The Wave is the premier photographic destination in the US Southwest. It is located in the Coyote Buttes North area of the Utah Arizona border. In addition to The Wave Coyote Buttes North contains many other spectacular rock formations. These include The Second Wave, The Alcove, Top Rock Arch, Melody Arch and the Grotto, Sand Cove, and Fatali's Boneyard. The Wave is best photographed from mid-morning to early afternoon so as to minimize the extensive shadows; the other areas listed above are best photographed mid-late afternoon.
A permit issued by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is required to see The Wave. Only 64 people per day (48 permits granted three months in advance and 16 permits granted one day in advance) are allowed in the area and demand far exceeds supply. During the most popular months (April, May, September, October) there can be an estimated 300 people applying for the sixteen daily permits. In the other months you usually have much less than a 50% chance of getting one at the daily lottery. Your chances are better if you're going alone, or in December - February.
A six mile round trip hike in required to get to The Wave. Since there is no trail to The Wave you should be able to use a map and compass or GPS to help with navigation. The BLM provides a map with your permit and instructions on getting to The Wave, and there are a small number of cairns on the way. Over the past five years five people have died on the way to/from The Wave. If you are not sure about your navigation skills I strongly suggest you hike in with a guide or a friend with these skills. Do not go alone. If you use a GPS be sure to mark the Wirepass trailhead and other key points along the route. Stay with your party. Four of the five fatalities were heat related, so if you go in the warmer months bring plenty of water, at least four liters, and preferably more.
In order to visit The Wave you need a permit for an area called Coyote Buttes North. Online permits and permit information can be obtained from recreation.gov. At most 64 people, 16 groups are allowed into Coyote Buttes North, whichever comes first. Permits for a total of 48 people, 12 groups maximum are issued via an online lottery held three months in advance. Permits for another 16 people, 4 groups maximum are awarded via an online lottery held two days in advance.
Advanced permits for Coyote Buttes North are very difficult to obtain. Demand greatly exceeds supply. All Advanced Coyote Buttes North permits are awarded by lottery held on recreation.gov. The lottery opens up four months in advance of your trip date. You have the whole month to apply. For example, for a January 15 permit you would open the Advanced lottery page in September. The fee to enter the on-line lottery is $9 per group.
Wave permits are non-transferable except for up to three specific people you list when you apply for the lottery. These people are called "alternate permit holders". If you win a permit and are stopped by a ranger on your hike to The Wave either you or a listed alternate permit holder must be present with your group. If not your group may be ticketed. Alternate permit holders must have an account on recreation.gov.
You may only apply once per month to the lottery. If you try to apply more than once at checkout you will get the message "You have excellent taste! However, you are only allowed to submit or be listed as an alternate permit holder on 1 lottery application or hold 1 active permit(s) reservation at a time." Note that if you list someone as an alternate permit holder they cannot apply for a permit that month as well. If there are several people in your group each can apply to the lottery separately provided you do not list the other members of the group as alternate permit holders.
On each lottery application you can select up to three dates. The drawing is held the day following the close of the lottery (i.e. October 1 in our example). Shortly after the lottery closes you will be notified via e-mail whether you were successful or not. If you do not receive a notification by the 2nd of the month check your spam folder. If you still haven't received notification it is likely you typed your email address incorrectly on the application. In this case you should call the BLM at (435) 688-3200 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for a status. If you win the lottery you will have to pay an additional $7 per person fee for the North Coyote Buttes permit.
Coyote Buttes North Lottery Schedule
for a permit during
January 1 - 31
February 1 - 28
March 1 - 31
April 1- 30
May 1 - 31
June 1 - 30
July 1 - 31
August 1 - 31
September 1 - 30
October 1 - 31
November 1 - 30
December 1 - 31
If you are unsuccessful in getting an "Advanced permit" for Coyote Buttes North, and are in the Southern Utah / Northern Arizona area, consider getting a "Daily Permit". Daily permits are issued one day in advance of the day you wish to hike in to The Wave. Starting on March 15, 2022 you can apply for the daily lottery at https://www.recreation.gov/permits/4251909 two days in advance of your desired entry date. There is a $9 fee to try for a permit. You can only apply via your phone or connected mobile device (e.g. tablet). You cannot apply via a dekstop computer. The GPS on your phone must be on. You must be within a "geofenced" area in Northern Arizona/Southern Utah to apply. The area includes the towns of Kanab, Page, Big Water, Fredonia, Glendale, and Jacob Lake among others. You can download a full resolution map of the geofenced area in a variety of geocoded formats below:
|GeoTiff - Avenza||KMZ - Google Earth||Rmap - Oruxmaps||SQLite - Locus||MBTiles - GaiaGPS||GeoPDF|
You can load this map onto your phone's GPS software to see whether you are in the geofenced area.
The procedure to apply for a daily permit is as follows:
The new "Daily Permit" system is more user-friendly than the old walk-in lottery. You no longer need to be present in Kanab at 9:00 AM the day before you wish to hike to The Wave. You only need to be in the general area of Page and Kanab. You can go out for an early morning photoshoot or sleep-in if you wish. There is one downside, the $9 per group fee to enter the lottery. the walk-in lottery was free.
Additional information about permits can be found on Coyote Buttes permits webpage.
December - February
It is "relatively" easy to get permits in December, January and early February, especially through the walk-in process. Permits are hard to get around the Christmas and Ne Years holidays so avoid these times. There is a good chance there will be snow on the ground in the winter months. Snow makes hiking difficult and photographing the patterns in the red rock chancy. If there is snow you may be limited to shooting southern exposures such as The Boneyard and Sand Cove. Average cloud cover is also high in the winter months, and House Rock Road is often muddy and difficult or impossible to drive on. The South Buttes are even higher in elevation than the Wave, about 6,200 feet, or four degrees cooler. This makes snow even more likely in the South Buttes, and it will last longer. I have been to Cottonwood Cove when the north facing exposures had over a foot of snow on them.
March - May
These are good months to visit, especially April and May when cloud cover is low and temperatures moderate. Getting a permits is very difficult. Average wind speed is highest in the southwest in the Spring. The wind comes from the Southwest in this area all year round peaking in the afternoon. Sand Cove runs North - South and forms a natural wind tunnel. This makes good photography of Sand Cove and The Boneyard difficult in the Spring. Average cloud cover is low during May.
A very good month to go to The Wave if you don't mind the heat. Cloud cover is low as is precipitation. The best month for night photography as the Milky Way stretches across the sky.
