Photography of the American Southwest

Grand Canyon, Arches, Zion, Death Valley, Canyonlands and many others

Beautiful images from the American Southwest, including Utah, Arizona, California, Nevada and New Mexico

The Wave, an area of fantastic eroded sandstone featuring beautiful swirls, wild colors, countless striations, and bizarre shapes set amidst the dramatic surrounding North Coyote Buttes of Arizona and Utah.  The sandstone formations of the North Coyote Buttes, including the Wave, date from the Jurassic period. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Wave is located in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness and is accessible on foot by permit only
The Wave, an area of fantastic eroded sandstone featuring beautiful swirls, wild colors, countless striations, and bizarre shapes set amidst the dramatic surrounding North Coyote Buttes of Arizona and Utah. The sandstone formations of the North Coyote Buttes, including the Wave, date from the Jurassic period. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Wave is located in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness and is accessible on foot by permit only.
The Second Wave at Sunset, North Coyote Buttes.  The Second Wave, a curiously-shaped sandstone swirl, takes on rich warm tones and dramatic shadowed textures at sunset.  Set in the North Coyote Buttes of Arizona and Utah, the Second Wave is characterized by striations revealing layers of sedimentary deposits, a visible historical record depicting eons of submarine geology, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness
The Second Wave at Sunset, North Coyote Buttes. The Second Wave, a curiously-shaped sandstone swirl, takes on rich warm tones and dramatic shadowed textures at sunset. Set in the North Coyote Buttes of Arizona and Utah, the Second Wave is characterized by striations revealing layers of sedimentary deposits, a visible historical record depicting eons of submarine geology.
Waterfall at Temple of Sinawava during peak flow following spring rainstorm.  Zion Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah
Waterfall at Temple of Sinawava during peak flow following spring rainstorm. Zion Canyon.
Extended High Mountain pose, Utthita Tadasana, sunrise on Mesa Arch, Utah.  An exuberant hiker greets the dawning sun from atop Mesa Arch, Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park
Extended High Mountain pose, Utthita Tadasana, sunrise on Mesa Arch, Utah. An exuberant hiker greets the dawning sun from atop Mesa Arch.
Milky Way and Shooting Star over Delicate Arch, as stars cover the night sky. (Note: this image was created before a ban on light-painting in Arches National Park was put into effect.  Light-painting is no longer permitted in Arches National Park)
Milky Way and Shooting Star over Delicate Arch, as stars cover the night sky. (Note: this image was created before a ban on light-painting in Arches National Park was put into effect. Light-painting is no longer permitted in Arches National Park).
Tiny hikers atop Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park, California.  Near Stovepipe Wells lies a region of sand dunes, some of them hundreds of feet tall
Tiny hikers atop Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park, California. Near Stovepipe Wells lies a region of sand dunes, some of them hundreds of feet tall.
Hiker in North Window, sunset, western face.  North Window is a natural sandstone arch 90 feet wide and 48 feet high, Arches National Park, Utah
Hiker in North Window, sunset, western face. North Window is a natural sandstone arch 90 feet wide and 48 feet high.
Milky Way over the Watchman, Zion National Park.  The Milky Way galaxy rises in the night sky above the the Watchman
Milky Way over the Watchman, Zion National Park. The Milky Way galaxy rises in the night sky above the the Watchman.
Light Beam in Upper Antelope Slot Canyon.  Thin shafts of light briefly penetrate the convoluted narrows of Upper Antelope Slot Canyon, sending piercing beams through the sandstone maze to the sand floor below, Navajo Tribal Lands, Page, Arizona
Light Beam in Upper Antelope Slot Canyon. Thin shafts of light briefly penetrate the convoluted narrows of Upper Antelope Slot Canyon, sending piercing beams through the sandstone maze to the sand floor below.
The Wave at Night, under a clear night sky full of stars.  Photographer is illuminating the striated rocks with a small handheld light. The Wave, an area of fantastic eroded sandstone featuring beautiful swirls, wild colors, countless striations, and bizarre shapes set amidst the dramatic surrounding North Coyote Buttes of Arizona and Utah. The sandstone formations of the North Coyote Buttes, including the Wave, date from the Jurassic period. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Wave is located in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness and is accessible on foot by permit only
The Wave at Night, under a clear night sky full of stars. Photographer is illuminating the striated rocks with a small handheld light. The Wave, an area of fantastic eroded sandstone featuring beautiful swirls, wild colors, countless striations, and bizarre shapes set amidst the dramatic surrounding North Coyote Buttes of Arizona and Utah. The sandstone formations of the North Coyote Buttes, including the Wave, date from the Jurassic period. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Wave is located in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness and is accessible on foot by permit only.
