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American Southwest Icons Photography Tour: Itinerary 5 . . . July

UTAH, ARIZONA, COLORADO: Monument Valley, Canyonlands NP, Arches NP, Mesa Verde NP, Telluride, Silverton, Maroon Bells, Crystal Mill, and Crested Butte


 July: This photography tour is not currently in the schedule, but can be added by request

  12 nights/13 inclusive days  |  Maximum of 8 participants, and a minimum of 3 participants

  $5,664 USD per person  |  Single Supplement: 14% of the base cost of the trip

  The deposit for this photography tour is $300. Make a deposit, or pay your tour balance here

  Explore our discounts for client loyalty, early enrollment, 2 trips in 12 months, referrals and more

  Do you have a question? Ask us via email: Click here
  Grand Junction, Colorado [GJT]
  Arrival window: For a variety of travel related reasons, arriving one day early is recommended
  Search fares at Kayak, Skyscanner, Orbitz, Google Flights or your favorite airline
American Southwest Icons photo gallery - Shared gallery with the October tour
  Map of overnight locations
  Client responses to our photo tours
  For the single supplement, cancellation policy and enrollment guidance see below

This photo tour will run with one or more participants. Please note that our group limit is not a requirement!  8 places are available at this time
  Updated: Saturday the 27th of May, 2023

This photo tour has sufficient enrollments, and is a 'go'. However, do please consult with us prior to arranging your travel for the trip!  Indicates that we have sufficient enrollments and the trip is a 'go'
This photo tour will run with one or more participants. Please note that our group limit is not a requirement!  Indicates that this trip requires the minimum number of participants as indicated on line two above



              Enroll for our photo tour              Email your photo tour question


Photography Tour Overview:
The red rock of Canyonlands, Arches and Monument Valley, combined with the grandeur of Colorado’s peaks accented by valleys of wildflowers. Also Mesa Verde, Telluride, Crested Butte, ghost towns, wildlife and more. This itinerary combines the best of Utah’s red-rock country plus the peaks, canyons and valleys of Colorado. Oh, and a chunk of Arizona too! It comprises of breathtaking scenery that includes canyons, towering monoliths, 14,000 foot mountains, ghost towns and rapid-strewn rivers et cetera. This is some of the best photography the USA has to offer and at an ideal time. As with all of our photography tours, early and late shooting is scheduled for each day.


Our itinerary . . .
But first things first! We suggest that you set your camera's clock to the local time, as your images will then synchronize with the times in our included photo tour field notes.


Days 1 + 2  |  Aspen, Maroon Bells, Independence Pass and Ghost Towns
Our Utah and Colorado photography tour will get under way at 11 am. We'll then go east to Glenwood Springs and pause for the included lunch, and a digital orientation of images you can expect to take on the trip. We’ll make stops for good light on surrounding mountain ranges and continue on to the resort town of Aspen to check-in to our accommodations. For the late light we’ll be at Maroon Bells and on the look-out for Marmot, Mule Deer and Moose. Maroon Bells looks even better at dawn and we’ll be there on day 2 to photograph the spectacle of the 14,014’ peak stands of bright green Aspen. For the remainder of our time here we’ll explore Aspen grove symmetry, Independence Pass, and the ghost towns of Ashcroft and Independence et cetera.
Aspen, 2 nights


Day 3  |  Marble, Crystal Mill, McClure Pass, Kebler Pass and Crested Butte
More early light photography around Aspen, then breakfast and on west via the brick kilns of Redstone to Marble which is where the marble for the Lincoln Memorial was quarried. From here we'll take a 4WD detour over rugged terrain for the classic Crystal Mill shot on the Crystal River. South, then east toward Crested Butte via McClure and Kebler Passes which places us on the south side of Maroon Bells. This is exceptional wildflower country and wide expanses of color will make for striking foregrounds for Ruby mountain range shots. On to Crested Butte for the night.
Crested Butte, 1 night


