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Utah Backcountry

Discussion in 'Wanderlust and Travel' started by Kevinlee, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. Back at the end of April I had won a free roundtrip airline ticket. I chose to fly into vegas, rent a jeep and travel to southcentral utah to camp for the next 4 days while I make the journey back to vegas to depart.

    My first destination was near Hanksville, UT at a place known as Burr Point. It took 6 hours to drive there and I encountered some wonderful scenes.

    NIKON D70s    ---    500mm    f/6.3    1/500s    ISO 200

    The dropoff at Burr Point is approx 2,000ft to the bottom of the canyon. This area is very remote and is the path less taken. And although I didnt arrive until sundown, watching the moon go across the sky lighting up the canyon and nearby Henry mountains, it was wonderful.

    NIKON D80    ---    11mm    f/5.6    30s    ISO 400

    Morning was glorious too as the warm sun peeked over the horizon, the canyon rocks turned all sorts of colors.

    NIKON D80    ---    50mm    f/7.1    1/320s    ISO 200

    This next day I was going to travel through dirt roads on my way to the town of Escalante and take the Smoky Mountain road through Grand Staircase. Driving through Capitol Reef NP, I took the dirt road that is less traveled. I didnt see another human for 3 days.

    NIKON D80    ---    10mm    f/7.1    1/500s    ISO 200

    Once I passed Escalante, I entered Grand Staircase and I did not know that it would take 4 hours to travel 68 miles. The road was trecherous. This next photo does not do justice as the incline was about 30 degrees

    NIKON D70s    ---    18mm    f/9.0    1/200s    ISO 200

    Once I reached my destination at the edge of Grand Staircase, I had a wonderful view of the town of Page AZ off in the distance. The sunset was wonderful.

    NIKON D70s    ---    10mm    f/4.0    30s    ISO 800

    NIKON D70s    ---    10mm    f/7.1    30s    ISO 800

    The next morning was cool but as the sun rose, it created alot of drama across the landscape.

    NIKON D70s    ---    65mm    f/10.0    1/400s    ISO 200

    NIKON D70s    ---    32mm    f/10.0    1/200s    ISO 200

    I traveled to Page AZ wanting to visit Antelope Canyon and took a short pitstop to visit horseshoe bend. WOW!!! what a view. Watch your step!

    NIKON D70s    ---    14mm    f/10.0    1/500s    ISO 200

    how I got the above shot.
    NIKON D80    ---    85mm    f/9.0    1/125s    ISO 200

    I was finally able to visit Antelope Canyon after a couple of hours wait. What I didnt expect was the time of day I went was perfect as the sun created those wonderful light beams.

    NIKON D70s    ---    17mm    f/20.0    8s    ISO 200

    NIKON D70s    ---    10mm    f/7.1    13s    ISO 200

    NIKON D70s    ---    10mm    f/13.0    8s    ISO 200

    After I left I headed towards the Vermillian Cliffs where I ran into some horses and a California Condor near the Colorado River.

    NIKON D80    ---    165mm    f/9.0    1/500s    ISO 200

    NIKON D80    ---    500mm    f/9.0    1/80s    ISO 200

    The Condors have been radio tagged for tracking.

    A few hours later I was headed back to Nevada for my last night and along the way stopped through Zion NP.

    NIKON D70s    ---    22mm    f/9.0    1/80s    ISO 200

    NIKON D70s    ---    18mm    f/10.0    1/25s    ISO 200

    Then it was off to the Valley of Fire state park for my last night. I didnt arrive until sundown but the sunsets and moon reflecting off the rocks were wonderful.

    NIKON D70s    ---    18mm    f/3.5    3s    ISO 200

    NIKON D70s    ---    18mm    f/3.5    176s    ISO 250

    That night it was warmer than the previous nights which I was not expecting. And encounters with a baby rattlesnake, bats, and black widows did not boost my confidence nor make place for a comfortable evening.

    The next day, I drove the 50 miles to Vegas airport and headed home. I hope you enjoyed the read as much as I enjoyed the writing.
  2. Wow, what a wonderful series, Kevin. The narration adds to the enjoyment. I did a quick (3 day) trip to Utah in May and just loved the place - it's so photogenic! I love your Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon shots. :smile:
  3. Thank you very much!
  4. Daniel-Swe

    Daniel-Swe Guest

    So nice! Beautiful!
    I have to look real hard to find landscape like that in Sweden... :smile:


    Nov 29, 2006
    To say I'm jealous would be a gross understatement!!
    Great story and pictures.
  6. I love southern Utah. I sure enjoyed your photos and commentary. Don't think I will be camping out with the rattlesnakes and black widows, though. Glad you did and got the photos.
  7. Great series and storyline Kevin. What a trip you had!!
  8. This is a very nice entry for the wanderlust page - so much better than the one or two photos with no narration we often get. Sounds like quite an adventure!

    I explored some of those roads in my Jeep Wagoneer back in '94, but never stayed overnight.
  9. snownow


    Jul 13, 2006
    so cal
    Very nice set! I really need to take a vacation......
  10. you hear alot of things in the middle of the night.. for hours it will be so calm.. then a huge gust of wind will blow for 5-10 seconds and then calm again. One thing that I plan for during a back country trip is.. a full moon. During the early evening hours, the moon illuminates the landscape creating some unique opportunties.. toward morning, 4 oclockish.. the moon sets and the stars show all their glory. The area to the southeast of Burr Point around Natural bridges national monument has been rated as the place for the darkest skies in the US by some astronomical society.
  11. murreywalker


    Mar 25, 2005
    I'm jealous, Kevin!

    You got a lot of great stuff from one of my favorite places on the planet.

  12. LindaZ


    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    I've been through N. Utah, and it's one of my favorite states, along with South Dakota and Wyoming.

    There's something about the wast areas of these states that takes your breath away. Thanks for bringing back memories.

    I would like to see S. Utah too!

    Wonderful images. btw-my husband Kevin is also from Davenport, IA. lol
  13. Sounds like a fun trip and you were really off into some rugged territory. Being from southern Utah I could appreciate where you have been and the nice series of pictures you got.
  14. Howdy Kevin,

    Great post!! Looks like you had a blast. Beautiful part of the country. I've only been to Canyonlands and Zion but am hoping to see more some day.

    Heading off to Zion after lunch today!
  15. Sancho


    May 21, 2007
    Arkansas & Belize
    Great Photos. Utah & Nevada are fun places to visit.
    Been wanting to get Horseshoe Bend.
  16. Bob Mohr

    Bob Mohr

    Oct 20, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    What a wonderful adventure.
    However, if anyone is planning to take this trip, I would not recommend seeing the film "The Hills Have Eyes," before you go.
  17. Arif

    Arif Guest

    Great narration and pictures. It was a pleasure to read and see them.
  18. FishSauce


    Aug 10, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Those pictures of the light shine through the antelope are very special. Just beautiful
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