July - August
I used to believe these were the worst months to go to The Wave. I now believe they are reasonably good, if you are prepared and can stand the heat. Average daily high temperature at the Wave is 101 ºF in July and there is little shade. If you go in July do not plan to be out all day. Either go in the morning when temperatures and cloud cover are lower, or go in mid afternoon if the weather looks cooperative. In 2013 there were three heat related fatalities at the Wave, and there was another heat related death in 2018. Go prepared. If you plan to stay the whole day you will need to find shade. A space blanket can help, you need to elevate it with hiking sticks, rocks, bushes, ... A good place to find natural shade is on Toprock at the Alcove. Finally bring at least one gallon of water per person in July and August. You will need it. I have seen recommendations of nine liters per person per day when temperatures are this high! Keep water inside your pack so it stays cooler, and bring some of it in the for of ice. There is a good possibility of afternoon thunderstorms or even hail. Mornings are cooler, often clear, and have little wind. It's likely you can get a good photograph in the morning, and if the weather cooperates you may get a great one in the afternoon! With luck there will be water at the Wave or in the water pockets south of The Wave. Water pockets won't last long given the average July August temperatures though. If there are water pockets look for tadpoles and tadpole shrimp. If there's a lot of water you may even hear toads croaking! (males calling for females). Permits, though still difficult, are easier to get than during the peak months.
September - November
Excellent months for visiting, Page and Kanab are less crowded than during summer vacation, and cloud cover and temperatures are reasonable. Permits are very difficult to get. The rest of the Southwest is also beautiful at this time of year with the Aspens changing in late September/early October, and the Cottonwoods in late October.
Another good source of climate information based on the Page airport data can be found at Weatherspark.com.
There are two entry points to Coyote Buttes North, Wirepass Trailhead (WP) and The Notch. The Notch is no longer actively publicized by the BLM. The trail from the Notch is poorly defined. I strongly recommend access from the Wirepass parking lot. To get to the Wirepass trailhead take Highway 89 to House Rock Road. The House Rock Road turnoff is between mile posts 25 and 26 on Highway 89 in Utah. House Rock Road is normally passable by passenger cars. Do not take this road if it is wet. It is clay based and impassable even to 4WD vehicles when wet. When the road is muddy it is like driving on ice and there are drop-offs. When dry take House Rock Road for 8.4 miles to the WP parking area on the right. You can dry camp at the Wirepass trailhead, and a toilet is present. Better camping with fire pits, tables, and pit toilets is available at the Stateline Campground, one mile further south just off House Rock Road.
Begin your hike to the Wave by signing the trailhead register and crossing House Rock Road. Follow the well defined trail east for fifty yards until you enter the wash. Wirepass wash feeds into Buckskin Gulch, the longest slot canyon in North America. Continue walking down the wash. About .55 miles from the trailhead you will see a sign marked Coyote Buttes on the right. Turn right and follow the good trail up the hill and across the sage field. At the end of the field you will cross a wash. This wash also flows into the Wirepass slot canyon one half mile downstream. Total distance across the sage field to the wash is about .65 miles. After crossing the wash hike up the slickrock to a sometimes cairned saddle. If you have a GPS mark this location. You are now in the permit area. From here there may or may not be cairns and they may or may not be accurate. There are a small number of BLM sign posts in the area at critical locations, one can be seen about 50 yards east of the saddle. Note its location, on your return this marker will tell you where to turn to the west. From the saddle proceed south, after .35 miles or so you will see a twin butte with a downed barbed wire fence on its left (east) side, either go over the fence (easy but a little exposed) or walk around the buttes via their the west side. Continue heading almost due south aiming for the crack in the cliffs to the south. After another .8 miles or so you will cross another small wash, continue heading towards the crack in the Wall and go up the sand dune. There should be a clear trail up the sand dune unless it had been very windy overnight. You will shortly arrive at The Wave. It is about 2.8 miles in total from the WP trailhead to The Wave.
It is fairly easy to get back to your car, even at dusk. The small sign posts installed by the BLM will glow in the dark if a flashlight is shined on them. Make sure that when you return you do not try to cross the ridge too early after heading north. Look for the sign post referenced above, it will tell you when to turn to cross the ridge. It should be easy to cross over the small ridge; if not you have turned west too early. Conversely if you go too far north you will end up in or overlooking Wirepass slot canyon. If so turn around and try again. For an interesting story of someone who got lost on the return, see Trouble in Coyote Buttes. If you get lost or injured and need help try to gain elevation. You may be able to get a cell signal. I have gotten service via Verizon, and a friend via AT&T.
Start at The Wave
So you've finally gotten a permit and want to make the best use of it. There is a nice loop hike starting and ending at The Wave. It covers most of the best photo sites in Coyote Buttes North and, if you are willing to be out most of the day, you can hit all of them in good light. Being out all day is dangerous in the summer months, so only do the loop from September through May. The loop does not include Top Rock, unless you are a very strong hiker save this for a second trip.
The first stop on the loop hike is The Wave. The Wave gets good light about an hour after sunrise, before then parts of it are in shadow. It takes about 90 minutes to hike from the Wirepass trailhead to The Wave. Most people start their hike very early in the day and end up leaving when they run out of energy, usually before best light. If you have the stamina to stay out 10-15 hours begin hiking at dawn; otherwise I suggest you start your hike later. Do not start hiking too late as shadows start to hit the south wall of The Wave before mid-day. After shooting The Wave explore the area around it for an hour or two. There are usually some nice water pools 150 yards southeast of The Wave. Ginger Rock is a good subject mid-day. It can be found about 200 yards north of The Wave.
Dinosaur Tracks and The Boneyard
Leave The Wave by retracing your steps back down the sand dune to the wash below. At the foot of the dune turn west, cross the wash, and ascend to the area with the dinosaur tracks. The tracks are located in red stone very close to the wall. If you are not experienced in finding tracks they can be hard to locate even with GPS coordinates. The tracks are three toed and hand sized. They usually come in a small cluster arranged in a line. I left a small circle of rocks around a pair of footprints about ten years ago, as of mid 2017 the circle was still there.
After visiting the dinosaur tracks continue south about .3 miles till you reach an open area. Fifty yards or so to the west lies a small brown and yellow striped area with some rocks that look like a tic-tac-toe board lying on the stripes. The area was named "The Boneyard" by photographer Michael Fatali. The loose rocks are called lace or box rocks. Please do not move them, they are fragile. Wait until the cliffs to the northwest of The Boneyard are in shadow before shooting; the dark background of the cliffs contrasts with The Boneyard nicely. Stay until the sun goes behind the cliffs to the west and The Boneyard starts to fall into shadow. If you are feeling energetic you can Note that The Boneyard is also very good at dawn, light hits it just after sunrise with March and September being optimal times to shoot it at dawn.
