Southwest Nature Photos
The American Southwest is the land of natural geological wonderment that attracts people from around the world. Southern Utah, Arizona, and Nevada are a few of the states that make up the Southwest. Most of the arid landscape of the Southwest includes dramatic red rock formations such as mesas, bluffs, caves, arches, flatlands, and canyons. There are National parks like Grand Canyon, The Arches, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley, and Canyonlands that are worth traveling a great distance to come visit. They are all so different from each other and each has its own distinct quality that makes each park truly special.
One of my favorite national parks for hiking is Zion. We hiked Angels Landing trail numerous times and every time it will take your breath away. There are cables to hold onto as you scale 1500’ above the valley floor on only a 10’ wide area at one small section of the trail. The end of the trail is a stunning panoramic overlook. We also enjoyed Observation Trail and the Narrows. The Narrows were fun for the whole family as long as everyone likes to get wet and can swim. Walking through the Narrows is like walking through and very wide slot canyon through many feet of water the entire time. Great for a hot day!
Bryce Canyon is a high elevation site to visit at about 9000’. Bryce is famous for its odd-looking pillars. The pillars AKA hoodoos formed by erosion are beautiful tall red-colored spires. Bryce is a little more peaceful than some of the other parks, it doesn’t seem to get the amount of traffic that some of the other parks get.
Grand Canyon is one of the most popular and populated tourist attractions in the Southwest. The dramatic landscape attracts millions of visitors per year. The Grand Canyon was formed by the Colorado River millions of years ago. It is 1 mile deep and 10 miles wide. We visited the Supai Village in the Grand Canyon on our way to the magical Havasu Falls. The Supai Village is home to the Havasupai Tribe ( People of the blue green waters.) The entrance to the village is very remote off of route 66. The U.S. Postal Service transports mail by mule 8 miles down the canyon to the village. Our toes hurt by the end of our hike down and it was so refreshing to dunk our feet in the beautiful blue green water.
Monument Valley is another interesting place to visit with its unique plateaus and mesas. Monument Valley is good for sight seeing. Most areas can be easily accessed by car.
Lower Antelope Canyon is another unique destination. Its not really a hike, its a quick drop. As you walk along what looks to be a flat landscape suddenly you are walking down stairs that lead to 30 ft’ walls of red rock with a 5-foot walkway in between. The weather drops significantly and in areas a little sun might shine through.
Dead Horse Point State Park sits high above the Goosenecks. Dead Horse Point State Park is another visual classic where the Colorado River winds through a maze of entrenched canyons and cliffs. Dead Horse Point State Park is a good place to get away from the heat at 5900’ above sea level. You will find plenty of opportunities for hiking and mountain biking. The mountain biked the Intrepid Trail System gaining only 100 vertical feet in 9 miles. A perfect ride for our tired selves.
Our journey began arriving in Sedona Arizona during a storm. We waited many hours for the storm to clear and were wet and freezing from the melted snow on our clothes. Once the sun came out we were able to warm our bodies up from the sun. Snow in Sedona is rare, Sedona only gets a snow once in a great while. As the sun peaked out the intense red rock scenery looked like snow-powdered mountains. This was the ultimate nature photo opportunity. The snow melted quickly which we were grateful we were there at the right time. We did some hiking and mountain biking on the red colored trails. Sedona is also a very spiritual place, quiet and calm, where one can really absorb the beauty of nature and all that comes with it.
Some of my favorite Southwest photos:
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”
– John Muir