Day 4  |  Dallas Divide, Ouray, the Million Dollar Highway and Silverton
First light around Gothic, plus we'll also photo-explore flower-laden Washington Gulch prior to departing the region. Shots of Blue Mesa reservoir in the Curecanti national recreation area as we make our way to some superb photography on the Dallas Divide. Things start with the San Juan Mountains topped by Mt. Sneffels at 14,150’, and continue with rustic fences, Mule Deer sightings and more terrific scenery on a back road loaded with great shots that always slow our descent into Telluride. Evening light from the Last Dollar Road will be memorable with Mt. Wilson and old barns being the main attractions.
Telluride, 1 night


Day 5  |  Dallas Divide, Ouray, the Million Dollar Highway and Silverton
First light on 14,017’ Mt. Wilson to start our day, then following breakfast we’ll go south from Telluride for yet more fabulous mountain vistas. We'll turn towards Silverton, and once again we'll progress slowly over the Dallas Divide with many photo-stops scheduled.  Ouray is next for street scenes, and the 'roof-top' view plus a detour to nearby Box Canyon falls.  We’ll then continue south and traverse the 'Million Dollar Highway’ with photography stops on Red Mountain Pass. On to the old mining community of Silverton for the night. Silverton hasn’t changed a whole lot since those gold-mining heydays of the late 1800’s, and the flavor of the old west is guaranteed.
Silverton, 1 night


Day 6  |  Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Mesa Verde National Park
Shots of Silverton and surrounding peaks bathed in the early light, and following breakfast we'll explore Silverton . . . and most likely bump into some infamous town characters! At midday we rendezvous with the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad locomotive for a series of pictures prior to continuing south on the ‘Million Dollar Highway’ to Durango. On west to Mesa Verde National Park to check-in, and venture out for photography at the Spruce Tree House ruins.
Mesa Verde NP, 1 night


Days 7 + 8  |  Mesa Verde, Goosenecks State Park and Monument Valley Tribal Park
The 4,000 plus sandstone ruins of cliff dwellings formerly inhabited by the Anasazi Indians at Mesa Verde will provide many classic shots again this morning. There are cliff and canyon views, plus several points of interest among the dwellings built 600-1300 AD, and we'll take a guided tour among the largest collection at Cliff Palace. Expect some stair and ladder climbing for your photo opportunities. This will be a unique day inasmuch that we’ll start in Colorado, and pass through New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. On via Goosenecks State Park on the San Juan River, and 'Milepost 13' to Monument Valley for the late light on this most incredible of array of red rock.
On day 8 our photography will commence at dawn at the Mittens view. For the remainder of the day you will be guided around Monument Valley by a local Navajo and John, and record many classic scenes taking our time get the very best from each situation.
Monument Valley Tribal Park, 2 nights


Days 9, 10 + 11  |  Natural Bridges NM, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks
At dawn, a last look at the Mittens as they are touched by the first light. As we depart the Monument Valley area we'll pause for a pair of classic horizon scenes, and then go north to Natural Bridges National Monument. As the name suggests, the park contains naturally carved arches that were centuries in the making. We make one last detour today for Newspaper Rock, and then on north to Moab via Wilson Arch. Accommodation check-in will be followed by a late light visit to Arches National Park if time permits.
On days 10 and 11 we’ll photo-explore the highlights of both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Early and late light in Arches National Park is scheduled, and the strenuous hike for the last light on Delicate Arch will be most worthwhile. Dawn at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands is also outstanding, and a veritable classic sunrise image.
Moab, 3 nights


Day 12  |  Colorado River, Castle Valley and the Colorado National Monument
We’ll ‘mop-up’ around Moab photographically speaking this morning, and then depart toward Grand Junction. Taking the scenic route we’ll follow the Colorado River, and detour into Castle Valley for 'Monument Valleyesque' mesas. Then back to the Colorado River and on via Fisher Towers to the winding Rim Rock Drive which takes us through the unsung but no less spectacular Colorado National Monument. The included dinner on the last night of our photography tour will feature an 'It's You!' presentation of clients in action on this tour by John.
Grand Junction, 1 night


Day 13  |  Departure day
As there isn't any photography scheduled for the day of departure on this trip, your flight home can be arranged for any time today. Transport to the airport is included unless you’re staying on for a day or more.


