Road Scholar : Home
Advanced Nature Photography in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks

Program Number: 6150RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/12/2014 - 10/17/2014; 11/2/2014 - 11/7/2014; 4/6/2015 - 4/11/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Moab, Utah
Price starting at: $999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Photography; National Parks
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free    

Learn field nature photography techniques with a professional photographer and explore stunning scenery during field trips on foot and by van. Up early and out late, find dramatic light, build strong compositions, and capture digital images or work in 35mm or larger transparency film (no developing is available). Program emphasizes outdoor settings, minimal time will be spent in formal classroom instruction.




Highlights

• Photograph spectacular desert scenery and capture the early morning and late evening light.
• Maximize your photography of the area during this advanced program with most of your time and instruction taking place in the field.
• Visit Arches National Park with extended time spent photographing at Balanced Rock, Delicate Arch and Devils Garden-Landscape Arch areas.



Activity Particulars

Walk 1-3 miles at elevations between 3,000-8,000 feet with equipment; uneven ground, variable weather.



Bring digital camera, digital memory cards and extra batteries. Recommend bringing a tripod and your own laptop.



Coordinated by Mountains and Plains Institute.




Moab

Site of a busy Colorado River crossing before the construction of the railroads, the town of Moab grew into an important mining community with the discovery of potash, manganese, oil and gas deposits in the early 1900s. Today Moab is a gateway to Arches and Canyonlands national parks and a popular base for mountain bikers and off-roaders.



Accommodations
Comfortable lodge with swimming pool centrally located in Moab. Main meal in restaurant at lunch time, box lunches in evening for sunset photo shoots.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Ryan Kirkpatrick

Ryan Kirkpatrick is the director of operations for Mountains & Plains Institute for Lifelong Learning and Service, and has led hundreds of Road Scholar programs since 2003. A native of Colorado, Ryan has a master’s in sports science, is a Wilderness First Responder, and a “Master Naturalist” for the city of Fort Collins. In addition, he is an ASEP certified instructor and received his Level 1 USATF Coaching Certification from the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. He is also a volunteer nordic ski ranger for the Colorado State Forest, and as a photographer is a member of Canon Professional Services.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   River Canyon Lodge
  Moab, UT 5 nights
 River Canyon Lodge
Type: Hotel
  Description: Swimming Pool, hot tub, wireless internet access in lobby, large parking lot for RV's
  Contact info: 70 West 200 North
Moab, UT 84532 USA
phone: 435-259-8838
web: www.rivercanyonlodge.com
  Room amenities: mini fridge, microwave in rooms, mini coffee maker
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call for information Reserve directly with hotel.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for information Reserve directly with hotel.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in at 4 PM; Required orientation 5 PM. You will be staying at River Canyon Lodge that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast. Room check-out is 10:00 AM. You will be staying at River Canyon Lodge the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Acknowledgement of Risk Form Please bring National Parks Senior or Annual Pass
  Parking availability:
No charge
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Moab, UT
  Nearest highway: US 191, I 70
  Nearest airport:  Moab, Salt Lake City, UT, Grand Junction, CO
  From End of Program
  Location: Moab, UT
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Moab from Grand Junction, CO airport (GJT)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Moab Luxury Coach
phone: 435-940-4212
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

2 hours by shuttle service 

 

Distance:

 

113 miles

   

Moab is in Southeast Utah, 33 miles south of Interstate 70 on Highway US191. Grand Junction Airport (GJT) is 113 miles from Moab. www.moabluxurycoach.com/index.html In addition to the shuttle service above, many persons choose to rent a car and most major rental car companies are available at GJT. If flying, we strongly recommend that you arrive a day early due to erratic schedules and possible flight delays at all points.

 

Moab from Salt Lake City (SLC)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Moab Luxury Coach
phone: 435-940-4212
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

6 hours minimum by shuttle 

 

Distance:

 

234 miles

   

Moab is in Southeast Utah, 33 miles south of Interstate 70 on Highway US191. Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) is 234 miles from Moab. www.moabluxurycoach.com/index.html In addition to the shuttle service above, many persons choose to rent a car and all major rental car companies are available at SLC. If flying, we strongly recommend that you arrive a day early due to erratic schedules and possible flight delays at all points.

 

Moab, UT (CNY)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
See below
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Distance:

 

18 miles

   

Connection flights to and from Moab, Utah (CNY) are via Salt Lake City (SLC) and operated by Delta Airlines. Reservations: (800) 221-1212. We strongly recommend that you arrive a day early due to erratic schedules and possible flight delays at all points. Taxi Services that serve the Moab Airport:Moab Taxi: 435-210-4297, Moab Luxury Coach: 435-940-4212 and Moab Coach: 435-259-8294. Call in advance to reserve. Enterprise Car Rental is also located at the Moab Airport.

 
Driving Directions
  Moab From All Directions Moab from Denver: Moab is a 6-7 hour drive from Denver. The best route is I-70 West to Utah State Highway 128 South (Exit 202 off of I-70 in Utah), then left onto Utah State Highway 128 into Moab. You can go twenty-two miles further on I-70 to Exit 180 and go south on US 19, 33 miles into Moab. They’re about the same time; however, State Highway 128 is one of the most spectacular drives on the planet. Moab from Salt Lake City: Moab is a 234, 4.5 hour drive from Salt Lake City. Take Interstate 15 56 miles South to Provo, UT and US Highway 6. Take US 6 south 123 miles to the Junction with Interstate 70. Travel East on Interstate 70, 24 miles to Junction with US Highway 191, traveling South on US 191 33 miles to Moab. Moab from Las Vegas: Moab is 7 hours, 461 miles from Las Vegas, NV. Take Interstate 15 North 247 miles to Junction with Interstate 70 East. Travel East I-70 for 182 miles to Junction with US Highway 191 traveling South on US 191 33 miles to Moab. . Meet at the hotel address: 71 West 200 North.
Elevation Note: 4,000-8,000 feet

Equipment Requirements: Digital SLR or Camera with manual settings, adequate media storage (laptop computer strongly recommended); extra batteries, tripod
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Hotel Check in at 4 pm. Orientation at 5 pm.
(Sunday, October 12)

Note: Moab is ideally situated next to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. A number of theories about how Moab got its name float around local book stores and coffee shops. The most accepted explanation is that in the Bible, the name Moab occurs frequently referring to a dry, mountainous area east of the Dead Sea and southeast of Jerusalem. This explanation seems to fit in both its geographical relationship to Salt Lake City (and the Great Salt lake) and the geologic characteristics of the area.



   
 Arrive To: Mandatory orientation in hotel meeting room at 5:00 PM. Welcome to Moab! We'll have an informative overview of the program to come plus an opportunity to meet the program staff and your fellow participants during an introductory get-acquainted session. We’ll review the updated schedule, cover responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.
 Dinner: We will travel to a local restaurant to enjoy a delicious meal and continue getting to know one-another.
 Evening: After dinner, we will wrap up our orientation back at the hotel with a short lecture on nature photography. Get some rest afterwards, we start before dawn tomorrow!
   
Accommodations: River Canyon Lodge
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Photographing in Arches National Park and along the Colorado River Canyon
(Monday, October 13)

Note: Our daily schedule for today and the next two days consist of a pre-dawn breakfast followed by travel to our early morning light photo location. We photograph one to three locations until lunch time when we return to Moab for our main meal of the day at local restaurants. Following lunch there is time for individual consultations with our instructor, free time to sort photos, or a quick rest. We depart mid-afternoon for our evening, sunset photo site. Evening meal is a box lunch in the field.



