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Thread: Southeast Utah

  1. #1
    8x20 8x10 John Jarosz's Avatar
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    Southeast Utah

    I've looked at a lot of the threads on this subject, and while they have good info , it's really not what I'm doing (for instance, I'm not going to stand in a pack of people to get a photograph). I'll enter the 4 corners area going west from Farmington, NM. From there I'll sleep in Mexican Hat, Monticello and Moab. I'd like to hit Monument Valley (no guides), Natural Bridges Nat'l Monument, Valley of the Gods, Goosenecks State Park, Canyonlands, Arches, maybe Dead Horse State Park. Then I move off Utah via I-70.
    I know there's more to see there, but that's all I have time for.

    It's not all photography, but there will be a lot of it. Some stargazing too. I won't be hiking much for photos as I want to do B&W ULF. I'm really not interested in making major changes to the itinerary, but I will drop some sites if they are marginal. I'm not going for postcards, I'm going for images that appeal to me, and ones that will look good in a carbon print. Because it's ULF, I won't be making hundreds of exposures either. :-)

    Any thoughts about those specific locations ( or nearby substitutions) would be welcome.

    Thanks

    John

  2. #2

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    Re: Southeast Utah

    All good places. You don't say how long you have. Will you be camping or hotelling?

    Have you thought of Chaco Canyon in NM?

  3. #3
    8x20 8x10 John Jarosz's Avatar
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    Re: Southeast Utah

    I'm trading one rat race for another. This part of the trip is 5 days. I won't have time to go back multiple times for exactly the right light. This trip is like photographing a river, something that is constantly flowing past me. This is my first trip into southeast Utah.

    Hotels. Camping with all the other stuff is too much work. Also need suggestions on places to eat (or not) and locations with good food stores for roadfood so we don't have to eat out all the time.

    John

  4. #4
    Don Nelson
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    Re: Southeast Utah

    Consider staying in Bluff rather than Mexican Hat.
    While in Bluff, eat at the Cow Canyon Cafe, right at the corner of 163-191.
    Nearby - outstanding Petroglyphs along the river but some good ones accessible from the road (try the river launch site just west of Bluff) and a really nice set of ruins west of Bluff (ask locally).

    You're going to Goosenecks, but don't ignore Muley point. Excellent early in morning or late in evening.

    You are covering a lot of territory in a short amount of time. Good luck

  5. #5

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    Re: Southeast Utah

    Five days???? Does that include your travel time from the your home??? You will not have much time to photograph if you make all of the sites you mentioned.

    My last trip into that region was two weeks duration and I did not cover but a fraction of what you listed.

    Four corners would normally include Hovenweep...possibly Mesa Verde...Not sure that every possible photograph has been made at those sites. When I was last through that part of the country there was some ongoing excavation of archealogical sites around Cortez, Co...the people at the local museum can direct you if you ask them.

    South of Farmington about forty or so miles is the Bisti Badlands...unusual formations...probably not as heavily photographed as some of the other places. Chaco Culture ruins are south and east of Farmington. Canyon de Chelly is quite unusual and in the same general area (NE Arizona).

    The drive up to I 70 from Moab is quite nice along the river. I have always enjoyed the rock formations around Moab...both north and south south west. Canyonlands is south/southwest of Moab and if you have a good high clearance vehicle you can get back into the hinterlands. Elephant Rock in Canyonlands is a real treat to circumvent...busted axles are common place but the back country is worth the trip.

  6. #6
    8x20 8x10 John Jarosz's Avatar
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    Re: Southeast Utah

    Good grief... :-)

    5 days from Farmington to Moab

    John

  7. #7
    lazy retired bum
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    Re: Southeast Utah

    You'll not get far in Monument Valley without a guide. It is the Navajo Nation and many earn their living by guiding. It is well worth it. If possible get your own, going on a group tour will get you 30 seconds to make the shot with all the point and shoot folks, just what you do not want. Agree with staying in Bluff but am not certain the Cow Canyon Cafe is still open. I agree, Muley Point is worth it, especially late. Also agree that your plan may be a bit ambitious. If it's images you're after, you may do better with fewer places and more time in each. Without meaning to sound like a western snob, distances are great compared to the east and midwest.

    Good luck.

    Eric

  8. #8

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    Re: Southeast Utah

    TsÚ Bit'a'Ý (the rock with wings) is just west of Farmington.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiprock

    It would look nice next to a crescent or full moon:

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...ad.php?t=48630

  9. #9

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    Re: Southeast Utah

    Try Goblin Valley just west of Green River UT. on the road to Hanksville. Island in the Sky and Dead Horse Point are north on Moab on 191. Good evening shots. Arches can be pretty busy but it's worth the trip. Chaco Canyon is good but it's a long way off the beaten track. Try Bisti Badlands out of Farmington.
    Most Navajo Parks are pretty well controled by the Navajo Nation and guide service is helpful. There are so many places to see in the Four Corners area. Around Moab there are many unmarked places right by the road
    Sid McCammond
    Pagosa Springs, CO (On the edge of the four corners.

  10. #10

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    Re: Southeast Utah

    I don't really know what sorts of subjects you're looking for in that area. Its a really big and diverse chunk of land from Farmington to Moab. You can find everything from farm pastures to high desert to mountains and canyons framed by vertical sandstone walls in that part of the state.

    Laurent Martres has a book on SE Utah which I would highly recommend if your plan is to photograph scenic landscape type subjects or the ancient ruins in the area. Its well laid out and has solid information on the best times. If you prefer to photograph rural or human subjects instead, its probably not the best reference.

    Although I like Moab and have gone there for 15 years to mountain bike, hike and jeep, I've been shocked by its rapid growth over recent years and rarely find myself with a desire to go there anymore. Too many tourists, ATV riders, jeepers (in which I count myself), mountain bikers and everything else. These days I just prefer less populated and quieter areas.

    If you have a more specific subject in mind than "looks good in a carbon print", I'm sure more people could help you out. I almost always camp when I'm out there and really couldn't provide any specifics on places to eat or avoid other than to say I've never liked McStiff's in Moab and that the brewery is typical brewery food. If your funds allow for it, I can recommend Bret Edge as a photo guide in Moab. He doesn't shoot LF, but knows his way around the area very well.

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