After a long year in 2020, my family and I were eager to hit the road for a proper family road trip. I am sure many families felt the same way after the craziness of 2020 (unfortunately the pandemic continues into year 2022).
I am the vacation planner in our family. I have always wanted to explore Utah, especially the national parks. After some research, I found that the best way to do that was to rent a fully loaded sprinter camper van. So I loaded up our two mini dachshunds (they love traveling) and family from our home in Denver during Spring Break of March 2021. We timed it just right as we escaped a huge late season winter storm that slammed into Colorado. The camper van worked out so well. It allowed us to take our time at the locations we visited without worrying about changing lodging. It was also comforting to know that we had a little home on wheels.
Our first stop after arriving in Moab, Utah was to check out Arches National Park. Pets are not allowed on the trails at the national parks so we were limited to driving through the park and pulling over at the various overlooks. The views here exceeded my expectations. A storm had just cleared, making the reds and oranges of the landscape pop even more. Magnificent rock formations and canyons stretched for miles. While I did not get a chance to explore much on foot, I did manage to photograph these two scenes.
Next up was Canyonlands. On a whim, I drove to this overlook which I had never heard of before. Imagine my surprise when I first saw this the winding river in this massive canyon. It was an incredible sight to see for the first time. The clouds and light were not ideal for a typical wide angle shot so I used my long lens to focus in on this composition. Hard to believe how time and some water can transform a landscape in such a dramatic way.
I must say how fortunate I was with great light during our drive through Canyonlands. Again, we traveled through the national park after a rain storm. I knew from experience that there was a good chance of good light after the storm cleared. I was not disappointed.
I had no time to setup a tripod so these are all quick handheld images. I know why they call this place the land of canyons because the deep canyons and bluffs were unbelievable.
This state park near Canyon Lands was equally impressive and less busy. I was able to secure a camp site for the night. I have some wonderful memories of camping here. Pets are allowed on the trails so we were finally able to explore more on foot. One of the highlights of the trip was hiking with my son. I let him borrow my Sony APSC camera while I had used my main Sony one. He loved shooting the canyon views during our hike. Below is the composition he photographed showcasing the evaporation ponds surrounded by mountains and rock formations.
Since I did not have much time to setup my shots, I had to pick out my compositions quickly. This beautiful view shows how deep the canyons are. Photos do not do this place justice with respect to showing the grandness. I included the tourists on the upper right for scale.
I will be sharing the rest of my Utah trip in a future article. I hope you enjoyed reading about my experiences exploring Utah during my family road trip.
If you have any questions, please let me know and thanks in advance for your support.