   
 Breakfast: Each morning we have a full order off the menu breakfast at the "Moab Diner", a Moab favorite. There's no doubt you'll walk away satisfied with extensive menu choices and prompt, friendly service. The Diner opens early for us to facilitate our early morning photo excursions.
 Morning: We depart from the Moab Diner to Arches National Park. Our early morning light stop is at LaSal Mountains and Courthouse Towers Overlook. We will remain until well after dawn experiencing the amazing light and then travel to Devil's Playground. We will walk the 1.2 mile trail to Landscape Arch with many photo opportunities along the trail. All daily schedules are subject to change due to unforeseen factors such as weather, interests of the group, etc. Arches National Park is a landscape of contrasting colors, landforms and textures unlike any other in the world. The Park has over 2,000 natural stone arches, in addition to hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks.
 Lunch: Prepare your taste buds for the full dining experience, we plan our midday meals at different locally owned restaurants to give you a nice variety and plenty of choices.
 Afternoon: Midday rest after lunch with opportunities for individual appointments with our instructor. Mid afternoon we depart for the Colorado River Canyon north of Moab. We travel a Utah Scenic Byway with stops to photograph and view the LaSal Mountains, the bends of the river and dramatic canyon walls, and finally our sunset destination, the dramatic Fisher Towers. The Fisher Towers are one of the most outstanding scenic features of Utah's Colorado Riverway. These rock pinnacles soar above a maze of red and purple hued canyons. We eat our box dinner in the field to allow for continued photography until dark when we return to Moab.
 Dinner: A local market prepares our fresh box meals each day so that we can enjoy them in the scenic outdoors. The lunch will include your choice of sandwich, fruit, chips, cookie, and water.
   
Accommodations: River Canyon Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Photographing the Colorado River Canyon from Deadhorse State Park and return for an afternoon second visit to Arches National Park
(Tuesday, October 14)

Note: Dead Horse Point State Park provides a beautiful mesa where you can look for miles into Canyonlands National Park or 2,000 feet down to the Colorado River. There are a few short hikes around the edge of the mesa with stunning views into the deep canyons.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Moab Diner
 Morning: We depart from the Moab Diner and travel to Deadhorse Point State Park for our early morning photo location. The dramatic landscape of the canyon walls become illuminated as the early morning sunbeams work their patterns down to the Colorado River 2,000 feet below. The Road Scholar website has featured photos from this program and past participants! Before the turn of the 19th century, mustang herds ran wild on the mesas near Dead Horse Point. The unique promontory provided a natural corral into which the horses were driven by cowboys. The only escape was through a narrow, 30-yard neck of land controlled by fencing. Mustangs were then roped and broken, with the better ones being kept for personal use or sold to eastern markets. Unwanted culls of "broomtails" were left behind to find their way off the Point. According to one legend, a band of broomtails was left corralled on the Point. The gate was supposedly left open so the horses could return to the open range. For some unknown reason, the mustangs remained on the Point. There they died of thirst within sight of the Colorado River below.
 Lunch: Prior to our return to Moab, we stop along the Colorado River to look at ancient petroglyphs and a view of the distinctive Jug Handle Arch. Lunch today is on your own to enjoy restaurants and shopping or browsing the downtown of Moab. Some participants choose this time to review their photos.
 Afternoon: Midday rest after lunch with opportunities for individual appointments with our instructor. Mid-afternoon we depart Moab and after a beautiful and dramatic drive through the entrance of Arches National Park, we have a one-way photography hike on the “Park Avenue” Trail. (1 mi) This dramatic hike is a participant favorite as it winds through 1,000 feet towers of red sandstone. Vans pick us up at the lower trailhead. We stop next at our sunset location, a picnic area with a view of Balanced Rock and the background rugged red rocks and distant LaSal mountains in the background. We eat our box dinner in the field to allow for continued photography until dark when we return to Moab.
 Dinner: A local market prepares our fresh box meals each day so that we can enjoy them in the scenic outdoors. The lunch will include your choice of sandwich, fruit, chips, cookie, and water.
   
Accommodations: River Canyon Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Photographing Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky District and a final return to Arches National Park
(Wednesday, October 15)

