Mesa Arch, Canyonlands, Utah – United States

When it comes to locations that are naturally photogenic, you really can’t beat the timeless grace and beauty of a national park like Utah’s own Canyonlands. Its timeless expanse is home to countless natural features like mesas, buttes, arches, and canyons, each more picture perfect than the last. They’ve been methodically and painstakingly carved into the colorful, rocky landscape by many, many years of river-fueled erosion. Just one visit to Canyonlands is enough to hammer home the sheer power of Mother Nature at her most patient and industrious. It’s nothing if not a masterpiece that’s well worth photographing from as many different points of interest as possible.

Naturally, many of the park’s most beautiful vistas are incredibly popular photography sites. At times, you’re far from the only person looking to capture a colorful mesa or a particularly awe-inspiring expanse of canyon at its very best and the brisk winter day I took Mesa Arch is no exception. Despite setting off early to ensure a prime location for awaiting sunrise, there were many other cars on the road at the time, each speeding to beat me to my destination. A few ambitious photographers even attempted to blind me with their torches as we navigated the trails.

Each of us wanted the very best spot from which to witness the picturesque sunrise you see immortalized here and with good reason. The sight of the cool morning sun peaking over the horizon and bathing the colorful rock formations around us was positively soul-changing. Velvety crimsons and chocolates slowly gave way to vibrant burnt oranges and buttery golds a little bit at a time. The rocky landscape sprawled out ahead, punctuated by rocky protrusions and accented by the winding river paths below. A rough but graceful mesa arch embraced the entire scene perfectly, nature’s own perfect picture frame.


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