the hike in, but offers more shade and water – two very desirable qualities! Like most hikers, we got up at 4:30 to pack for the hike out – this was key, especially coming from Alaska where we aren’t used to the heat.
The campground is just across the Colorado River and a short distance up stream on Bright Angel Creek. It was so peaceful and relaxing listening to the creek, and watching that deer the frequented our camp. The stars at night were the icing on the cake!