The Tree of Eons, a spectacular dendritic formation in the Bentonic Hills of Utah. Fantastic colorful sedimentary patterns, ancient Bentonite layers are exposed through erosion in the Utah Badlands. The Bentonite Hills are composed of the Brushy Basin shale member of the Morrison Formation. This layer was formed during Jurassic times when mud, silt, fine sand, and volcanic ash were deposited in swamps and lakes.  Photographed just before sunrise with soft pre-dawn illumination. Aerial panoramic photograph
The Tree of Eons, a spectacular dendritic formation in the Bentonic Hills of Utah. Fantastic colorful sedimentary patterns, ancient Bentonite layers are exposed through erosion in the Utah Badlands. The Bentonite Hills are composed of the Brushy Basin shale member of the Morrison Formation. This layer was formed during Jurassic times when mud, silt, fine sand, and volcanic ash were deposited in swamps and lakes. Photographed just before sunrise with soft pre-dawn illumination. Aerial panoramic photograph.
A hiker admiring the striated walls and dramatic light within Antelope Canyon, a deep narrow slot canyon formed by water and wind erosion, Navajo Tribal Lands, Page, Arizona
A hiker admiring the striated walls and dramatic light within Antelope Canyon, a deep narrow slot canyon formed by water and wind erosion.
A hiker greets the dawn, with Turret Arch in the distance viewed through North Window at Sunrise, Arches National Park, Utah
A hiker greets the dawn, with Turret Arch in the distance viewed through North Window at Sunrise.
Light Painting and the Milky Way and Stars over Delicate Arch, at night, Arches National Park, Utah (Note: this image was created before a ban on light-painting in Arches National Park was put into effect.  Light-painting is no longer permitted in Arches National Park)
Light Painting and the Milky Way and Stars over Delicate Arch, at night, Arches National Park, Utah (Note: this image was created before a ban on light-painting in Arches National Park was put into effect. Light-painting is no longer permitted in Arches National Park).
Dune Evening Primrose bloom in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, during the 2017 Superbloom, Oenothera deltoides, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, California
Dune Evening Primrose bloom in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, during the 2017 Superbloom.
The Wave, an area of fantastic eroded sandstone featuring beautiful swirls, wild colors, countless striations, and bizarre shapes set amidst the dramatic surrounding North Coyote Buttes of Arizona and Utah.  The sandstone formations of the North Coyote Buttes, including the Wave, date from the Jurassic period. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Wave is located in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness and is accessible on foot by permit only
The Wave, an area of fantastic eroded sandstone featuring beautiful swirls, wild colors, countless striations, and bizarre shapes set amidst the dramatic surrounding North Coyote Buttes of Arizona and Utah. The sandstone formations of the North Coyote Buttes, including the Wave, date from the Jurassic period. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Wave is located in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness and is accessible on foot by permit only.
Owachomo Bridge and Milky Way.  Owachomo Bridge, a natural stone bridge standing 106' high and spanning 130' wide,stretches across a canyon with the Milky Way crossing the night sky, Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah
Owachomo Bridge and Milky Way. Owachomo Bridge, a natural stone bridge standing 106' high and spanning 130' wide,stretches across a canyon with the Milky Way crossing the night sky.
Panorama of the Milky Way over Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Panorama of the Milky Way over Mesa Arch.
Mesquite Dunes sunrise, dawn, clouds and morning sky, sand dunes, Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park, California
Mesquite Dunes sunrise, dawn, clouds and morning sky, sand dunes.
The Second Wave at Sunset, Vermillion Cliffs. The Second Wave, a curiously-shaped sandstone swirl, takes on rich warm tones and dramatic shadowed textures at sunset. Set in the North Coyote Buttes of Arizona and Utah, the Second Wave is characterized by striations revealing layers of sedimentary deposits, a visible historical record depicting eons of submarine geology, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness
The Second Wave at Sunset, Vermillion Cliffs. The Second Wave, a curiously-shaped sandstone swirl, takes on rich warm tones and dramatic shadowed textures at sunset. Set in the North Coyote Buttes of Arizona and Utah, the Second Wave is characterized by striations revealing layers of sedimentary deposits, a visible historical record depicting eons of submarine geology.
The Virgin River flows by autumn cottonwood trees, part of the Virgin River Narrows.  This is a fantastic hike in fall with the comfortable temperatures, beautiful fall colors and light crowds, Zion National Park, Utah
The Virgin River flows by autumn cottonwood trees, part of the Virgin River Narrows. This is a fantastic hike in fall with the comfortable temperatures, beautiful fall colors and light crowds.
Landscape Arch and Milky Way, stars rise over the arch at night. (Note: this image was created before a ban on light-painting in Arches National Park was put into effect.  Light-painting is no longer permitted in Arches National Park)
Landscape Arch and Milky Way, stars rise over the arch at night. (Note: this image was created before a ban on light-painting in Arches National Park was put into effect. Light-painting is no longer permitted in Arches National Park).
Milky Way at Night over Arch Rock, Joshua Tree National Park
Milky Way at Night over Arch Rock, Joshua Tree National Park.
