Page 5 of 7 FirstFirst ... 34567 LastLast
Results 41 to 50 of 63

Thread: American Southwest in full Autumn

  1. #41
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    14,768

    Re: American Southwest in full Autumn

    Film: weather is likely to be both hot and cold, depending on exact area and time of day. An ordinary insulated picnic cooler works nicely. So do cheap insulated tote bags. A goosedown jacket is an even better form of film box insulation if you don't happen to be wearing it at the time. Try to keep your gear inconspicuous, and dress casually. I've never had any gear stolen in that part of the world, but it's always a possibility. Leave anything of value in sight in a parking lot in LA, Vegas, or SF, and it will be stolen in minutes. Also be extremely careful of deceptive speed traps in small rural towns. The smaller the town is, the more they depend on traffic fines from out-of-state tourists. Rattlesnakes are generally dormant by fall, but some might still be active at hot lower elevations, so be careful to look ahead before reaching behind a rock or stepping around things on desert trails. At mid-elevations, learn what poison oak and poison ivy look like. Three-leafed itchy misery, but highly photogenic red leaves in the fall. Ticks in brush in Oct are perhaps the biggest danger. If you wear light colored pants they are easier to spot. Not much of an issue higher up, or in bare desert, but you might encounter them somewhere in between in brush or meadows. They carry serious diseases. Read up on them in advance. Never camp at a Roadside Rest Stop - risk of weirdos. Just some simple precautions. I've taken many memorable trips to the Southwest, and in every single case, the biggest danger I faced was simply that first hour of crazy traffic getting away from the city.

  2. #42

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    9,129

    Re: American Southwest in full Autumn

    St. George is rather famous for being a speed trap.
    Here's some info on New Mexico's Enchanted Circle
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enchan...e_Scenic_Byway
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  3. #43

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    15

    Re: American Southwest in full Autumn

    That part of the world has too much too see
    I did a trip like that last year around the same time, I saw some nice fall colors in lower elevations in Zion and in Owens Valley (between Death Valley and Sierra Nevada). I start at Las Vegas, Valley of Fire (a few hours, nice) - Zion NP (5 days) - Page, Arizona (Antelope Canyon, touristy but still worth a visit if it fits, Horseshoe Bend, some other slot canyons, Alstrom Point) (2 days), Bryce Canyon (1 day, been there before), Death Valley (2 days), Alabama Hills (1 day), Ancient Bristlecone forrest (1 day, cool, thousands of years old trees, but I'd skip it probably if pressured for time), back to Las Vegas.
    All of this in 14 days, the car told me I'd driven for more than 45 hours, ie more than 3 hours per day, I was a bit shocked by that even though it made sense in hindsight!
    However, as a fellow European, where driving 30 minutes will bring you to the next town almost everywhere, possible even a different country, driving through all that space in the SW is part of the charm!
    I'd definitely suggest Zion NP because it has so much different scenery between the valley floor and the higher elevations, one of my favourites. Joshua Tree is (almost) on the way, great desert area. Bryce Canyon is lovely too, but I find the views a bit too similar so I wouldn't spend too much time. Bryce, Escalante (route 12), Arches, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, is a great loop (but pretty far from LA). Zion, Death Valley, Yosemite is nice one too. Etc, etc.

    Anyway, you are going to not have time for many places, but every place you do see will be awesome!

    Btw most gas stations have styrofoam coolers and ice, that's what I use to keep film cool, put .5 litre water bottles in your motel fridge every night, easier than loose ice. B&C Camera in Las Vegas has film, if you want lots or exotic I'd call ahead. B&H from New York might be able to ship to your hotel somewhere. I usually bring most film on the plain, no ill effects so far...
    Enjoy!

  4. #44

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    9,129

    Re: American Southwest in full Autumn

    A lot is going to depend on the weather. During the drought, Novembers have been quite mild. This year, not so much. The last weather report I heard predicted 3' of snow above 7,000' between Yosemite and Kings Canyon---and this coming at the tail end of March!
    I'd urge the OP to have in mind a few alternative itineraries---this is easy enough to do on a car trip as, photographically, it's all good in the 'hood
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  5. #45

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Peterborough, NH
    Posts
    31

    Re: American Southwest in full Autumn

    Lots of very good advice! My two cents: Since time is limited, Las Vegas is probably the best starting point (you may find that flights are cheaper there as well!). And while the major national parks are a strong draw (and deservedly so), they tend to be very crowded even in autumn and expensive. My advice would be to head for the lest touristy parts of the Four Corners (such as Valley of the Gods, Muley Point, Coyote Buttes, Natural Bridges, Hwy 12 from Escalante to Boulder, etc. - and you won't have to wait in line to get your shot (by the way Hells Backbone Grill [and Boulder Mountain Lodge] in Boulder are almost worth the entire visit)). For what it is worth, my wife and I travel to the SW every year for hiking and photography and we have two 'centers' that we alternate between. Both are in southern Utah - Boulder and Bluff. Whatever you choose to do in the Southwest, you won't be disappointed. Just don't try to do too much.

  6. #46

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Tucson AZ
    Posts
    1,564

    Re: American Southwest in full Autumn

    If the Four Corners area is of prime interest you could fly into Phoenix from LA and go through Sedona/oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff, then on to Painted Desert, Monument Valley, etc.

    Of course you could also see the Grand Canyon. Maybe not the easiest thing to photograph since its about 250 miles long and a mile deep, but it is pretty impressive to see.

    The Saguaro cactus near Tucson are interesting as well but as everyone has said, the distances are pretty great - honestly, you might be better off flying into some of the areas and staying a day or two then flying to your next area - you can spend 6 to 8 hours on the road from one end of Arizona to the other. This area can still be quite hot during October - make sure to carry a lot of water. Drink a lot. Because of the heat and the dry air and high altitudes you don't sweat - you just evaporate water. If you hike, carry more than you think you'll need and when a third of your water is gone turn around and head back to your car. Of course you'll leave more water in the care, right?

    People die in the desert every year for lack of water and just a year or two ago a German tourist had to be rescued within 20 miles of downtown Tucson. There's lots to see and it's a strangely beautiful place but don't underestimate how far it is between points of interest and how unforgiving the environment can be.

    By the way if you go to Sedona, there are good views of the red rocks from the Enchantment Resort - it's a posh place (Villa d'Este of the desert???) but you can make a lunch reservation and they'll let you through the gate and there are nice views from the restaurant terrace.

  7. #47

    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    North Italy
    Posts
    42

    Re: American Southwest in full Autumn

    Update
    So I figured out the places I want to see and planned a route accordingly thanks to your suggestions.
    1) Arrival at LAX at 4:50pm, pick up the Alamo rental at the airport
    2) Drive out of LA immediately, heading to the north side of Joshua Tree NP, spending the night in a motel in the Yucca valley on the State Route 62
    3) Next day spent visiting Joshua Tree NP
    4) Drive to Sedona
    5) Oak Creek Canyon
    6) Continue north to Flagstaff
    7) Hike up to Inner Basin
    8) Head to Grand Canyon NP and Red Canyon
    9) Continue north to Vermillion Cliffs National Monument
    10) Zion NP and US12 scenic byway
    11) Bryce NP
    12) Kodachrome Basin State Park
    13) Grand Staircase-Escalante
    14) Capitol Reef NP
    15) Canyonlands NP
    16) Down to Monument Valley
    17) Drive all the way back to California
    18) Close the loop by visiting Death Valley NP and possibly Sequoia NP before arriving to LAX

    Now, I don't know if this is too much stuff, but then again not all of these are intended for photography, they are merely touristic things to see once in a lifetime, so I don't intend to spend too much time there. I also plan to stop by motels along the road randomly or sort of, just not too far from the places in list. Among these, I just want to enjoy the road trip and improvise a bit.
    What would you improve/change?
    Also, I can imagine the traffic jam in LA when I arrive, do you think it's a good idea to leave as soon as I land? I'll most likely get stuck for hours I guess.

    Max

  8. #48
    Pieter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    299

    Re: American Southwest in full Autumn

    I don't know if this was mentioned in earlier posts, but Zion NP can get really crowded and is accessible only by shuttle during most of the year. There are trails and areas outside the park that are quite nice, though. https://www.alltrails.com/explore/pa...tional-park?ar[]=10106839

  9. #49
    Les
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Ex-Seattlelite living in PNW
    Posts
    1,128

    Re: American Southwest in full Autumn

    Arriving in the middle of rush hr in LA and on Fri. Ouch! Most likely it will take some time to take care of the veh rental. You can also space your meal/s, so doing that vs sitting in the traffic. Additionally, you can check out a supermarket to get the snacks/groc, drinks, and the cooler. You wrote initially that you'll get the film in LA or the area....or did you change your mind and taking the film with you ?

    Joshua can still be quite warm (85+)....even in the first week of Nov. Yet, it could snow in Bryce (it did on 11/3/14 when I was there). Flag is at 7K ft elevation and in the end of Oct you might get snow there too. But, you can always turn that into some interesting visuals.

