Late afternoon in Capitol Reef National Park, UT. I climbed a hill off of the park’s Scenic Road to access this view of a small oasis near the Fruita Historic District. Capitol Reef is Utah’s least visited national park, but it’s certainly not for lack of spectacular views.
I’d spent the night before camping up on the cliffs in the distance. When morning arrived, I noted a dry river bed lined with golden Cottonwood trees many miles below. I drove down and hiked along the sandy bluff above the river until I found this spot. With the trees illuminated by the afternoon sun, I waited for the cliffs to fall into shadow before releasing the shutter.
The very first rays of sunshine light up a gnarled juniper pine that manages to survive on the edge of a cliff, high above the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. Smoke from wildfires across the south west created a haze on the horizon.
A wet winter resulted in a very green Sonoran Desert this year. Here, the sun peaks over the mountains in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, AZ, casting warm light on a lush landscape. The Ajo Mountains serve as a shaded backdrop.