The Virgin River Narrows, where the Virgin River has carved deep, narrow canyons through the Zion National Park sandstone, creating one of the finest hikes in the world
The Virgin River Narrows, where the Virgin River has carved deep, narrow canyons through the Zion National Park sandstone, creating one of the finest hikes in the world.
West Temple, The Sundial and the Altar of Sacrifice illuminated by soft alpenglow, about 20 minutes before sunrise, Zion National Park, Utah
West Temple, The Sundial and the Altar of Sacrifice illuminated by soft alpenglow, about 20 minutes before sunrise.
Lunar Eclipse and blood red moon sequence over Arch Rock, planet Mars above the moon, composite image, Joshua Tree National Park, April 14/15 2014
Lunar Eclipse and blood red moon sequence over Arch Rock, planet Mars above the moon, composite image, Joshua Tree National Park, April 14/15 2014.
Delicate Arch at Sunset, Arches National Park
Delicate Arch at Sunset, Arches National Park.
Fall Colors in the Virgin River Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah
Fall Colors in the Virgin River Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah.
Wildflowers bloom across Carrizo Plains National Monument, during the 2017 Superbloom, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
Wildflowers bloom across Carrizo Plains National Monument, during the 2017 Superbloom.
Cholla cactus, brittlebush, ocotillo and various cacti and wildflowers color the sides of Glorietta Canyon.  Heavy winter rains led to a historic springtime bloom in 2005, carpeting the entire desert in vegetation and color for months, Encelia farinosa, Fouquieria splendens, Opuntia, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, California
Cholla cactus, brittlebush, ocotillo and various cacti and wildflowers color the sides of Glorietta Canyon. Heavy winter rains led to a historic springtime bloom in 2005, carpeting the entire desert in vegetation and color for months.
Mesa Arch spans 90 feet and stands at the edge of a mesa precipice thousands of feet above the Colorado River gorge. For a few moments at sunrise the underside of the arch glows dramatically red and orange, Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Mesa Arch spans 90 feet and stands at the edge of a mesa precipice thousands of feet above the Colorado River gorge. For a few moments at sunrise the underside of the arch glows dramatically red and orange.
Rainbow and clearing storm clouds, sunrise light on Manly Beacon, Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park, California
Rainbow and clearing storm clouds, sunrise light on Manly Beacon, Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park, California.
Milky Way over the Watchman, Zion National Park.  The Milky Way galaxy rises in the night sky above the the Watchman
Milky Way over the Watchman, Zion National Park. The Milky Way galaxy rises in the night sky above the the Watchman.
Archangel Falls in autumn, near the Subway in North Creek Canyon, with maples and cottonwoods turning fall colors, Zion National Park, Utah
Archangel Falls in autumn, near the Subway in North Creek Canyon, with maples and cottonwoods turning fall colors.
Spectacular Horseshoe Bend sunrise. The Colorado River makes a 180-degree turn at Horseshoe Bend. Here the river has eroded the Navajo sandstone for eons, digging a canyon 1100-feet deep, Page, Arizona
Spectacular Horseshoe Bend sunrise. The Colorado River makes a 180-degree turn at Horseshoe Bend. Here the river has eroded the Navajo sandstone for eons, digging a canyon 1100-feet deep.
Milky Way and Stars over Broken Arch, Arches National Park, Utah (Note: this image was created before a ban on light-painting in Arches National Park was put into effect.  Light-painting is no longer permitted in Arches National Park)
Milky Way and Stars over Broken Arch, Arches National Park, Utah (Note: this image was created before a ban on light-painting in Arches National Park was put into effect. Light-painting is no longer permitted in Arches National Park).
Brittlebush blooms in spring, Palm Canyon, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, Encelia farinosa, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, California
Brittlebush blooms in spring, Palm Canyon, Anza Borrego Desert State Park.
Sailing stone on the Racetrack Playa. The sliding rocks, or sailing stones, move across the mud flats of the Racetrack Playa, leaving trails behind in the mud. The explanation for their movement is not known with certainty, but many believe wind pushes the rocks over wet and perhaps icy mud in winter, Death Valley National Park, California
Sailing stone on the Racetrack Playa. The sliding rocks, or sailing stones, move across the mud flats of the Racetrack Playa, leaving trails behind in the mud. The explanation for their movement is not known with certainty, but many believe wind pushes the rocks over wet and perhaps icy mud in winter.
Sunset at Dead Horse Point Overlook, with the Colorado River flowing 2,000 feet below. 300 million years of erosion has carved the expansive canyons, cliffs and walls below and surrounding Deadhorse Point, Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah
Sunset at Dead Horse Point Overlook, with the Colorado River flowing 2,000 feet below. 300 million years of erosion has carved the expansive canyons, cliffs and walls below and surrounding Deadhorse Point.
The Virgin River Narrows, where the Virgin River has carved deep, narrow canyons through the Zion National Park sandstone, creating one of the finest hikes in the world
The Virgin River Narrows, where the Virgin River has carved deep, narrow canyons through the Zion National Park sandstone, creating one of the finest hikes in the world.
Dawn over the Skyline Rim, Factory Bench and Lower Blue Hills, Utah. The Henry Mountains are in the distance
Dawn over the Skyline Rim, Factory Bench and Lower Blue Hills, Utah. The Henry Mountains are in the distance.
Dune Evening Primrose bloom in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, Oenothera deltoides, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, California
Dune Evening Primrose bloom in Anza Borrego Desert State Park.
The Wave, an area of fantastic eroded sandstone featuring beautiful swirls, wild colors, countless striations, and bizarre shapes set amidst the dramatic surrounding North Coyote Buttes of Arizona and Utah.  The sandstone formations of the North Coyote Buttes, including the Wave, date from the Jurassic period. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Wave is located in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness and is accessible on foot by permit only
The Wave, an area of fantastic eroded sandstone featuring beautiful swirls, wild colors, countless striations, and bizarre shapes set amidst the dramatic surrounding North Coyote Buttes of Arizona and Utah. The sandstone formations of the North Coyote Buttes, including the Wave, date from the Jurassic period. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Wave is located in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness and is accessible on foot by permit only.
Snow geese at dawn.  Snow geese often "blast off" just before or after dawn, leaving the ponds where they rest for the night to forage elsewhere during the day, Chen caerulescens, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, Socorro, New Mexico
Snow geese at dawn. Snow geese often "blast off" just before or after dawn, leaving the ponds where they rest for the night to forage elsewhere during the day.
Joshua Trees in early morning light, Yucca brevifolia, Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Trees in early morning light.
Sand verbena wildflowers on sand dunes, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Abronia villosa, Borrego Springs, California
Sand verbena wildflowers on sand dunes, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
Teepee rocks at sunrise with the Vermillion Cliffs in the distance, Page, Arizona
Teepee rocks at sunrise with the Vermillion Cliffs in the distance.
Wildflowers bloom across Carrizo Plains National Monument, during the 2017 Superbloom, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
Wildflowers bloom across Carrizo Plains National Monument, during the 2017 Superbloom.
Wildflowers bloom across Carrizo Plains National Monument, during the 2017 Superbloom, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
Wildflowers bloom across Carrizo Plains National Monument, during the 2017 Superbloom.
Full moon with 22-degree lunar halo, Joshua Tree National Park.  The lunar halo (not to be cofused with lunar corona) forms when moonlight refracts through high altitude ice crystals. As no light is refracted at angles smaller than 22-degrees the sky is darker inside the halo
Full moon with 22-degree lunar halo, Joshua Tree National Park. The lunar halo (not to be cofused with lunar corona) forms when moonlight refracts through high altitude ice crystals. As no light is refracted at angles smaller than 22-degrees the sky is darker inside the halo.
Wildflowers bloom across Carrizo Plains National Monument, during the 2017 Superbloom, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
Wildflowers bloom across Carrizo Plains National Monument, during the 2017 Superbloom.
Wildflowers bloom across Carrizo Plains National Monument, during the 2017 Superbloom, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California
Wildflowers bloom across Carrizo Plains National Monument, during the 2017 Superbloom.
Eureka Valley Dune Evening Primrose.  A federally endangered plant, Oenothera californica eurekensis is a perennial herb that produces white flowers from April to June. These flowers turn red as they age. The Eureka Dunes evening-primrose is found only in the southern portion of Eureka Valley Sand Dunes system in Indigo County, California, Oenothera californica eurekensis, Oenothera deltoides, Death Valley National Park
Eureka Valley Dune Evening Primrose. A federally endangered plant, Oenothera californica eurekensis is a perennial herb that produces white flowers from April to June. These flowers turn red as they age. The Eureka Dunes evening-primrose is found only in the southern portion of Eureka Valley Sand Dunes system in Indigo County, California.
Sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park, Yucca brevifolia
Sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park.
Sunset on the Last Chance Mountain Range, seen from Eureka Valley Sand Dunes, Eureka Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California
Sunset on the Last Chance Mountain Range, seen from Eureka Valley Sand Dunes.
The Virgin River flows by autumn cottonwood trees, part of the Virgin River Narrows.  This is a fantastic hike in fall with the comfortable temperatures, beautiful fall colors and light crowds, Zion National Park, Utah
The Virgin River flows by autumn cottonwood trees, part of the Virgin River Narrows. This is a fantastic hike in fall with the comfortable temperatures, beautiful fall colors and light crowds.
Water rushes through a narrow crack, in the red sandstone of Zion National Park, with fallen autumn leaves
Water rushes through a narrow crack, in the red sandstone of Zion National Park, with fallen autumn leaves.
