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Author Topic: Southwest trip- weather early March?  (Read 5308 times)
jeffreybehr
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« on: January 07, 2003, 12:11:52 AM »
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Tim, there are THOUSANDS of sites on the Colorado Plateau to fotograf.  There are MANY national parks within driving distance.  Get a map called 'Indian Country' and study it for a while.  You'll find LOTS of places to spend your time with a camera.
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Tim
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2003, 10:42:44 AM »
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Jeffrey, I know there are thousands, thats why I'm asking! ; ) What places would you suggest if I only have 4 days to run between locations? I've only been to Zion before so everything else will be new to me.

Tim
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jeffreybehr
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2003, 01:27:26 PM »
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OK.   You’re going to work hard on my 4-day trip; I hope you’re in reasonable shape!  And buy that ‘Indian Country’ map.
Day 1.  Mapquest says it's 275 miles (I15 n., Utah 9 e., US89 s.) from LV to Page, AZ.  You'll drive thru Zion so stop and do afternoon and sunset stuff there.  Check in at Motel 6 in Page.
Day 2.  Rise before dawn, check out of the motel, and drive down US89 a few miles to the Horseshoe Bend (of the CO River) lookout point (get directions at the motel; I can't remember if it's n. or s. of AZ98's intersection with US89).  Shoot sunrise there; it's challenging because of the huge dynamic range with the sun line crawling down the canyon walls and eventually reaching the river.  This is a classic situation requiring either aggressive grad-NDs or digital dynamic-range-blending techniques.  HB needs VERY short lenses.  Be careful out there as you really can fall hundreds of feet into the canyon if you're stupid.  If you get back to your car by 10am, you can now do BOTH Antelope Canyons.  You do not need a guide and be sure to save your receipt from the first; it'll save you $5 at the 2nd.  I'd do Upper from about 10am-noon and Lower from 12:15 to 2 or 3pm.  If you don't have a tripod and cable release, don't bother taking your camera to the Antelopes.  Both are a few miles s.e. of Page on AZ 98 VERY close to the Navajo Generating station.  After the Antelopes are finished with you, drive to Panguitch, UT (about 140 miles up US89) and check in.  Of course you could do just one Antelope and get to Bryce in time for a sunset.
Days 3 and 4.  Spend the next 1-1/2 days fotografing Bryce Canyon NP.  See Bruce Wilson’s article on this site, here http://www.luminous-landscape.com/location...ce-canyon.shtml.  Now start your drive home.

Obviously you can choose to do less or more in your 4 days, but if you do the above, you’ll have taken about a thousand pics and will be EXHAUSTED.

Also, I recommend Robert Hitchman’s ‘Photograph America’ newsletter, especially issues 7 and 12.  See it here http://www.photographamerica.com/index.htm .  

Enjoy.
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Tim
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2003, 05:18:05 PM »
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Jeffrey and Hank, thanks for the tips. I'll start planning tonight!

Peter- thanks for the tip, I did do Valley of Fire a couple years back and it was pretty neat. I've heard Red Rock is good but haven't been there.

So much to do so little time!
Tim
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b.e.wilson
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2003, 12:39:52 PM »
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Oops, that link doesn't seem to work. Do a search at maps.com on the term "aaa indian" and you'll find it. Sorry 'bout that.
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b.e.wilson
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2003, 01:32:31 PM »
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Thanks, Tim.

My next guide will be for the San Rafael Swell. Over at APUG.org (Analog Photography Users Group) we're having an online chat Wednesday evening (in the U.S.) about the photographic possibilities in and around the Swell. It's looking like there is a lot of pressure to make the Swell a Monument, so I thought I'd try making a guide for most of the area that can be shot from the road or on day hikes.

If anyone here has experience in the area they'd like to contribute (especially areas of the interior regions like the Red Ledged, Sinbad, car-accesible narrows or canyons, photogenic arch and formatons, etc) please drop by the APUG forum and click on the Chatroom button at the top. You do not need to be an APUG member (membership is free) to use the chatroom.

The chat is for my own (and your) information, before I start my weekend forays to the area for three months, then spend a month there this summer. Everyone is welcome to drop by and just watch if they like.

