Professional landscape and adventure photographer Bret Edge discusses the process behind the making of his image of Washer Woman Arch, Airport and Monster Towers backlit in golden haze below Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah.Read More
Professional nature and adventure photographer Bret Edge writes about the experience of creating his popular images of False Kiva in the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah.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.
Learn Moab winter photography tips and a few fantastic locations to shoot snowy scenes from local professional photographer Bret Edge.Read More
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!
I'm pissed. Over the past couple of years, I've read news story after news story about dumbasses doing stupid shit in our national parks and other wilderness areas, and I've just sort of stewed over it. There was the Boy Scout leader who knocked over a hoodoo in Goblin Valley State Park, a drone pilot who flew his quadcopter into Grand Prismatic Spring, the "artist" who left her "art" painted all over rocks in national parks throughout the West, souvenir hunters stealing the mysterious moving rocks at the Racetrack in Death Valley, the total dope who got out of his car to harass a bison in Yellowstone (and somehow escaped being gored) and a real genius who thought it would be cute to wade into Brooks Falls for a selfie with feeding grizzly bears. On a recent trip to Glacier NP we witnessed a small group of foreigners attempting to feed rocks to mountain goats. Then, today, I hear that the National Park Service has issued a closure at False Kiva in Canyonlands because some jackass felt the need to light a fire in the middle of this ancient structure, and then use the ashes to leave handprints all over the cave walls.
Maybe it's because Moab is my home and Canyonlands is my backyard, or maybe I've just reached my limit of jackassery, but I can no longer remain silent. I fully realize that venting here on my blog will have precisely zero impact on the reduction of this ridiculousness, but perhaps sharing my thoughts will provide me with some sense of relief. You know, like a blowoff valve. So, here goes.
When we moved to Moab in 2006, Arches National Park averaged about 600,000 visitors each year. This year, the park is on track to see 1.8 million visitors. Park administrators are struggling with how to manage the massive influx of people. Various ideas have been discussed, including a shuttle system and mandatory reservations during peak season. That's right. Reservations. Not that the shuttle would work any better, as we discovered on our recent trip to Glacier, where we spent a total of six hours either waiting for or riding shuttles to do a 4 hour hike with hundreds of other sheep, er...visitors. But, I digress. The reservation system is not a popular idea and has received significant pushback but all indications are that it will proceed in 2019. Fine, maybe with fewer people in the park it'll restore a tiny little bit of the peace that was once so common amongst the majestic towers and arches, and maybe it'll keep KW from proclaiming his undying love for JA with a carved inscription in the soft red sandstone, but probably not.
Where did we go wrong? When did people suddenly become so disrespectful toward Mother Nature and one another that "take only photographs, leave only footprints" is nothing more than meaningless words on a trailhead sign? Why are so damn many people doing so many straight up moronic, selfish, thoughtless, stupid things in the wilderness? I don't have the answer. I don't know that anyone does. Could it be that answering this question may help to guide us toward some sort of resolution, or are we past the point of no return? Will there always be tourons (tourist-morons) who try to ride bison in Yellowstone and carve their stupid initials into aspen trees?
Two decades ago, I was living in Phoenix and spent countless weekends hiking and backpacking throughout the Grand Canyon. It was common to find tourists wearing slacks and penny loafers, or skirts and platform shoes, at Indian Gardens, 4 1/2 miles below the South Rim, in temperatures approaching or over 100 degrees and carrying only a small bottle of water. I always carried extra water and food and frequently handed it out to these ill-prepared folks. I also always carried a garbage bag that I filled with trash I found along the trail as I hiked out of the canyon. I'd see people feeding potato chips to the squirrels, or sometimes deer, and I'd shrug it off. Occasionally, I'd interject and remind them that the animals are wild and shouldn't be fed human food. But it didn't animate me like the antics we're seeing today. I almost wish we could go back to those times, when a tourist being bitten by a rabid squirrel was kind of the big news when it came to national park tomfoolery.
Coming back to False Kiva, my wife and I were planning to visit it this fall with our son. We've been a few times but this would have been his first. If nothing else, maybe this should serve as a reminder that one should never put off visiting a specific location, because it's entirely possible that if you wait too long, you might not get the chance.
I don't really know where I'm going with this or why. I guess I truly am just venting, which isn't going to re-open False Kiva or solve any of the other myriad issues I've mentioned, but I think I do feel a little bit better, so I've got that going for me...which is nice. Perhaps if you've made it this far, you too are feeling some small sense of relief, or maybe you're more pissed off now than you were when you started reading this post. Who knows, but if you've got any thoughts to share, I'd love to hear them. Feel free to leave a comment. Who knows, maybe we, as individuals, can do something to turn this train around, and it could start with one simple idea.