Photo Tour Photographer/Leader: John Baker, Travel Images Photography Tours
The preceding itinerary is a copyrighted work by John Baker Photographer LLC, and Travel Images Photography Tours



Enhancing Your Photography Skills

Describing the assistance you'll receive on one of our photography tours takes more than a few words, so for greater detail please go here.


Exertion level: This photography tour is classified as 'mildly strenuous' to 'strenuous'

Mesa Verde National Park: Moderately strenuous, plus ladder climbs if so inclined

Delicate Arch image: Strenuous

Landscape Arch image: Mildly to moderately strenuous based upon distance and temperature on the day

Turret Arch image: Short strenuous scramble at the end of a moderately strenuous ascent of steps

Mesa Arch image: Mildly to moderately strenuous

In every other respect this photography tour is considered non-strenuous to mildly strenuous


Do you need a Visa for travel to the United States?
Travelers from all countries can do a quick check of visa requirements here or here
Our international clients may need to contact the embassy of their intended destination in their own country for a visa. Go here or here



Photography Tour Cost, Deposit, Cancellation Policy and Enrollment Guidance

Trip Cost: $5,664 USD per person not including airfare. A 5% discount is applied to all double occupancies. A single room supplement is required for single occupancy

Single Supplement: 14% of the base cost of the trip


The deposit for this photography tour is $300. Make a deposit, or pay your tour balance here


Cancellation policy: Go here

Enrollment guidance: Go here



Included in the Trip Cost: The following items are included in the trip cost . . .

  • Photography instruction throughout the trip by John

  • All accommodations with private facilities [en-suite]

  • All breakfasts

  • Lunch on day one of the trip

  • Dinner on the last night of the trip

  • On-vehicle snacks and bottled water

  • All ground transportation

  • Airport pick-up on day 1, and drop-off on departure day. Arrival prior to day 1 is not included

  • Entrance fees for sites and activities listed below under ‘Admissions Included’

  • Following the trip you'll receive detailed field notes describing the time, place and subject of each photo stop, plus image uploads to a private web page of clients 'in action' on the trip

Not Included in the Trip Cost: The costs for these items are the responsibility of each participant . . .

  • Airfare

  • Travel costs between your home and the gateway airport and return

  • Any transportation or travel costs incurred prior to or after the tour’s inclusive dates

  • Pre-tour and/or post-tour accommodation

  • Lunches and dinners except for lunch on day one of the trip, and dinner on the last night of the trip

  • Alcoholic beverages

  • Entrance fees or costs related to optional sites or activities not included in the itinerary

  • Baggage fees

  • Medical expenses

  • Personal items such as the hotel mini-bar, laundry et cetera

  • Incidental charges incurred at our accommodations such as movie rentals, internet and phone

  • Travel insurance

  • Passport or visa expenses

  • Airport departure taxes, if applicable

Admissions Included in the Trip Cost:

  • Admission to Mesa Verde, Canyonlands and Arches National Parks is included in our Commercial Organization, Commercial Tour Fees, and/or a Commercial Use Authorization [CUA] permit

  • 4WD transport to the Crystal Mill near Marble

  • Monument Valley Tribal Park

  • Natural Bridges National Monument

  • Colorado National Monument

  • All other possible rides, admissions or excursions are optional and not included

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Travel Images Photography Tours: Guided Landscape, Natural History, Macro and Wildlife Photography Tours
Email  |  Phone: [+1] 208-559-8248 | Postal: Travel Images, P.O. Box 939, Middleton, Idaho 83644-0939