The chat will commence about 8 p.m. Mountain time (10 p.m. EST, 9 p.m. CST, 7 p.m. PST, 3 a.m. UTC). Hope to see you there!
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Tim
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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2003, 08:15:41 PM »
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I'll be driving to the Photo Marketing show in Vegas first week of March. I'm also taking a little time for some photography. I plan on stopping at Dunes NP in Colorado and am wondering about the weather that time of year. Also any suggestions for other stops either enroute or around vegas/ N. Arizona? And what kind of weather conditions typically prevail?

Thanks,
Tim
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AWeil
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2003, 02:51:03 AM »
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Tim, plan for extremely different wheather conditions. I have been in the area at this time of the year several times. Sometimes, there was snow on the ground, high winds, very low temperatures in northern Arizona and a couple miles away it was warm and sunny.
A.Weil
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Hank
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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2003, 12:20:28 PM »
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Tim-

The Dunes can be really cold, but dry if there's not a weather system in the area.  Moving west toward Durango on Hwy 160 you will go through Wolf Creek pass, which is high and often clogged with snow during a storm.  The good thing about the area however, is the reliability of weather forecasts.  You can see storms coming a day or two ahead, allowing you to shift locations to avoid them or to catch them for better photos.

Alternate destinations:  At Cortez (west of Durango on Hwy 160), turn north on Hwy 666 and drive to Montecello, Utah.  Half an hour north from there on HWY 163 to the Needles District of Canyonlands NP and Newspaper Rock, or one hour to Moab and Arches NP, Deadhorse Point State Park, Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands, and a whole lot more without names.

A half hour south of Monticello on Hwy 163 is Blanding UT with access on Hwy 95 to Natural Bridges National Monument, Glenn Canyon National Recreation Area, and with a left at Hanksville on Hwy 24 you get to Capitol Reef NP.  Just beyond Capitol Reef turn south on Hwy 12 at Teasdale to reach Escalante, Kodachrome Basin and Bryce Canyon NP. Just west of Bryce you can go south on Hwy 89 to Coral Sand Dunes State Park, Kanab and ultimately Grand Canyon, or veer west on state hwy 15 at Mount Carmel Junction to reach familiar ground in Zion NP, Saint George, Valley of Fire and Las Vegas.  I've made the drive from Moab to Zion in a day via this route many times, but it's a long day and the road between Teasdale and Escalante gets quite high at one point, bringing up issues of snow and road conditions in the wake of storms.

As an alternative to all that, after leaving Cortez on HWY 666 you could veer north on Hwy 141 to Natarita, where you intercept the dramatic Dolores River canyon, then on to Grand Junction via Gateway (more drama).  At Grand Junction go west on I-70 a very few miles to reach Colorado National Monument, then continue west on I-70 to Crescent Junction with the Book Cliffs to your right (north) all along the way.  At Crescent Junction you could turn south on Hwy 163 to intercept the previous route via Moab or continue west over the San Rafael Swell to eventually intercept I-15 and a direct route south to Zion and Vegas, 6-7 hours from Crescent Junction.  You could also veer south from I-70 on Hwy 24 to Hanksville and reconnect there- my usual choice.

That's a "tip of the iceberg" tour, with lots more detail along any of those routes and choices based upon your available time and the kind of vehicle you are driving.  I spend 5 months a year in that area, and would be happy to help you refine your choices.  Contact me via email.

Hank
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2003, 04:35:09 PM »
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While in Vegas, check out Valley of Fire State Park, an hour north.  Also Red Rock Canyon, a half hour south.

Peter
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Tim
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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2003, 10:56:09 AM »
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Jeffrey, could you give more info on the Indian Country map? I'm having trouble locating it.

TIA'
Tim
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b.e.wilson
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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2003, 12:25:44 PM »
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They are talking about the AAA-distributed map. Here is a link to a commercial site where you can buy it:

maps.com AAA Indian Country map

Note that Tony Hillerman also produces a map by the same name.

I wanted to add, I've done the big tours through the southwest, but I have also concentrated on one spot at a time. I've had better luck with one spot at a time than with the tours. You need time to learn the area, wait for better weather, etc., and camping (or lodging) at one location is the best way to do that. I've had luck exploring during the bright hours of the day, then being at the interesting places morning and night.

By the way, I have two other guides of the area, besides the Bryce guide mentioned above: Fisher Towers and Burr Trail.
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Tim
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« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2003, 12:40:11 PM »
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Bruce, thank you for the info. Also, have seen your site and really think your guides are excellent. Your advice regarding quick tours is right on. I intend to return in fall and spend more time in a few select spots.

Thanks,
Tim
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