The southwest desert of the Colorado Plateau is one of the most sought-after locations for landscape photographers in North America and rightly so. With a higher concentration of jaw dropping parks than anywhere else in the US, you could spend the rest of your life here and still not see all of its wonders.
But winter brings a special element as the first snows blanket the red rock country giving its prominent features a fairytale look. This image made at Bryce Canyon National Park highlights its famous spires, called “hoodoos,” which are formed when ice and rainwater wear away the weak limestone that makes up the colorful Claron Formation. High on the Grand Staircase at an elevation of over 8,000 feet the air is especially cold and dry, and the park’s azure skies can often provide visibility up to 100 miles.
So if you’re thinking about a southwest road trip, consider the quieter winter months. With much fewer crowds and unique photo opportunities, you’ll be glad you did – just don’t forget the spare batteries and the cold weather gear.