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 etcetera. This is some of the best photography the USA has to offer and at an ideal time. We hope you’ll consider joining us.
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 etcetera.
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 by John.
Grand Junction, 1 night
Day 13 | Departure day
As there is no photography scheduled for the day of departure, your flight home can be arranged for any time today.
Photography Tour Cost, the Fine Details and Enrollment
Trip Cost: $TBD 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. Pay a
deposit, or your full trip balance
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 [ensuite]
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, field notes describing the time, place and subject of each photo stop, and a disc containing images of clients 'in action' on the trip
Not Included in the Trip Cost: The costs for these items are the responsibility of each participant . . .
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
Entrance fees or costs related to optional sites or activities not included in the itinerary
Personal items such as the hotel mini-bar, laundry etcetera
Incidental charges incurred at our accommodations such as movie rentals, internet and phone
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