Professional landscape and adventure photographer Bret Edge provides updated, real-time photography conditions in Moab, Utah as of March 3, 2019.Read More
UPDATE, 2/23 @ 11:42 AM: It’s still snowing. The snow showers are coming and going, and each one hasn’t left more than a 1/4” of new snow on the ground but there is some additional accumulation. The parks are still open and photo conditions continue to improve. The forecast for tomorrow and Sunday are sunny and partly sunny, respectively. I predict that winter photography conditions in the Moab area will be at an all-time high this weekend. GET HERE NOW.
UPDATE, 2/22 @ 8:00 AM: Overnight we received some new snowfall amounting to no more than 1” accumulation. There is additional snow predicted today although it isn’t likely it will amount to much. Arches and Canyonlands National Parks are open. Both parks advise that the roads may be icy in areas.
UPDATE, 2/21 @ 4:30 PM: Moab is currently under a winter weather advisory and we are expected to receive 2-6” of new snow out of this storm. It’s snowing lightly now. I will update this post with current conditions and park access information tomorrow morning.
UPDATE: Arches National Park is open as of around 3:00 PM today, Feb. 19. The latest update from Canyonlands - Island in the Sky indicates that the park road is still closed due to snow.
Snowmageddon has hit Moab. We received about 12” of snow in town from yesterday’s storm and we’ve got another 2-6” arriving tomorrow. Folks, this is right up there with the biggest storms to come through Moab in the thirteen years I’ve lived here. What does it all mean to photographers? Read on…
Conditions are generally top notch for landscape photography. Actually, I’d go so far as to say that these are some of the best winter photography conditions I’ve seen in Moab. There’s ample fresh snow on the ground, the sun is out and cotton ball clouds are floating through a brilliantly blue sky. In addition to the snow that is predicted to fall tomorrow, the ten day forecast is calling for very cold temperatures, which means this snow is going to be around for a while. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that Arches and Canyonlands National Parks are currently closed while crews work to clear the park roads. This is as of 1:00 PM today. Both parks are expected to open as soon as the roads have been plowed, though expect snowy and icy conditions on the roads and trails. I’ll do my best to update this post as information about roads, trails, parks and conditions becomes available to me. I also recommend that you check out the following social media accounts as you should expect updates from them as well. The Moab PD is really good about updating road conditions and closures in the Moab area.
If you can’t access the parks, there are several locations worth photographing outside of the park boundaries. Highway 128 offers the Fisher Towers and Castle Valley, as well as several opportunities to photograph the Colorado River and unnamed sandstone features. Highway 128 is notorious for black ice and rockfall, so please use extreme caution. Corona Arch in this much snow will be a real treat. Kane Creek also has many opportunities to photograph the river as well as side canyons with lots of cottonwood trees that make interesting intimate landscapes. I wouldn’t recommend continuing on Kane Creek when the road transitions from pavement to dirt as there is significant exposure, no guardrails and it’ll be super slick.
For tips and other ideas on winter photography in Moab, be sure to check out this blog post: The Photographer’s Guide to Winter in Moab.
Last, but not least, I hope you’ll consider supporting me as I deliver these real time updates and other valuable information by purchasing one of my ebooks. They’re only $15/each and are loaded with high quality content to help you find and photograph the best locations in each park.
Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park are open during the federal government shutdown thanks to a generous donation from the Canyonlands Natural History Association. Moab landscape photographer Bret Edge offers a few tips to help you enjoy your winter visit.Read More
Old Man Winter strikes Moab again! Yesterday the weather forecast called for a 30% chance of snow which of course ended up being 3” of snow in town, likely more in the parks. Unfortunately, both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks are closed to all vehicle traffic so bring warm clothing and a desire to posthole or snowshoe for several miles to access any of the winter wonderlands inside either park. No dout, you will be rewarded with solitude and so much beauty it almost hurts. Or maybe that’s your frozen fingers?