After leaving The Boneyard head down the sandy wash which runs south-east. In .2 miles turn more to the south into Sand Cove Wash. Continue up Sand Cove Wash about 100 yards and hike up to the teepees to your east (left). This area contains beautiful sandstone curves and is called Sand Cove. It is best captured late afternoon just before it goes into shadow. A wide-angle lens is needed. Sand Cove is largely in shadow in the morning. Stay at Sand Cove until it starts going into shadow.
The Second Wave
From Sand Cove hike east north-east and scramble up the cliff until you reach a flat area just before a much steeper cliff. The Second Wave is at the foot of this steep cliff. It is a great late afternoon location, but only fair the rest of the day. Shoot it from the small sand dune a few yards south, or from the rocks to the south east about ten feet above it. Make sure the cliffs to the west are in shadow. Shoot until the Second Wave goes into shadow. Leave a bit earlier if you are concerned about hiking back to your car after sunset.
To return to the Wirepass parking lot head north passing back through The Wave. There should be many good photo-ops along the hike back so don't put your camera / tripod away too soon. After leaving The Wave head down the sand dune, cross the wash, and head north to retrace your steps back to your car. "The Dive" and the North and South "Teepees" will be in good light on the way back. You will need a long lens to shoot them. If you hurry you should be able to get back to your car 30-45 minutes after sunset. Warning - if you do not have good navigation skills or have a GPS and know how to use it, you should leave The Second Wave well before sunset.
About half of all visitors to Coyote Buttes North never explore much beyond The Wave. This is especially true in the summer and winter when extreme temperatures, lightning, or snow cover tend to keep visits short. In view of this I've added some thoughts on how to photograph just The Wave. A gallery showing what I believe to be the classic images of The Wave is here.
The Wave opens up in three directions, to the north (the direction you came in on), to the east, and to the southwest. Each of these openings has a good photo associated with it. Below is a map showing the topography of The Wave.
To view the map in Google Maps please click anywhere on the map above.
Permits to The Wave are so hard to get that I'd suggest you shoot from all three directions on your first trip. All can be shot in the morning in good light. In addition to these images there are many other possibilities, see the main Wave gallery for more ideas.
This image is best mid-morning. By late morning the wall on the left (the south wall) is starting to go into shadow, especially in the winter. You'll need a wide or ultra-wide for best results. The image shown was shot at 14mm. The "Eye of The Wave" is shown on the right. It is a great example of soft-sediment deformation.
This image is best about an hour after sunrise when the south wall is in light, and the side walls are in shadow. A few hours later the side walls are partially lit and the image suffers. Water is often found at the entrance to The Wave, especially in summer. Only a little water is needed to get a good photo, even one inch will do. Shoot close to ground level to emphasize the little rocks in the water, with a wide angle to normal lens. Both vertical and horizontal compositions work.
The last image, is of a short slot canyon which gets excellent reflected light in late morning. Watch your DOF when shooting this. You may want to smooth out the sand in the slot using a cloth, jacket, or rain jacket before shooting. It is very difficult to remove the footprints in this sand using Photoshop.
There is a well-preserved collection of dinosaur tracks less than 200 feet from the "trail" to The Wave. The tracks are easy to find, and most guides include them on tours to The Wave. Although uninteresting photographically, if you've never seen dinosaur tracks, stop by them on your hike to The Wave. Guides have been telling people Giant Sloths made the tracks. This is incorrect; Grallators probably made them. See the Dinosaur Tracks page for information on these and other tracks in the area, and see the Dinosaur Track Gallery for more images.
I have added images of the De-Na-Zin wilderness and new images of the Bisti Wilderness to the Bisti Badlands gallery. The Bisti map has also been updated. I have also added improved information about the climate in the area, including percent cloudy and wind speed by month.
Over the last few days, two fatalities were reported, and twelve people were rescued in Buckskin Gulch. A group of three hikers backpacking from Wire Pass to Lees Ferry was reported overdue on Monday. Two helicopters were dispatched to search for them. While searching, eleven other people were spotted who also needed rescue. Infrared cameras were used to spot hikers. Rescues were carried out by hoist from the helicopters. More information and a video showing the infrared search can be found on Salt Lake's KSLTV website. CBSNews has a video of a man being hoisted out of the canyon. Buckskin Gulch is currently flooded due to recent "atmospheric river" storms and early snowmelt. It will be some weeks before the waters recede.
Climb-Utah has another example of how two very experienced hikers barely survived Buckskin in February of 2012.
On March 1st, Grand Falls, aka Chocolate Falls, temporarily closed with no anticipated reopening date. The closure is due to the impact of tourism on the Leupp community. The popularity of the falls has led to trash overflow, deterioration of existing roads, ATV offroading, and drones scaring cattle. The timing couldn't be worse as the falls are currently flowing. They often do in March following spring runoff from the White Mountains.
On October 14,2023 an annular eclipse will race across a narrow band of the US, running from Oregon to Texas. In the rest of the US, the eclipse will be partial. Good eclipse viewing locations include much of the Grand Staircase, Capitol Reef National Park, Monument Valley, the Bisti Badlands, and Albuquerque, NM. The eclipse will be a partial eclipse when viewed from The Wave. If you are lucky enough to have a Wave permit that day, don't let this stop you. The eclipse will be nearly annular at The Wave and should be spectacular, weather permitting.
At annularity, the eclipse will be high in the sky with an altitude of 30° to 35°, and the Sun will be to the southeast. The annular portion of the eclipse occurs at roughly 9:30 AM Arizona time or 10:30 AM in Utah and New Mexico.
More information about shooting solar eclipses can be found on my eclipse page.
The Falkland Islands are a "holy grail" destination for birders, bird photographers, and wildlife devotees. One can find five species of penguins, sea lions, elephant seals, and 65% of all the black-browed albatross worldwide on the islands. For most, the Falklands are a one or two-day stopover on an Antarctic cruise. But, to fully appreciate the islands, you need to spend at least a week there, preferably two. I recently took an excellent two-week photo tour led by Denise Ippolito to the Falklands. I came away with almost 200 images of penguins, other birds, and marine mammals. Maps with the current locations of some of the penguin colonies and links to other information about the Falklands have also been added to this site.
I've updated the Bryce Canyon gallery with many new images of the canyon in winter. Images were shot from the rim trail between Sunrise and Sunset Points. I've also included images of the Arches Trail near Losee Canyon just outside the park and of Tropic Ditch Falls. It runs year round. Tropic Ditch Falls is a man-made waterfall created when Mormon pioneers diverted water from the East Fork of the Sevier River to irrigate their fields near the town of Tropic. The colorful rocks surrounding the fall are magnificent, and there are several photogenic arches in the area. Be careful should you climb up to the arches. Small stones on the "trail" make the go treacherous.
I've updated the Bryce Canyon map to show these new locations, and the Sunrise-Sunset page now includes a point forecast at Sunset Point.
I have updated the Mono Lake, Crowley Lake, and Northern California galleries with new images taken in better conditions. Many thanks to Jessica Fridrich for finding the Hell's Beach formation near Mono Lake shown above. Locations added include the Point Arena lighthouse, Bowling Ball Beach, and Salt Point State Park.
I have added images of some of the spectacular waterfalls in Thousand Springs State Park, Idaho. I only had a sunset and sunrise in the area, bracketed by two 500 mile drives, so only two locations in the park were visited. I will revisit Thousand Springs next spring as there are many other waterfalls and attractions in the area. I have added a map showing the locations of the major ones.
On November 1, 2022, the Bureau of Land Management will implement a new mobile based geofence system for obtaining daily lottery permits to hike in Coyote Buttes South. This is the same system currently in use for Coyote Buttes North / The Wave. More details and links will be added to this site as they become available. See the BLM Press Release for additional information about the geofence system.
An accurate weather forecast can be crucial when deciding on a spur-of-the-moment trip. Unfortunately, all too often forecasts are not available for wilderness locations. For example, I recently wanted a forecast for Ward Terrace/Adeii Eichii Cliffs before heading there for a two-day trip. The nearest towns to Ward Terrace are Cameron, AZ and Tuba City, AZ. My usual source of weather forecasts is Weather Underground. Unfortunately, Weather Underground does not have a listing for Cameron, and when you look up Tuba City, you get the forecast for Flagstaff. Flagstaff is much higher in elevation than Ward Terrace and tends to get more precipitation. Fortunately, the National Weather Service provides point forecasts on a 2.5 km grid. NWS forecasts are available for seven days on an hourly basis in either graphical or tabular form. Some of the elements forecast include Temperature, surface wind speed, wind direction, sky cover, precipitation potential, rain, thunder, snow, fog, and many others. Unfortunately, getting a point forecast is awkward because you must specify the latitude and longitude in the calling URL. For example, to get the point weather forecast at The Wave you enter a URL with over 60 characters.
Since there is no way I would ever remember the URL, I am adding point forecasts to this site's Sunrise/Sunset pages. To get a point forecast at one of the predefined locations on the Sunrise/Sunset page click on the weather icon right of the links to The Photographers Ephemeris.
As an aside, Skyfire, an app that predicts how good a sunrise/sunset will be a given location, is now integrated in TPE Web Pro. The cost is $20 per year in addition to the cost of TPE Web Pro.
The Capitol Reef Gallery has been updated to include some locations east of the park. These include Pedestal Alley, Burro Wash Arch, and the Notom Twin Rocks. These are easy to visit and great places at which to find some solitude in the otherwise busy park.The Capitol Reef map has been updated to include these locations.
I've added images and videos of some the spectacular waterfalls in northern California. Waterfalls shown include Burney Falls, considered the most beautiful in the state, Mossbrae Falls - a close runnerup, and Hedge Creek Falls. Visitation to the falls is light from December through early May as this is the rainy season in the area, and the closest major towns of Reno, Sacramento, and Eugene are over two hours away. Summer attracts crowds, especially to Burney Falls. Burney Falls and Hedge Creek Falls are easy to visit. The best route to Mossbrae Falls is currently closed for safety reasons. To facilitate travel, I have included on this site a map of the major waterfalls in the area and also points of interest along the northern California coast.
East of Las Vegas there are hundreds of small arches, some of which are very photogenic. I've already covered many of those in Buffington Pockets and the Valley of Fire. This time I have included some of those in the Lake Mead area. I've added a gallery of images taken just north of Lake Mead to the site. I've also added a map showing the locations of some of the arches in the area. More information about the arches can be found in the World Arch Database. Access to the database requires an annual subscription.
I have not revealed the locations of a few of the more photogenic arches as their supports are thin, occassionally cracked, and very fragile. Windstone Arch in the Valley of Fire collapsed last year. Whether the collapse was natural or caused by vandalism is unknown. The collapse brings home the point that some protection is needed even for lesser known difficult-to-access natural landmarks.
Finally I've addded a small gallery of images of Scorpion Arch to the site. Scorpion Arch sits in a spectacular setting in the middle of "Nothing" and gets minimal visitation. For now, I hope it will remain that way and have not disclosed the location.
Effective March 15, 2022 the walk-in lottery system will be replaced by an online "Daily Lottery" system run by recreation.gov. You will no longer need to be in Kanab to apply for a next day permit. Instead, you can apply online two days before your desired entry date. A maximum of four groups / 16 people will be granted permits each day by lottery; no change from current practice. $9 is charged to apply to the lottery. You can only apply once each day. You must be in the general area of Page, Arizona, and Kanab, Utah to apply for the new daily lottery. You must apply by phone or mobile device with GPS enabled; desktop computers cannot apply. A detailed map showing the boundaries of the area in which you can apply can be found on my permits webpage. Apply on recreation.gov between 6 AM and 6 PM Utah time two days before your desired entry date to The Wave. Lottery results will be sent out at 7:15 PM that day. If you win, pay for your permit by 8 AM Utah time the next day. The day before you hike to the Wave pick up your permit in Page, Arizona, or Kanab, Utah at 8:30 AM local time. Permit pickup locations can be found on the Permits page.
The new "Daily Permit" system is more user-friendly than the old walk-in lottery. You no longer need to be present in Kanab at 9:00 AM the day before you wish to hike to The Wave. You only need to be in the general area of Page and Kanab. You can go out for an early morning photoshoot or sleep-in if you wish. There is one downside; there is now a $9 per group fee to enter the lottery. It used to be free.
I have added some images from the incredible stone columns on the shore of Crowley Lake and from the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest to the Eastern Sierras album. The images from Crowley Lake were mostly shot at dawn when the columns were in shadow. An ultrawide lens or a panorama rig is needed if you wish to shoot the columns from behind. If you bring a panorama rig be sure to mount the lens at its nodal point on the rail. If you fail to do this the images will not stitch together correctly. I also added a map with travel directions to both.
I have also added some images of the "Sky Rock" and "13 Moons" petroglyphs in the Bishop area. The 13 Moons petroglyph is quite unique. There are 13 full moons in a year.
In 2012 petroglyphs from a sacred Piute site in the Bishop area were stolen and some were defaced. Chain or concrete saws, ladders, and hammers were used to remove the panels. While the petroglyphs were recovered the thieves have not been apprehended. To protect the Sky Rock and 13 Moons petroglyphs I have not disclosed their location.
I have updated the Arches National Park section of the site with images and maps from Dome Plateau Overlook, Cavern Arch, and Winter Camp Arch. All of these are in the Highlands area north of Arches and can be visited in a single day. The view of the Colorado River from Dome Plateau rivals that of the view from Horseshoe Bend but without the crowds. The overlook is outside the national park so you can camp overnight in the area. A high clearance 4x4 is needed to visit Dome Plateau overlook, a crossover could get to the trailheads for Winter Camp and Cavern arches.
According to Lake Powell Life you will soon be able to apply for a next day permit via your phone or mobile device. The number of people allowed in via the next day lottery will not change under the proposed system; it remains the smaller of four groups or 16 people. The change does not require review under the National Environmental Policy Act and will be effective February 1st.
Under the new system, you will be able to apply to the walk-in lottery via your phone provided you are within a set distance of a designated location in Kanab, Utah or Page, Arizona. The distances and designated locations are yet to be specified. Applicants will register for the lottery using a "geofence" system developed by recreation.gov. Geofence systems are fairly new but the technology is well understood. Geofences are currently used to keep drones out of "no-fly" zones. More details about the boundaries of the geofence system will be made available in January. Hopefully, details about how the change will impact the Coyote Buttes South lottery will become available at that time as well.
Currently it is free to apply for the walk-in lottery. This may change under the new system as recreation.gov generally charges an administrative fee.
The walk-in lottery was last revised in 2021. At that time the number of walk-in permits issued was changed from ten people per day to the more restrictive of four groups or 16 people. I've been told that the average group size during the past year was about two people per group. On average then only eight people were given permits via the walk-in lottery each day under the new system, down from ten. While the number of online permits increased substantially as a result of the 2021 change, the walk-in lottery became more restrictive. Under the proposed geofence system I suspect even more people will apply for next-day permits making the walk-in lottery even less attractive.
I have added some new images from the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah wilderness and the Bisti Badlands. My best images (seen to the right) were shot at night with the Move-Shoot-Move tracker. A tracker allows for long exposures times without creating star-trails. By using 3 to 5 minute exposures I was able to use ISOs as low as 200 to 400 and still get sharp stars with good color. The Move-Shoot-Move tracker only weights about one pound and is small enough to carry with you on hikes.
I have added information on three arches I visited on a recent trip to the Aztec, New Mexico area. The first arch, Rooftop Arch, also known as Little Delicate Arch, is small but quite spectacular. Rooftop Arch is best shot mid-afternoon.
Nearby Boulder Arch is very photogenic but difficult to access. I was unable to get to its base but did get a good image from above.
Arch Rock is best at sunset and is also excellent at night when the Milky Way frames it nicely.
The Navajo Nation Parks reopened today. Parks reopened include Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly, and Lower and Upper Antelope Canyons. Parks have been reopened at reduced (50%) capacity. See the Farmington Daily Times for more information.
I have added images of magnificent Poncho House Cliff Dwelling in Southeast Utah. Poncho House consists of three distinct groupings of dwellings. The upper two are inaccessible. The ruins sit high above a bend in Chinle Creek and are best visited in the fall when the Cottonwoods along the creek are changing color. To visit Poncho House it is mandatory that you go with a Navajo Guide. Guides willing to go to Poncho House are hard to find. I suggest you start with guides who go to Monument Valley or Canyon de Chelly. The Navajo Nation parks are currently closed due to Covid concerns. I have been told that Navajo Nation lands will not be open to outsiders until 70% of the Navajo Nation has been vaccinated.
I have added images of the Ghost Town Trail near Tombstone, Arizona. I have also added a map with trails and photogenic locations in Southeast Arizona including the Ghost Town Trail, Chiricahua National Monument, Kartchner Caverns, Fort Bowie, and many others.
I have added new images taken in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. Most of the new images were taken east of The White Pocket or along the Loop Road. Both areas are very isolated and the roads are sandy; a 4x4 high clearance vehicle is necessary. My thanks to Dave Coppedge who has extensively explored Vermilion Cliffs and generously shared photogenic locations. He also named the various features he found. The area Dave refers to as the Blimp Hangar is especially pristine. I've been there twice and saw no human footprints on the hike or vehicle tracks on Wrather Arch Road. I saw Bighorn Sheep on both occasions. Unlike the area surrounding The Wave the rock fins were largely unbroken. Please tread lightly here.
I have added a gallery with images taken in the Narnia Slot Canyon. Narnia is a short slot canyon in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument which, for now, is all I'll say about its location. Narnia gets good light around 10AM in the morning. The opening to the slot is narrow and tortuous and some people have been unable to access the slot. Knowing this we hiked in carrying an eight foot telescoping ladder. The ladder allowed us to easily enter the canyon. Narnia was named by Dreamland Tours of Kanab, Utah. Both Dreamland Tours and Action Photo Tours lead trips to Narnia. Only small groups can be accommodated and participants must be physically fit.
I've updated the Death Valley gallery with images taken in Butte Valley. The Geologist's Cabin and spectacular Striped Butte are definitely worth a visit. I have also added new images shot at the Ibex dunefield. Butte Valley is one of the more remote areas in the park and 4WD is needed to get there. The Geologist's Cabin in only six miles from Barker Ranch where Charles Manson lived until his capture there. The road between the Geologist's Cabin and the Barker Ranch is very rough and a lifted 4x4 may be needed to traverse it. On the way to Butte Valley you're likely to see both Big Horn sheep near the Warm Springs Talc Mine and burros within Butte Valley. I have also updated the Death Valley map to show the locations of the various cabins within Butte Valley and the location of the Barker Ranch.
I've updated the Alabama Hills gallery with new images of Boot Arch, Whitney Portal Arch, and Eagle Eye Arch. The new images added are identified by white stars in the upper right corner of the thumbnail, or you can use the search search facility in the sidebar. New images are those shot in the last 60 days. An eight foot telescoping ladder was carried to the base of Whitney Portal Arch so that Lone Pine Peak and Mount Whitney could be framed by the arch. I've also updated the Alabama Hills map to show the hike to Whitney Portal Arch and the locations of sixty dispersed camping sites in the hills. The BLM recently issued a revised management plan for the Alabama Hills area with fewer campsites so now might be a good time to visit the area. The plan is not yet in effect. Now is also an excellent time to shoot the The Milky Way over the Trona Pinnacles.
I've added a gallery of images from three areas in Southeast Nevada. The areas covered include Valley of Fire State Park, nearby Buffington Pockets, and Little Finland. If you are in the Las Vegas area or traveling from Las Vegas to southern Utah all three are worth visiting. I have also included maps and travel directions to each. The maps include travel directions and trails, free campsites, and the locations of some of the spectacular rock formations in the area.
On Friday January 8th the Bureau of Land Management approved an increase in allowed visitation to The Wave. Up to 64 people or 16 groups will be allowed to visit each day, whichever comes first. The online lottery will grant permits for up to 48 people or 12 groups, whichever comes first, and the walk-in lottery for up to 16 people or 4 groups, whichever comes first.
Here is the information I received from the BLM:
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has approved a proposal to expand visitor access to the world-famous geologic feature known as the Wave, located in the Paria Canyon – Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. The Environmental Assessment (EA) went through an interdisciplinary resource specialist and public review process. A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) along with three Decision Records (DR) were signed on January 8, 2021.
One DR authorizes the increase in permit numbers, up to 96 people per day and up to 16 groups per day which, ever comes first. Under this new decision, implementation of the number of hiking permits issued for the Wave will increase from 20 to 64 people per day and up to 16 groups per day, whichever comes first. The BLM could implement further increases or decreases in the future based on monitoring of resources and social conditions.
A second DR authorizes the proposed improvements at Lone Tree, Cottonwood Cove, Paw Hole, and White Pocket trailheads and the VCNM Administrative Site within the Arizona Strip Field Office. A third DR authorizes the proposed improvements at Wire Pass and Buckskin Gulch trailheads and additional route markers as described in Alternative A of the EA within the Kanab Field Office.
The EA, FONSI, and the three DRs can be found at the BLM’s NEPA Registrar ePlanning: https://go.usa.gov/xyxtK. The approval of these Decision Records constitutes the final decision of the Department of the Interior and, in accordance with the regulations at 43 CFR 4.410(a)(3), is not subject to appeal under departmental regulations at 43 CFR 4. Any challenge to this decision as approved by these Decision Records must be brought in the Federal District Court.
Implementation for the permit increase will begin February 1, with the majority of additional permits being available to the online lottery. Distribution of permits will be as follows:
The BLM will work closely with Arizona and Utah county governments to discuss implementation details and practices, including exploring potential opportunities for regional economic development.
This is the abridged title of a must read article by Matt Kloskowski, a photography educator based in Tampa, Florida. Photo Collecting works as follows: you see or find a photo you like and then make the effort to go to that spot and take that photo. There's nothing wrong with this. I've done it many times and will continue to do so. And I know many well known landscape photographers who do the same.
The Peach Rock image to the right is a good example of an image I "collected". It's very similar to one by Laurent Martres. When I first saw his image I was struck by how the soft light on the ground drew your attention to Peach Rock. Of course I also wanted to come away with something more my own. I thought the entire area was gorgeous so I shot the Peach Rock Panorama image above as well.
By the way if you love the southwest and don't own Laurent's books Photographing the Southwest Volume 1 -- Southern Utah and Photographing the Southwest Volume 2 -- Arizona do yourself a favor and buy them. They are filled with great locations and advice.
The process of making a photo is different in that you make the effort to avoid preconceived compositions or locations. Last summer I went to Badlands National Park which seems to lack iconic images. I still came away from some very good images but the trip was not as productive as most of my trips. I will need to revisit Badlands and spend a lot more time there to come back with great images. Making photos in new locations takes more field time than "collecting" them.
Finally I've added a gallery of images taken in Joshua Tree National Park with the locations of many "icons" taken under varied conditions. Feel free to "collect" them or to go one step further and make them your own.
Most Death Valley services including ranger programs, lodging in the park, campgrounds, and backcountry campgrounds are currently closed due to California's "Stay at Home" order. Trails, viewpoints, and roads are open, crowds are non-existent, and winter temperatures are moderate. This makes it a great time to visit the park if you are willing to do some driving each day. All four major Death Valley dune fields are accessible from just outside the park if you camp, and there are motels within 35 minutes of Mesquite Dunes and the Panamint Dunes. I've added some images taken on a recent trip to the Panamint Dunes and have updated the Death Valley maps to include some camping opportunities just outside the park. I've also added locations and travel directions to the Barker Ranch where Charles Manson was captured and the photogenic "Geologists Cabin" and "Striped Butte" in Butte Valley.
Hiking through Buckskin Gulch and Paria Canyon's tall Navajo sandstone walls is the ultimate southwest backpack. It should be on all desert rats bucket list. I have added a gallery of images of Buckskin Gulch and the Paria River to this site. Images were taken during a recent three day backpack covering lower Buckskin Gulch and the Paria River from the White House Trailhead to Wall Spring. I have also added a map suggesting shooting locations and covering some of the logistics of backpacking in Paria Canyon.
Effective this Friday November 20 the Kanab office of the BLM is moving to winter hours. The Kanab BLM office will be closed on weekends until mid-March. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday permits will be issued on the preceding Friday. In the past there have been nearly three times as many lottery applications on Fridays so there is little advantage to applying on a Friday.
The BLM office will be closed on Thanksgiving so a two day drawing will be held on the Wednesday before. The BLM office is open the day after Thanksgiving and a three day drawing will be held then.
For Christmas a five day drawing will be held on December 23rd. For New Years a five day drawing will be held on December 30th.
The walk-in lottery is held at 9AM MST at the Kanab Center at 180 E 100 N in Kanab, Utah. Plan to arrive at 8:30 to give you time to complete the application.
Cedar Wash Arch is a spectacular arch in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. It is ten miles from the town of Escalante. The arch has a span of 24 feet. The arch is made of Entrada sandstone and is white in color. Most people photograph the arch from the top of the surrounding cliffs but the arch photographs much better from below. The cliffs surrounding the arch are finely detailed and contain many surface pockets / tafoni. The tafoni make excellent foreground, as do the pine trees in the area. I have added a small gallery of images of Cedar Wash Arch to this site. I have also added a map suggesting shooting locations and showing the short hike to the arch. The maps page includes a link to a Caltopo map of the area as well as a Google map.
I have added a small gallery of images of the North and South Units of Theodore Roosevelt National Park to this site. I have also added a map suggesting shooting locations and hikes . The maps page includes a link to a Caltopo map of the area as well as a Google map.
Devils Tower is a butte in northeast Wyoming high above the Belle Fourche River. It is perhaps best known as the site of the climatic scenes in Spielberg's movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". I have added a small gallery of images and a map suggesting shooting locations to this site. The maps page includes a link to a Caltopo map of the area as well as a Google map. Caltopo maps have several advantages over Google Maps.
I've added images of and travel directions to Fantasy Canyon and Dinosaur National Monument in Utah. Fantasy Canyon is a small area of incredibly shaped sandstone figures about 40 miles south of Vernal, Utah. Fantasy Canyon is best known as the home of Teapot Rock made famous by Michael Fatali in his image "Back Of Beyond". Unfortunately Teapot Rock was damaged in 2006, probably by vandals, and Fantasy Canyon is no longer the attraction it once was. It is still worth visiting if you are in the area.
Dinosaur National Monument contains two visitor centers separated by 30 minutes of driving. The westernmost visitor center is the Quarry Visitor Center near the small town of Jensen Utah. If you want to see dinosaur fossils start your visit here at the Quarry Exhibit Hall where there is a wall of naturally embedded fossils on display.
The Canyon Visitor Center in Dinosaur, Colorado is the gateway to the eastern side of the park. Highlights of the eastern side include Harpers Corner and Echo Park. Close to Echo Park there is an overlook of the Green River as it wraps around Steamboat Rock that rivals the overlook at Horseshoe Bend. Steamboat Rock overlook is not well known and you'll probably have it to yourself. Highly recommended.
The Wave has reopened and the walk-in lottery is being held again. House Rock Road is open again.
St George News reports that the Pine Hollow wildfire has forced another closure of The Wave. The fire is now largely contained and it is hoped The Wave will reopen within the next week. House Rock Road is closed from its north end and also from the south just above the Lone Tree trailhead. Both Coyote Buttes South and The White Pocket are open but you need to access them from Highway 89A.
The Wire Pass and Magnum fires are now largely contained. The Wave and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon are open. The walk-in lottery is being held as normal in its new location. Both US 89A and UT 67 are open. The southern part of House Rock Valley Road is still closed. Since this is the only way to access Coyote Buttes South and The White Pocket both are still closed.
St George News reports that a wildfire near the Wirepass trailhead started at 11PM on Friday night. Due to the fire the Wirepass and Buckskin trails and The Wave are closed as is House Rock Road from both its north and south ends. The Wirepass fire is very close to the Magnum Fire and high winds are expected tomorrow and Monday.
I've added images and travel directions for two groups of small arches near Factory Butte. The first grouping is well known and frames Factory Butte nicely. There are four arches in total, all are photogenic. The arches are best shot near sunset. These arches are about 400 feet east of parking 2.2 miles down Coal Mine Road.
The second grouping consists of more than 100 tiny arches near the old Factory Butte Coal Mine. They are in a small area of wildly eroded rocks reminiscent of Little Finland but with the colors of the Bisti Badlands. The area can be accessed by taking Coal Mine Road 9.7 miles and making a right. Continue 0.7 miles and park, the arches and eroded rocks are just to the west. You are unlikely to see anyone at either set of arches.
On Monday June 15 the American Hotel burned to the ground, as did the nearby Ice House and the Crapo House. The American Hotel was 149 years old when it burned down. The probable cause was 100 year old electrical wiring insulated with paper. The American Hotel was the premier site for photographers at Cerro Gordo, and will be missed. Fortunately plans for the hotel exist and it is expected it will be rebuilt though of course it will never be the same. Friends of Cerro Gordo has set up a tax deductible GoFundMe to help with the rebuilding. Please donate if you can.
Both The White Pocket and Coyote Buttes South are currently closed due to the Magnum Fire which is now 33% contained. Firefighters are working to contain the fire west of House Rock Road. Coyote Buttes North is currently open. Maps showing the progression of the fire can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/maps/6748/ , and a smoke forecast at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/map/6748/1/98428.
The Cliff Dwellers Stone House, aka the Blanche Russell House, in on US 89A which runs between Jacob Lake and Bitter Springs in Arizona. The unique house is built around a large fallen boulder. In good conditions, which are rare, the house is quite photogenic and worth an early morning stopover on your way to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, or Coyote Buttes South.
I used to believe the house was built by the Navajo, but the truth is more interesting. In 1927 Blanche Russell's husband was diagnosed with tuberculosis and the two decided to move west from New York seeking drier climate. Blanche was reportedly a Ziegfield Follies dancer. About nine miles west of Lees Ferry their car broke down and they decided to camp amongst the boulders at Cliff Dwellers. Blanche loved the area and they decided to buy the land and build a house there, using a boulder as a start. They operated a roadside trading post where they sold food and gasoline and operated a restaurant. The trading post was quite successful and the area became known as House Rock Valley. It may well be that House Rock Road is named after the house Blanche built with her husband. They ran the trading post for about ten years and sold the property to Jack Church who three years later sold to the Greene family. The Greene's started the first guided trips down the Colorado, and built the Cliff Dwellers Lodge and restaurant.
The best side of the Stone House faces east so morning is the best time to photograph it. Normally there are Navajo craft stands interspersed among the balanced rocks so I suggest you arrive as early as possible before the stands are set up. Navajo businesses are currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic so now is a good time to visit. You will need to clone out graffiti and a porta potty from your images if you want a more natural look.
The walk-in lottery for next day permits resumed on June 15 in Kanab at a new location. The lottery was moved to the Kanab Center at 20 North 100 East on US 89 two blocks east of the Best Western Red Hills. Visitors are asked to park on the east side of the building in the rear parking lot. Applicants should bring their own pencil/pen to complete the application and should wear masks. There is no cost to enter the lottery. If you win there is a $7 per person fee to hike to The Wave. There were 90 people applying for the ten available slots on Tuesday June 16th.
Effective June 1 several changes were made to the on-line lottery for Wave permits. Here's a brief recap:
The walk-in lottery is still suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. If the BLM can find a way to safely hold the walk-in lottery by July 1st the walk-in process will resume at that time. If not the ten permits will be added to the on-line lottery.
I've added new galleries covering Cobra Arch and the Paria Windows to the website, as well as travel directions and maps. Cobra is a scenic arch with a span of 35 feet. It is best shot from late morning to late-afternoon. The trail to Cobra Arch begins at the Middle Route trailhead on West Clark Bench. The hike is seven miles round trip and is best done in the cooler months. The Paria Windows are a group of tafoni on the east shore of the Paria River about two miles downstream from the White House trailhead. Tafoni, also called honeycomb weathering, refers to small rounded holes on slanted to vertical walls. The Paria Windows are best shot in shadow. Since the windows face west plan on being at them within a few hours of sunrise, the earlier the better.
I have also updated the Edmaier's Secret gallery with several new images including a hoodoo made of Lace Rock southwest of Teepee Dome, and an incredibly large expanse of crossbedded sandstone and fins centered at 37.036600,-111.995687.