    Overall, I'd rip to Sedona-Flag and skip Joshua....leaving it and DV at the end of the journey. Not sure when the aspens change leaves, but that would be a treat. Are you interested in seeing a Wave (Vermillion Cliffs) ? If so, you may have to give yourself more time, since the entrance is by permit only. There is also a really cool slot canyon nearby, tho it doesn't have the popularity of the Antelope.

    If that was me, I'd rip to the most far-away spot (from Flag ?), which would be Canyonlands, and work my way backwards. But, this park has two different spaces and they are some distance away. Ha, you may get distracted by Arches NP, which is also near Moab. If you have enough time, you could check "house on fire" ruins and Goosenecks - both are in proximity to Mon Valley. SW is fabulous and it would be hard to slash anything (at least for me). Good luck.

    The shuttle at Zion ends in the end of Oct (I think) - you should be able to contact Zion directly to find out details.

    Les

  10. #50

    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    North Italy
    Posts
    42

    Re: American Southwest in full Autumn

    Quote Originally Posted by Pieter View Post
    I don't know if this was mentioned in earlier posts, but Zion NP can get really crowded and is accessible only by shuttle during most of the year. There are trails and areas outside the park that are quite nice, though. https://www.alltrails.com/explore/pa...tional-park?ar[]=10106839
    I found this info here: https://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/conditions.htm
    In the 2019 Shuttle Schedule pdf you can download on that page, the shuttle seems to be active till sept 29th. Does that mean that in october or november I can access the park with my car on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive? Can anyone confirm?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leszek Vogt View Post
    Arriving in the middle of rush hr in LA and on Fri. Ouch! Most likely it will take some time to take care of the veh rental. You can also space your meal/s, so doing that vs sitting in the traffic. Additionally, you can check out a supermarket to get the snacks/groc, drinks, and the cooler. You wrote initially that you'll get the film in LA or the area....or did you change your mind and taking the film with you ?
    Yea I'm taking the "risk" and bring film with me in my carry-on. I thought so about the traffic in LA during that time, but assuming I get comfy after renting/some quick groceries shopping, does that idea sound too crazy? I know I'll be very tired, but I have really no business in LA so I would like to avoid wasting further time.

    Joshua can still be quite warm (85+)....even in the first week of Nov. Yet, it could snow in Bryce (it did on 11/3/14 when I was there). Flag is at 7K ft elevation and in the end of Oct you might get snow there too. But, you can always turn that into some interesting visuals.
    Overall, I'd rip to Sedona-Flag and skip Joshua....leaving it and DV at the end of the journey. Not sure when the aspens change leaves, but that would be a treat. Are you interested in seeing a Wave (Vermillion Cliffs) ? If so, you may have to give yourself more time, since the entrance is by permit only. There is also a really cool slot canyon nearby, tho it doesn't have the popularity of the Antelope.
    Oh yea the wave... I forgot about its troublesome access. I could skip it if it's too much of a trouble arranging the visit, it's also been photographed to death, but it would be still cool to see it once in my life. How does the permit work? I need to check out the official nps website...

    If that was me, I'd rip to the most far-away spot (from Flag ?), which would be Canyonlands, and work my way backwards. But, this park has two different spaces and they are some distance away. Ha, you may get distracted by Arches NP, which is also near Moab. If you have enough time, you could check "house on fire" ruins and Goosenecks - both are in proximity to Mon Valley. SW is fabulous and it would be hard to slash anything (at least for me). Good luck.
    I didn't know about House on Fire. What the hell, how many things do you guys have there? Now I get why they say Americans really have no need to leave the state.
    As you said I feel bad leaving things out the list, but I have to come down to compromises. I was thinking about moving in circle or sorta since LAX is both my starting and ending point.

    The shuttle at Zion ends in the end of Oct (I think) - you should be able to contact Zion directly to find out details.

    Les
    See above.

    Thanks Pieter and Les.
    Last edited by afxstudio; 5-May-2019 at 16:40.

Similar Threads

  1. American Southwest
    By jp in forum Location & Travel
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 15-May-2013, 22:29
  2. autumn
    By h2oman in forum Image Sharing (LF) & Discussion
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 25-Oct-2011, 20:44
  3. Autumn photos, anyone?
    By Michael Graves in forum On Photography
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 10-Oct-2008, 10:16
  4. Autumn in New England
    By John Cook in forum Location & Travel
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 22-Aug-2005, 19:49

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •