This is a 54 mile dirt and gravel road that reaches Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Southern Utah. It should be named “Hole In The Head Road” because you must have one to finish this. It begins near the town of Escalante and The Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument. The end of the road is Hole In The Rock, where Mormon settlers used a small gap in the sandstone to reach the Colorado River and beyond in order to settle into Southeastern Utah (More On The Hole in a later post).
The difficult to travel Hole In The Rock Road at The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah
Eroded sandstone is the predominate feature along The Hole In The Rock Road in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah
A full moon rises over the landscape at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah
Didn’t want to go up there!
No Uber or self driving cars needed here.
Looks like they missed the elusive steer!
Navajo Mountain stands out in the desert landscape of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah
A cactus flowers in early spring at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah
Desert Sand Verbena
Primitive camping allowed. No picnic tables and thankfully no large RV’s with noisy generators.
The only sound I heard here was the crackling of the fire and coyotes howling in the near distance.
The normal road I take to Eureka Dunes at Death Valley National Park was washed out. So I had to go around and wouldn’t make it to the dunes that night. So I camped at Alabama Hills near Lone Pine California. It has great views and the camping is free! And the full moon was to rise that night.
The moon rises over a campfire at Alabama Hills in the Owens Valley of California
The light from a full moon shines on The Sierra Nevada Mountains near Lone Pine, California
The sun rises over the eroded sandstone rocks of Alabama Hills in the Owens Valley of California
To get the shots I really wanted, I went out and bought a backpack. A tent. A stove. A mattress. A headlamp. A small pillow. A Jet Boil. A knife. Extra camera batteries. Matches. A wine bota. If you want to shoot in the golden light, miles from the nearest road, you’re just going to have to pitch a tent and spend the night. It’s difficult to shoot around sunset and high tail it back to your car in the dark especially if you have to negotiate dangerous terrain. I’ve tried that in the past and ended up getting lost in the dark by losing the trail. The shots below were taken during various backpacking trips.
You have to backpack 10 miles to get to Havasu Canyon. There aren’t any roads to the Indian Village at Supai. But it’s worth the effort.
To get to the top of Mt. Whitney in California, it’s a 22 mile round trip death march as a day hike with a 6,000 foot elevation gain. I’ve completed that but also a 3 day backpack where you can move slowly and plan some great shots such as this one early in the morning.
From the top of Mt. Whitney. You can’t drive your car to this spot. No gondolas either.
Backpacking on some of the lesser-used trails at Yosemite gives you different looks of the iconic Half-Dome. We were nearing the end of a 65 mile backpack and the last mile was all uphill. Figures.
Camping in the back country at Grand Teton National Park will afford some epic sunset shots.
Trekking through the Andes in Peru gets you to spots that most people can’t access. This is the Salkanty Pass at around 15,000 feet
Couldn’t chew enough cocoa leaves to counter the effects of the altitude. That’s Nevado Salkanty at over 20,500 feet. No roads here either. There were Peruvian women selling Snickers bars and warm beer along the 30 mile route. You dunk the Snickers in the beer.
Utah’s Coyote Gulch provides a passage through tilting sandstone cliffs and water-carved alcoves. The next shot of Jacob Hamlin Arch produces fiery reds and golds but only at sunset
And when you arrive at your destination, you can slip off the pack and enjoy the sunset. Grebe Lake, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming