6150
Utah
Advanced Nature Photography in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks
Find out what makes Utah’s national parks a must-explore for photographers as you join experts for extended field sessions focusing on light, composition and advanced techniques.
Rating (4.94)
Program No. 6150RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,199
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 3 L 5 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Moab, UT
D
River Canyon Lodge

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: 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: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal, with choices from a menu, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: After dinner, we will wrap up our orientation back at the hotel with a short lecture on nature photography from our instructor. We’ll get some rest afterwards—we start before dawn tomorrow!

DAY
2
Photographing Arches National Park & Colorado River Canyon
Moab, UT
B,L,D
River Canyon Lodge

Activity note: Drive to the Needles District approximately one hour. Walking up to 1/2 mile at each stop, carrying photographic equipment. Sturdy footwear and layers recommended. Getting on/off bus.

Breakfast: Early diner breakfast.

Morning: We will depart from the diner by van to Arches National Park. Arches has over 2,000 individual arches, the highest concentration in the world. 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.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal, with choices from a menu, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After some time to relax or individual appointments with our instructor,, we will depart mid-afternoon for the Colorado River Canyon north of Moab by van along a portion of 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, one of the most awe-inspiring geological features of the Colorado Riverway.

Dinner: In the park, we will have a boxed dinner out in the field, including a choice of sandwich, fruit, chips, cookie, and water.

Evening: We will continue our photography until dark, after which we will return to Moab for an evening at leisure.

DAY
3
Views of Colorado River Canyon from Dead Horse Point, Arches
Moab, UT
B,D
River Canyon Lodge

Activity note: Drive to the Needles District approximately one hour. Walking up to 1/2 mile at each stop, carrying photographic equipment. Sturdy footwear and layers recommended. Getting on/off bus.

Breakfast: Early diner breakfast.

Morning: We will depart from the diner and travel by van to Dead Horse 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 park is so named for the wild mustangs that roamed the area before the turn of the 19th century and the natural corral the promontory made for those that were corralled, unsold, and released. It is said a band of “broomtails” died of thirst in sight of the Colorado below. Prior to our return to Moab, we’ll stop along the Colorado River to look at ancient petroglyphs and a view of the distinctive Jug Handle Arch.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: After some time to relax or individual appointments with our instructor, we will depart mid-afternoon from Moab, and, after a beautiful and dramatic drive through the entrance of Arches National Park, we will have a one-way photography hike on the Park Avenue Trail (1 mile). This dramatic hike is a favorite, as it winds through 1,000-foot towers of red sandstone. Vans will pick us up at the lower trailhead. We’ll stop next at our sunset location, a picnic area with a view of Balanced Rock and the rugged red rocks and distant LaSal mountains in the background.

Dinner: In the park, we will have a boxed dinner out in the field, including a choice of sandwich, fruit, chips, cookie, and water.

Evening: We will continue our photography until dark, after which we will return to Moab for an evening at leisure at the hotel.

DAY
4
Island in the Sky District in Canyonlands, Arches
Moab, UT
B,L,D
River Canyon Lodge

Activity note: Drive to the Needles District approximately one hour. Walking up to 1/2 mile at each stop, carrying photographic equipment. Sturdy footwear and layers recommended. Getting on/off bus.

Breakfast: Early diner breakfast.

Morning: We will depart from the 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 for photographers. With its 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 half-mile hike 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 its 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 Needles District, where we will photograph tomorrow. We’ll return to Moab by noon.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal, with choices from a menu, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After some time to relax or individual appointments with our instructor, we will depart Moab mid-afternoon for our third visit to Arches National Park by van. We have two choices for our afternoon photo opportunities, based upon ability for hiking and also ability to carry photo gear for the distance of the hike. The first hike is to the base of Delicate Arch, Utah's official symbol—a roundtrip of 3 miles with an elevation gain and loss of 800 feet, hiking over the rock sandstone surface. The second takes us to a viewpoint that observes Delicate Arch from below, followed by a short half-mile roundtrip walk for sunset to Skyline Arch.

Dinner: In the park, we will have a boxed dinner out in the field (location depending on hike choice), including a choice of sandwich, fruit, chips, cookie, and water.

Evening: Both groups will return by van individually to Moab after sunset.

DAY
5
Photographing the Needles District in Canyonlands
Moab, UT
B,L,D
River Canyon Lodge

Activity note: Drive to the Needles District approximately one hour. Walking up to 1/2 mile at each stop, carrying photographic equipment. Sturdy footwear and layers recommended. Getting on/off bus.

Breakfast: Early diner breakfast.

Morning: We will depart the diner by van this morning for a one-hour drive south of Moab along the Spanish Valley to our destination in Canyonlands National Park, the Needles District. Turning west we will enter Indian Creek and, after passing several ranches, enter the park. Our first photo stop is at a view of Six Shooter Peaks before we visit the Visitor's Center for restrooms and exhibits. We’ll then drive through the park landscape stopping to photograph Wooden Shoe Arch, and then our third stop of view of the Needles themselves. We’ll 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: After lunch we will drive to a short trail and walk a quarter-mile 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. Then, we will 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 will then return to Moab in late afternoon.

Dinner: Tonight we have a special closing dinner at a local grill in Moab with an incredible view of the surrounding region. We will enjoy a plated meal, with choices from a menu, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. We’ll have a short gathering for farewells and to debrief our photo adventure.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Moab, UT
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 10:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Early diner breakfast. This concludes our program.

Morning: We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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