Sunset and boulders, Joshua Tree National Park.  Sunset lights the giant boulders and rock formations near Jumbo Rocks in Joshua Tree N.P
Sunset and boulders, Joshua Tree National Park. Sunset lights the giant boulders and rock formations near Jumbo Rocks in Joshua Tree N.P.
Milky Way during Full Lunar Eclipse over Arch Rock, Joshua Tree National Park, April 4 2015.  The arch and surrounding landscape are illuminated by the faint light of the fully-eclipsed blood red moon.  Light from the sun has passed obliquely through the Earth's thin atmosphere, taking on a red color, and is then reflected off the moon and reaches the Earth again to light the arch.  The intensity of this light is so faint that the Milky Way can be seen clearly at the same time
Milky Way during Full Lunar Eclipse over Arch Rock, Joshua Tree National Park, April 4 2015. The arch and surrounding landscape are illuminated by the faint light of the fully-eclipsed blood red moon. Light from the sun has passed obliquely through the Earth's thin atmosphere, taking on a red color, and is then reflected off the moon and reaches the Earth again to light the arch. The intensity of this light is so faint that the Milky Way can be seen clearly at the same time.
Fantastic colorful sedimentary patterns of Bentonite layers, seen as striations exposed in the Utah Badlands. The Bentonite Hills are composed of the Brushy Basin shale member of the Morrison Formation formed during Jurassic times when mud, silt, fine sand, and volcanic ash were deposited in swamps and lakes into layers, now revealed through erosion. Aerial photograph
Fantastic colorful sedimentary patterns of Bentonite layers, seen as striations exposed in the Utah Badlands. The Bentonite Hills are composed of the Brushy Basin shale member of the Morrison Formation formed during Jurassic times when mud, silt, fine sand, and volcanic ash were deposited in swamps and lakes into layers, now revealed through erosion. Aerial photograph.
Erosion patterns in the Utah Badlands, aerial abstract photo, Hanksville
Erosion patterns in the Utah Badlands, aerial abstract photo.
Molly's Castle, aerial view, Goblin Valley State Park. Curtis Formation whiteish caprock is on top, with reddish Entrada Sandstone below, both of Jurassic era.  Molly's castle lies in the San Rafael desert near Goblin Valley, and drains into the Colorado River watershed. Aerial panoramic photograph
Molly's Castle, aerial view, Goblin Valley State Park. Curtis Formation whiteish caprock is on top, with reddish Entrada Sandstone below, both of Jurassic era. Molly's castle lies in the San Rafael desert near Goblin Valley, and drains into the Colorado River watershed. Aerial panoramic photograph.
Self-portrait at dawn, Bentonite Hills, Utah
Self-portrait at dawn, Bentonite Hills, Utah.
Milky Way and Stars over Broken Arch, Arches National Park, Utah
Milky Way and Stars over Broken Arch, Arches National Park, Utah.
Lower Antelope Canyon, a deep, narrow and spectacular slot canyon lying on Navajo Tribal lands near Page, Arizona, Navajo Tribal Lands
Lower Antelope Canyon, a deep, narrow and spectacular slot canyon lying on Navajo Tribal lands near Page, Arizona.
Radio Tower Rock at Sunset, Page, Arizona
Radio Tower Rock at Sunset, Page, Arizona.
Hickman Bridge, Capitol Reef National Park
Hickman Bridge, Capitol Reef National Park.
Fremont Cottonwood Tree in winter sillhouette against red Zion Canyon walls, Zion National Park, Utah
Fremont Cottonwood Tree in winter sillhouette against red Zion Canyon walls.
Snow geese in flight, wings are blurred in long time exposure as they are flying, Chen caerulescens, Bosque Del Apache, Socorro, New Mexico
Snow geese in flight, wings are blurred in long time exposure as they are flying.
Boulders and sunset in Joshua Tree National Park.  The warm sunlight gently lights unusual boulder formations at Jumbo Rocks in Joshua Tree National Park, California
Boulders and sunset in Joshua Tree National Park. The warm sunlight gently lights unusual boulder formations at Jumbo Rocks in Joshua Tree National Park, California.
Snow geese at dawn.  Snow geese often "blast off" just before or after dawn, leaving the ponds where they rest for the night to forage elsewhere during the day, Chen caerulescens, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, Socorro, New Mexico
Snow geese at dawn. Snow geese often "blast off" just before or after dawn, leaving the ponds where they rest for the night to forage elsewhere during the day.
Joshua Trees silhouetted against predawn sunrise light, Yucca brevifolia, Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Trees silhouetted against predawn sunrise light.
Balanced Rock and Milky Way stars at night. (Note: this image was created before a ban on light-painting in Arches National Park was put into effect.  Light-painting is no longer permitted in Arches National Park)
Balanced Rock and Milky Way stars at night. (Note: this image was created before a ban on light-painting in Arches National Park was put into effect. Light-painting is no longer permitted in Arches National Park).
Dawn breaks over the Bentonite Hills in the Utah Badlands.  Striations in soil reveal layers of the Morrison Formation, formed in swamps and lakes in the Jurassic era. Aerial panoramic photograph
Dawn breaks over the Bentonite Hills in the Utah Badlands. Striations in soil reveal layers of the Morrison Formation, formed in swamps and lakes in the Jurassic era. Aerial panoramic photograph.
Rattlesnake Canyon, a beautiful slot canyon that is part of the larger Antelope Canyon system. Page, Arizona, Navajo Tribal Lands
Rattlesnake Canyon, a beautiful slot canyon that is part of the larger Antelope Canyon system. Page, Arizona.
Belt of Venus over Grand Canyon at sunrise, viewed from Hopi Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The Belt of Venus, or anti-twilight arch, is the shadow of the earth cast upon the atmosphere just above the horizon, and occurs a few minutes before sunrise or after sunset
Belt of Venus over Grand Canyon at sunrise, viewed from Hopi Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The Belt of Venus, or anti-twilight arch, is the shadow of the earth cast upon the atmosphere just above the horizon, and occurs a few minutes before sunrise or after sunset.
Dune Evening Primrose bloom in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, during the 2017 Superbloom, Oenothera deltoides, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, California
Dune Evening Primrose bloom in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, during the 2017 Superbloom.
Brittlebush bloom in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, during the 2017 Superbloom, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, California
Brittlebush bloom in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, during the 2017 Superbloom.
Rising sun creates the photographers shadow on a sandstone wall, Valley of Fire State Park
Rising sun creates the photographers shadow on a sandstone wall.
Upper Antelope Canyon, a deep, narrow and spectacular slot canyon lying on Navajo Tribal lands near Page, Arizona, Navajo Tribal Lands
Upper Antelope Canyon, a deep, narrow and spectacular slot canyon lying on Navajo Tribal lands near Page, Arizona.
The Organ at sunrise, Courthouse Towers, Arches National Park
The Organ at sunrise, Courthouse Towers, Arches National Park.
Brittlebush bloom in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, during the 2017 Superbloom, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, California
Brittlebush bloom in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, during the 2017 Superbloom.
Desert Sunflower Blooming Across Anza Borrego Desert State Park, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, California
Desert Sunflower Blooming Across Anza Borrego Desert State Park.
Sunset over Garden of the Gods, Arches National Park
Sunset over Garden of the Gods, Arches National Park.
Yellow cottonwood trees in autumn, fall colors in the Virgin River Narrows in Zion National Park
Yellow cottonwood trees in autumn, fall colors in the Virgin River Narrows in Zion National Park.
Natural arch formed in sandstone, Valley of Fire State Park
Natural arch formed in sandstone.
Fire Arch or Windstone Arch, also known as Fire Cave, is a tiny cave with a miniature arch and a group of natural pocket holes.  Many people walk by this cave without realizing it is there!, Valley of Fire State Park
Fire Arch or Windstone Arch, also known as Fire Cave, is a tiny cave with a miniature arch and a group of natural pocket holes. Many people walk by this cave without realizing it is there!.
Parry's Nolina, or Giant Nolina, a flowering plant native to southern California and Arizona founds in deserts and mountains to 6200'. It can reach 6' in height with its flowering inflorescence reaching 12', Nolina parryi, Joshua Tree National Park
Parry's Nolina, or Giant Nolina, a flowering plant native to southern California and Arizona founds in deserts and mountains to 6200'. It can reach 6' in height with its flowering inflorescence reaching 12'.
Molly's Castle, aerial view, Goblin Valley State Park, Mollys Castle
Molly's Castle, aerial view, Goblin Valley State Park.
False Kiva at Sunset, Canyonlands National Park, Utah
False Kiva at Sunset, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Wildflowers bloom in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, during the 2017 Superbloom, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, California
Wildflowers bloom in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, during the 2017 Superbloom.
Wildflowers bloom in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, during the 2017 Superbloom, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, California
Wildflowers bloom in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, during the 2017 Superbloom.
Sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park, Yucca brevifolia
Sunrise in Joshua Tree National Park.
The Great Wall, Navajo Tribal Lands, Arizona. Sandstone "fins", eroded striations that depict how sandstone -- ancient compressed sand -- was laid down in layers over time.  Now exposed, the layer erode at different rates, forming delicate "fins" that stretch for long distances, Page
The Great Wall, Navajo Tribal Lands, Arizona. Sandstone "fins", eroded striations that depict how sandstone -- ancient compressed sand -- was laid down in layers over time. Now exposed, the layer erode at different rates, forming delicate "fins" that stretch for long distances.
Canyonlands National Park panorama
Canyonlands National Park panorama.
