Moab (Part 2): White Rim Canyon et al.

This past January, I took a long weekend and drove out to Moab, Utah to take some photos then I wrote all about it in Part 1 of this series (check it out if you haven't already and then come right back). While I was driving home, I couldn't help but think that there was some stuff that I had missed. I knew I needed to go back and shoot some more. I would come to think of my January trip as more of a scouting expedition. When I got home, I did a little bit of planning, found a weekend in March that would work, and then my wife and I hopped in the car and drove out for a weekend of a bit more exploring.

I knew, based on my scouting from January, that one of the places that I needed to go back to was the White Rim Canyon overlook. So, as we climbed in the car after work on Friday and set off on the road, that was our destination. Six hours later we arrived at Canyonlands National Park and drove straight to the trailhead. The moon was out that night, and the canyon was lit quite well, so along the road to where we would park for the night I stopped and snapped my first shot of the canyon.

Seeing as how the sun would rise only a few hours after we had arrived, we ended up sleeping the car that night. It isn't always the most comfortable sleep but sometime you have to do what you have to do. Fortunately for me, Tali is a trooper and is down for pretty much anything. When morning had just about arrived, we donned our coats and head lamps and set out on the trail to the canyon overlook. It was still pretty chilly and the stars were still shining as we arrived at the spot, but that just means we had timed it right for sunrise. Watching the sun come up over the mountains was just the icing on the cake.

Stars twinkle above the canyon as the sky begins to lighten to the east

Tali perched on the edge of the cliff sketching

The rest of the day we did some driving around, we popped into a few shops, and we just had a fairly lazy saturday afternoon. I had already planned where I wanted to go for sunset so most of the day was spent just waiting around until it wasn't too early to head to the spot. Even with all the waiting around, we still got to our spot about 2 hours before sunset which left plenty of time for scouting, exploring, and a bit of napping. Unfortunately the sunset didn't bring its A-game that day but there were still a couple of shots that I find pleasant to look at.

Fisher Towers with the La Sal Mountains as a backdrop

After the sunset we had dinner and then did some night-time exploring of Arches National Park. I was inspired by the night before, and the brightness of the moon, so when we drove past balanced rock I just had to do a long exposure.

I would have done a few more angles of that shot but an airplane had the audacity to fly right overhead leaving a streak in the sky ruining my composition. How rude!! Eventually we settled down to sleep, again in the car, because we're cheap. I was sufficiently inspired by our nighttime wanderings that I decided to head back to balanced rock for sunrise. This time, no planes would come around and ruin my shot.

After sunrise we had some breakfast and hit the road home, we had to work the next day after all. This time on the drive home I felt great. I really felt as though I was starting to get to know the area. I knew that the next time I made the trip out to Moab, whenever that will be, I would be even more ready.

Until the next time,


If you missed Part 1 of my adventures in Moab you can find it right HERE. Also, don't forget to subscribe below and my future posts will come right to your inbox, free of charge!

Also, don't forget, you can purchase most of these amazing photos by visiting my store HERE. If you don't see something you like, you can always send me an email to


Cameras: Nikon D3, Nikon D700

Lenses: Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8, Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8, ProOptic 14mm f2.8

Tripod: Slik

#Moab #Utah #Canyonlands #CanyonlandsNationalPark #WhiteRimCanyon #canyon #sunrise #sunset #nightphotography #night #stars #longexposure #landscapephotography #landscape #FisherTowers #LaSalMountains #LaSal #balancedrock #Arches #ArchesNationalPark

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