I've updated the Coyote Buttes South Gallery with many new images. My favorites were taken at night at The Control Tower and The Witches Hat. I have also added several new locations to the gallery. The best of these is the Rainbow Cove area with its very colorful leading lines. Many thanks to #DrAdventure for generously suggesting this location and others. Rainbow Cove is best shot when totally in shadow either early or late in the day. Images of a nice alcove in the Pawhole area were also added, as were images of The Hydra and also The Olympic Torch. The last are best shot at dawn. The Coyote Buttes South maps page was updated with these new locations.
In April I made four separate trips to Coyote Buttes South and only saw two other hikers. There was no evidence of other daily visitors at either the Pawhole or Cottonwood trailheads. While permits for the current month are sold out, August permits are still available on the Coyote Buttes South permit calendar as of May 2nd.
The walk-in lottery for Wave permits is still closed. It was hoped that the walk-in permits would be added to the on-line calendar or on-line lottery. This has proven to be impossible due to the complexities of the current lottery system. The entire lottery system is being moved to Recreation.gov effective July 1. Should the Covid-19 closure still be in effect in July the walk-in permits will be added to the on-line lottery for November permits.
If this is as confusing to you as it is to me you may want to read the details at https://www.blm.gov/alert/az-covid-19-updates about 2/3 of the way down the web page.
Since I'm largely stuck at home I've taken the time to update some of the galleries with images from recent trips. I've updated the Death Valley Gallery with new images from the Badwater salt flats and the Mesquite Dunes Note that Death Valley and most California National and State Parks is currently closed to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Two Guns is an underrated destination just off I40 thirty miles east of Flagstaff, Arizona. It has an incredibly rich history which includes an Apache Death Cave, Route 66, Billy the Kid, a train robbery, buried treasure, a Mountain Lion Zoo, and Russell Crowe, believed by some to be the current owner. A brief history can be found on my maps page, more details can be found on wikipedia. A gallery of images of Two Guns can be found here.
I've added a small number of images taken in the "semi" ghost town of Goldfield, Nevada. The International Car Forest is an unusual open air museum just south of Goldfield. Its many cars are buried on end so the car forest is best shot at night in late summer or fall when the Milky is largely vertical. The Subway to Nowhere in Goldfield is well worth a brief stop during the day. I have also updated the Rhyolite Nevada ghost town gallery with some new images taken at sunrise.
I've updated the Cerro Gordo Mine ghost town gallery with images from a recent trip. Cerro Gordo is more accessible than it used to be with on-line tickets available and you can freely wander the American hotel. Tripods are allowed. On weekdays Cerro Gordo still receives few visitors. I've also updated the Alabama Hills gallery with some images of Lathe Arch shot with a Laowa 10mm full frame lens. This ultrawide lens is just perfect for capturing unusual subjects and creating unique perspectives.
Preliminary - Effective today The Wave walk-in lottery has been suspended until further notice. The walk-in lottery will not be held tomorrow (Thursday 3/19). There are no plans to temporarily increase the number of permits available on-line at this time. I'll post more details as they becomes available.
All tours of the Navajo Nation slot canyons in Page (e.g. Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, Canyon X, ...) has been temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Monument Valley Tribal Park is also closed. Other closed areas include the Four Corners Monument, the Little Colorado River Tribal Park, the Bisti Badlands, Coal Mine Canyon, Canyon de Chelly Campground, and others . You cannot visit any Navajo Nation park at this time. More information can be found in the Farmington Daily Times, the Phoenix New Times, and Fox 13 Salt Lake.
I've added a gallery of images from Mono Lake in California. I've also added a map with travel directions and photo site locations and photography tips.
Mono Lake is an excellent three season destination. At 6,400 feet it normally gets snow in the winter so if you plan to visit then check snow cover levels in advance. Information on how to check snow depth levels in the US can be found on the Mono Lake maps page. There are two areas of photographic interest at Mono Lake. The first is called the "South Tufas". At sunrise and sunset you can often get nice reflections of limestone columns (known as Tufas) in the lake with the Eastern Sierra's in the background. Sunrise usually works better than sunset since winds are calmer then.
The second area is known as the "Sand Tufas". While the South Tufas are large and rock-like in appearance the Sand Tufas are delicate and have many branches. They form fantastic shapes are are best photographed up-close. If possible shoot at sunrise following a windy night so that the footprints around the tufas are filled in.
I've added new images from Red Canyon, Inchworm Arch, and the Kanab Hoodoos. Both Inchworm Arch and the Kanab Hoodoos are best photographed near sunrise. I would expect that at sunrise the shadow on the left side of Inchworm will disappear by March or April .
The Second Wave at sunset
The Alcove on Top Rock
Melody Arch and The Grotto
False Kiva Panorama
Lace Rock near The Boneyard
Leading Lines at Sand Cove
Last light on The Second Wave
Wide-angle view of The Wave
The Wave Startrail
The Milky Wave
The view north from The Wave at dusk
The Classic Wave
Looking North at Dusk
Under that Serious Moonlight
Eye of The Wave
Slot Canyon Reflection
The Southern Wave
Cottonwood Cove Storm
Coyote Buttes South
The Second Tree
Blue Hour at The White Pocket
Delta Pool at The White Pocket
North end of The Monolith
The Wave slot canyon soft sediment deformation
The Doll House
Three Story Ruin at Dawn
Mono Lake South Tufas
Sand Tufas near Navy Beach
Mountain Lion Zoo at Night
Subway Station to Nowhere
Badwater at Night
Mesquite Dunes at Dawn
The Control Tower at Night
The Paria Windows
The Stone House
Balanced Rock seen through Window
The American Hotel
Three Hole Arch
Coal Mine Area Arches
Fantasy Canyon Hoodoo
Devils Tower at Sunset
South Unit Hoodoos
Cedar Wash Arch
Slide Rock Arch
Peach Rock Panorama
Laughing Donkey formation in Little Finland
Striped Arch in Buffington Pockets
Boot Arch at Sunrise
Whitney Portal Arch shot from a ladder
The Geologist's Cabin and Striped Butte
The Ibex Dunes at Sunset
Narnia Slot Canyon
The Spiral Domes
Jail in Gleeson
The Milky Way over Arch Rock
The Bisti Wings
The Alien Throne
Dome Plateau Overlook
The Milky Way over a Patriarch Grove Bristlecone Pine
Crowley Lake Stone Columns
13 Moons Petroglyph
Thousand Springs State Park
Bryce Canyon viewed from Sunset Point
Pinyon Pine at Sunrise Point
Gentoo Penguins on Saunders Island
The Milky Way Rising over the Cracked Eggs