Note: Canyonlands National Park encompasses a wilderness of countless canyons and fantastically formed buttes carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries. The Rivers divide the park into districts: Needles, Island in the Sky, and the Maze. These areas share a primitive desert atmosphere, but each offers different photo opportunities. The Island in the Sky District is so named because of sheer canyon cliffs that surround a plateau that dominates the sky rising out of the surrounding high desert.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Moab Diner
 Morning: We leave from the Moab Diner and drive one hour to the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park. Our early morning destination is the iconic Mesa Arch, a famous stop amongst the leading photographers of the world. With it's sunrise glow and framing of the peaks beyond, it captures the essence of this region. A trip to Island in the Sky would not be complete without the short hike 1/2 mile round trip short hike to the amazing Mesa Arch. We next travel to Green River Overlook for a glimpse into the canyon of the Green, on it's way to the confluence with the Colorado River. we will be treated to an expansive view of the Canyon and you will be able to see all the way across to the Needle's District where we will photograph tomorrow. We return to Moab by noon.
 Lunch: Our main meal today is at a locally owned restaurant where we will have a nice variety of menu options from which to choose.
 Afternoon: Midday rest after lunch with opportunities for individual appointments with our instructor. Mid-afternoon we depart Moab for our third visit to Arches National Park. Two options are offered for our afternoon photo opportunities. Participants may choose either option based upon their ability for hiking and also ability to carry photo gear for the distance of the hike. The first option is to the base of Delicate Arch (Utah's official symbol), a roundtrip hike of 3 miles with an elevation gain and loss of 800 feet hiking over the rock sandstone surface. For those who choose the second option, a viewpoint that observes Delicate Arch from below will be visited followed by a short 1/2 mile roundtrip walk for sunset to Skyline Arch. The group that travels to Delicate Arch will eat their box lunch on the trail, while the Skyline Arch group will eat their box lunch in a picnic area. Both groups will return to Moab after sunset.
 Dinner: A local market prepares our fresh box meals each day so that we can enjoy them in the scenic outdoors. The lunch will include your choice of sandwich, fruit, chips, cookie, and water.
   
Accommodations: River Canyon Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: All day trip Photographing Canyonlands National Park in the Needles District
(Thursday, October 16)

Note: The Needles District forms the southeast corner of Canyonlands National Park and was named for the colorful spires of Cedar Mesa Sandstone that dominate the area. The views back to Island in the Sky dominate the views to the North and give meaning to the cryptic name.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Moab Diner
 Morning: We depart the Moab Diner this morning for a 1 hour drive south of Moab along the Spanish Valley to our destination in Canyonlands National Park, the Needles District. Turning west we enter Indian Creek and after passing several ranches, enter the National Park. Our first photo stop is at a view of "Six Shooter Peaks" and then we visit the Visitor's Center. We then drive through the Park landscape stopping to photograph Wooden Shoe Arch, and then our third stop of view of the "Needles" themselves. We finish the morning at a scenic picnic area for lunch surrounded by the "Slickrock" formations.
 Lunch: A local market prepares our fresh box lunches each day so that we can enjoy them in the scenic outdoors. Lunch will include your choice of sandwich, fruit, chips, dessert, and water.
 Afternoon: We drive after lunch to a short trail and walk that ends at an ancestral puebloan granary. This ancient repository was built nearly 800 years ago by tribes that raised corn and stored it for future use in the granary. We then travel back along Indian Creek Highway leaving the National Park but surrounded by massive cliffs that are a world-class destination for rock climbers. We will try to catch a glimpse of these athletes high on the massive cliffs. Do you know the difference between a pictograph and a petroglyph? We will stop at Newspaper Rock State Park on the drive back to Moab to view and photograph one of the best examples of petroglyphs in the area. We return to Moab in late afternoon.
 Dinner: Tonight we have a special closing dinner with a "million dollar view" at the Sunset Grill. The Sunset Grill is in the former home of Uranium King Charlie Steen. In the early 1950’s Moab was a small farming community. Arches and Canyonlands were places only a lucky few experienced. In 1952, Charles A. Steen, geologist and prospector, put Moab on the world map. Y
   
Accommodations: River Canyon Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Departure after breakfast, check out by 10 am.
(Friday, October 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Moab Diner
 Morning: Independent departures after breakfast. Room check-out is 10:00 am.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness


Author: Edward Abbey


Description: "A passionately felt, deeply poetic book. It has philosophy. It has humor. It has its share of nerve-tingling adventures...set down in a lean, racing prose, in a close-knit style of power and beauty." Edward Abbey lived for three seasons in the desert at Moab, Utah, and what he discovered about the land before him, the world around him, and the heart that beat within, is a fascinating, sometimes raucous, always personal account of a place that has already disappeared, but is worth remembering and living through again and again. The classic drama of a year alone as a ranger in a national park. "This book may well seem like a ride on a bucking bronco."--New York Times Book Review





You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.


As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.



Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:


© Road Scholar 2014 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768