Soda Springs Basin from Green River Overlook, Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Soda Springs Basin from Green River Overlook, Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Stone columns rising in the night sky, milky way and stars and clouds filling the night sky overhead. (Note: this image was created before a ban on light-painting in Arches National Park was put into effect.  Light-painting is no longer permitted in Arches National Park)
Stone columns rising in the night sky, milky way and stars and clouds filling the night sky overhead. (Note: this image was created before a ban on light-painting in Arches National Park was put into effect. Light-painting is no longer permitted in Arches National Park).
The moon sets over the Fire Wave, a beautiful sandstone formation exhibiting dramatic striations, striped layers in the geologic historical record, Valley of Fire State Park
The moon sets over the Fire Wave, a beautiful sandstone formation exhibiting dramatic striations, striped layers in the geologic historical record.
Sand verbena wildflowers on sand dunes, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Abronia villosa, Borrego Springs, California
Sand verbena wildflowers on sand dunes, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
Grand Canyon at dusk, sunset, viewed from Grandeur Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon at dusk, sunset, viewed from Grandeur Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
Grand Canyon at sunrise viewed from Yavapai Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon at sunrise viewed from Yavapai Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
Grand Canyon at sunrise viewed from Yavapai Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon at sunrise viewed from Yavapai Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
Belt of Venus over Grand Canyon at dusk, sunset, viewed from Mather Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The Belt of Venus, or anti-twilight arch, is the shadow of the earth cast upon the atmosphere just above the horizon, and occurs a few minutes before sunrise or after sunset
Belt of Venus over Grand Canyon at dusk, sunset, viewed from Mather Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The Belt of Venus, or anti-twilight arch, is the shadow of the earth cast upon the atmosphere just above the horizon, and occurs a few minutes before sunrise or after sunset.
Grand Canyon at dusk, sunset, viewed from Mather Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon at dusk, sunset, viewed from Mather Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
Lower Antelope Canyon, a deep, narrow and spectacular slot canyon lying on Navajo Tribal lands near Page, Arizona, Navajo Tribal Lands
Lower Antelope Canyon, a deep, narrow and spectacular slot canyon lying on Navajo Tribal lands near Page, Arizona.
Pedestal rock, or hoodoo, at Stud Horse Point. These hoodoos form when erosion occurs around but not underneath a more resistant caprock that sits atop of the hoodoo spire. Stud Horse Point is a spectacular viewpoint on a mesa overlooking the Arizona / Utah border, Page
Pedestal rock, or hoodoo, at Stud Horse Point. These hoodoos form when erosion occurs around but not underneath a more resistant caprock that sits atop of the hoodoo spire. Stud Horse Point is a spectacular viewpoint on a mesa overlooking the Arizona / Utah border.
Pedestal rock, or hoodoo, at Stud Horse Point. These hoodoos form when erosion occurs around but not underneath a more resistant caprock that sits atop of the hoodoo spire. Stud Horse Point is a spectacular viewpoint on a mesa overlooking the Arizona / Utah border, Page
Pedestal rock, or hoodoo, at Stud Horse Point. These hoodoos form when erosion occurs around but not underneath a more resistant caprock that sits atop of the hoodoo spire. Stud Horse Point is a spectacular viewpoint on a mesa overlooking the Arizona / Utah border.
Dune primrose (white) and sand verbena (purple) bloom in spring in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, mixing in a rich display of desert color, Abronia villosa, Oenothera deltoides, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, California
Dune primrose (white) and sand verbena (purple) bloom in spring in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, mixing in a rich display of desert color.
Natural arch formed in sandstone frames the setting moon, Valley of Fire State Park
Natural arch formed in sandstone frames the setting moon.
The Fire Wave, a beautiful sandstone formation exhibiting dramatic striations, striped layers in the geologic historical record, Valley of Fire State Park
The Fire Wave, a beautiful sandstone formation exhibiting dramatic striations, striped layers in the geologic historical record.
The Wave, an area of fantastic eroded sandstone featuring beautiful swirls, wild colors, countless striations, and bizarre shapes set amidst the dramatic surrounding North Coyote Buttes of Arizona and Utah.  The sandstone formations of the North Coyote Buttes, including the Wave, date from the Jurassic period. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Wave is located in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness and is accessible on foot by permit only
The Wave, an area of fantastic eroded sandstone featuring beautiful swirls, wild colors, countless striations, and bizarre shapes set amidst the dramatic surrounding North Coyote Buttes of Arizona and Utah. The sandstone formations of the North Coyote Buttes, including the Wave, date from the Jurassic period. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Wave is located in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness and is accessible on foot by permit only.
Sunrise lights sandstone rocks, Valley of Fire, Valley of Fire State Park
Sunrise lights sandstone rocks, Valley of Fire.
Sunrise lights sandstone rocks, Valley of Fire, Valley of Fire State Park
Sunrise lights sandstone rocks, Valley of Fire.
