5 states in 9 days. The latest of half-a-dozen road trips through here in the past 4 years. Still finding new things and returning to favorites with plenty yet unseen. New for me this time were Valley of the Gods in Utah and the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains of eastern California. Oh, the Maroon Bells in Aspen, Colorado and Monument Valley revealed themselves to me on this trip too.
Wait, I’m not advocating this as best practice for sunrise landscape photography, just saying what’s possible. That said, the View Hotel is very comfortable! I heard they book up a year in advance. However, after Mai and I arrived and had lunch, an inquiry at the hotel desk brought us instant delight! Yes rooms are available! We can even have one with a premium view for not a lot of money! Even better! We were in room 129 and he view from the room is the photo above. The view is actually much more expansive, this photo is a cropped version of a much longer panoramic photo of Monument Valley. So check it out if you have a long wall you want to fill with a Southwestern motif.
It was a very civilized sunrise for a landscape photographer. Sleep till 30 minutes before sunrise, then get up to hot coffee and a serene wait for the sun while lounging at my patio table.
My recommendation, if you’re going to visit Monument Valley is to stay at the View Hotel and not Goulding’s. Gouldning’s is not at the valley but about 5 miles away. The food at Goulding’s is better though… much better. Just a friendly tip to give you the five-star experience.
Not far north of Monument Valley and just over the state line in Utah, we stumbled onto Valley of the Gods. It’s on BLM land and the sandstone formations there are breathtaking! I wrote more about this, new to me, discovery in “Valley of the Gods-A Stunning Discovery!”