Dead Horse Point State Park should be open but call first to verify that the roads are plowed. Other areas in BLM control are open but again, the road maintenance workers have their hands full so it’s hard to say when the lesser traveled roads will be relatively safe to travel. Big thank you to all the men & women running plows today!
Forecast for the rest of the week is looking pretty darn spiffy. Mostly sunny or partly cloudy with high temperatures in the 30’s. This snow isn’t going anywhere for a few days and I suspect even next weekend will provide opportunities for winter photography.
Headed this way to take advantage of the snowy conditions? Be sure to check out The Photographers’s Guide to Winter in Moab on my blog. Totally free resource with lots of great information on how, when and where to shoot wintery scenes around Moab.
UPDATE 10:40 AM: The snow is still coming down and we have about 2” accumulation in town, likely a little more in Arches and Canyonlands. I have been told that the roads in both parks will not be plowed as a result of the shutdown, so travel at your own risk. There is some fog in the area that will make for interesting, moody images.
Looks like on the last day of 2018 the weather Gods have decided to gift photographers with a blanket of snow here in Canyon Country. The white stuff started falling around 6:00 AM and it is predicted to continue snowing through noon today. This typically results in outstanding winter photography for a day or two, petering off to good winter photography as the snow melts and is tracked over by humans and wildlife.
The big variable right now is the federal government shut down. I don’t know when the roads in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks Will be plowed, if at all. This could make for very difficult or even dangerous access at the parks. I will update this post if I learn more. However, Dead Horse Point State Park and all of the surrounding 2,000,000 acres of BLM land are still open. The same considerations should be given to travel in these areas.
Not sure where to photograph in Arches? Pick up a copy of eFotoGuide: The Ultimate Guide to Photographing Arches NP for only $15 and you’ll discover all the details on where, when and how to photograph over 20 stunning locations in the park. Your purchase helps me to maintain this website and continue to provide real-time photo conditions.
Now get out there and create some beautiful winter photos in the Moab desert!
UPDATE February 2: Arches and Canyonlands NP are open. The roads are snowpacked and icy, and the NPS recommends extreme caution. Dead Horse Point State Park is also open with similar conditions. All backcountry roads are closed. Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point received over 6" of snow. Today there are patches of fog but mostly blue sky with a few light clouds. Perfect conditions for photography!
It's dumping, folks. The snow is flying and according to the weather forecast it isn't stopping until tomorrow. The La Sal Mountains are predicted to receive several feet of snow out of this storm. Down here in town we've already received five inches of snow, which means higher elevations like Arches National Park (around 5,000'), Dead Horse Point State Park and Canyonlands National Park - Island in the Sky (both around 6,000') already have even more on the ground.
As of right now the roads in Arches and Canyonlands are closed. I haven't received any information from Dead Horse Point but I suspect their roads are also closed. National Park Service crews usually clear Arches first, then Canyonlands. Dead Horse Point is usually plowed by state crews before Canyonlands, but that can vary. There is no official estimate of when the parks will open but I suspect it will be later today, or possibly tomorrow, depending on when it stops snowing.
The La Sal Mountains have been getting hammered since yesterday afternoon. Roads into the mountains are not plowed and likely won't be for a few days. However, snowshoes or skis are a viable transportation option if you don't mind putting in a few miles. Avalanche conditions exist and are a very real threat. Travel safe.
One thing is certain: you want to be in the parks as soon as the gates open. All this fresh, untracked snow will make for some absolutely incredible photography conditions. Grand landscapes will be an easy target but don't forget to look for intimate scenes such as juniper trees wearing a robe of snow. Call in sick to work, throw your photography gear in your truck and make tracks to Moab!
Need some help deciding when, where and what to photograph in Arches NP? Pick up a copy of my ebook - eFotoGuide: The Ultimate Guide to Photographing Arches National Park - and you'll hit the ground running with all of the most important information you'll need to make stunning images in this snowy Red Rock wonderland.
Click here to purchase eFotoGuide: The Ultimate Guide to Photographing Arches National Park. Your purchases help me keep this site updated with current photography conditions, and we donate a portion of the proceeds to several organizations who support land conservation and the national parks.