Sunset at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, with sandhill cranes silhouetted in reflection in the calm pond.  Spectacular sunsets at Bosque del Apache, rich in reds, oranges, yellows and purples, make for striking reflections of the thousands of cranes and geese found in the refuge each winter, Grus canadensis, Socorro, New Mexico
Sunset at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, with sandhill cranes silhouetted in reflection in the calm pond. Spectacular sunsets at Bosque del Apache, rich in reds, oranges, yellows and purples, make for striking reflections of the thousands of cranes and geese found in the refuge each winter.
Hoodoos in Goblin Valley State Park, aerial panorama. The "goblins" are technically known as hoodoos, formed through the gradual erosion of Entrada sandstone deposited 170 millions years ago. Aerial panoramic photograph
Hoodoos in Goblin Valley State Park, aerial panorama. The "goblins" are technically known as hoodoos, formed through the gradual erosion of Entrada sandstone deposited 170 millions years ago. Aerial panoramic photograph.
Erosion patterns in the Utah Badlands, aerial abstract photo, Hanksville
Erosion patterns in the Utah Badlands, aerial abstract photo.
The Great Wall, Navajo Tribal Lands, Arizona. Sandstone "fins", eroded striations that depict how sandstone -- ancient compressed sand -- was laid down in layers over time.  Now exposed, the layer erode at different rates, forming delicate "fins" that stretch for long distances, Page
The Great Wall, Navajo Tribal Lands, Arizona. Sandstone "fins", eroded striations that depict how sandstone -- ancient compressed sand -- was laid down in layers over time. Now exposed, the layer erode at different rates, forming delicate "fins" that stretch for long distances.
Upper Antelope Canyon slot canyon, Navajo Tribal Lands, Page, Arizona
Upper Antelope Canyon slot canyon.
The Milky Way arching over Mesa Arch at night, Canyonlands National Park, Utah
The Milky Way arching over Mesa Arch at night.
Hickman Bridge, Capitol Reef National Park
Hickman Bridge, Capitol Reef National Park.
Grand Canyon at dusk, sunset, viewed from Grandeur Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon at dusk, sunset, viewed from Grandeur Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
Grand Canyon at sunrise viewed from Yavapai Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon at sunrise viewed from Yavapai Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
Grand Canyon at sunrise viewed from Yavapai Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon at sunrise viewed from Yavapai Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
Grand Canyon at sunrise, viewed from Hopi Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon at sunrise, viewed from Hopi Point on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
Natural arch formed in sandstone, Valley of Fire State Park
Natural arch formed in sandstone.
Snow geese, and one of the "crane pools" in the northern part of Bosque del Apache NWR, Chen caerulescens, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, Socorro, New Mexico
Snow geese, and one of the "crane pools" in the northern part of Bosque del Apache NWR.
Striated sandstone formations, layers showing eons of geologic history, Valley of Fire State Park
Striated sandstone formations, layers showing eons of geologic history.
Animal tracks in sand, Valley of Fire State Park
Animal tracks in sand.
Setting moon over natural sandstone arch, sunrise, Valley of Fire State Park
Setting moon over natural sandstone arch, sunrise.
Sarah's Swirl, a particularly beautiful formation at White Pocket in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument
Sarah's Swirl, a particularly beautiful formation at White Pocket in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument.
Brilliant red striations around the base of this pinnacle are responsible for its name: the Lollipop, White Pocket, Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona
Brilliant red striations around the base of this pinnacle are responsible for its name: the Lollipop.
Brain rocks and clouds, sunset, White Pocket, Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona
Brain rocks and clouds, sunset, White Pocket.
Sandstone "fins", eroded striations that depict how sandstone -- ancient compressed sand -- was laid down in layers over time.  Now exposed, the layer erode at different rates, forming delicate "fins" that stretch for long distances, Navajo Tribal Lands, Page, Arizona
Sandstone "fins", eroded striations that depict how sandstone -- ancient compressed sand -- was laid down in layers over time. Now exposed, the layer erode at different rates, forming delicate "fins" that stretch for long distances.
Brain rocks.  Sandstone is curiously eroded through the forces water and wind acting over eons.  Cracks and joints arise when water freezes and expands repeatedly, braking apart the soft sandstone, North Coyote Buttes, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona
Brain rocks. Sandstone is curiously eroded through the forces water and wind acting over eons. Cracks and joints arise when water freezes and expands repeatedly, braking apart the soft sandstone.
The Great Wall, Navajo Tribal Lands, Arizona. Sandstone "fins", eroded striations that depict how sandstone -- ancient compressed sand -- was laid down in layers over time.  Now exposed, the layer erode at different rates, forming delicate "fins" that stretch for long distances, Page
The Great Wall, Navajo Tribal Lands, Arizona. Sandstone "fins", eroded striations that depict how sandstone -- ancient compressed sand -- was laid down in layers over time. Now exposed, the layer erode at different rates, forming delicate "fins" that stretch for long distances.
Hoodoo goblin rocks at dawn, Arches National Park, Utah
Hoodoo goblin rocks at dawn.
Hoodoos, walls and sandstone spires, Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Utah
Hoodoos, walls and sandstone spires.