P273H – Monument Valley from Hunts Mesa at Sunset, AZ

Several years after my Monument Valley Hunts Mesa Sunrise image, I returned to do a Sunset image. This time, however, rather than driving to the top, my Navajo guide mentioned that it was possible to hike to the top from the valley. Myself and a fellow photographer friend decided to give it a try. Looking back now, I don’t think my guide realized the amount of equipment we were planning to take because we were scaling rocks at 30 plus degrees with nothing but finger and toe holds. Granted any one section was probably no more than 20 feet high, but it was still a bit awkward given my heavy backpack and tripod. After about 90 minutes of climbing and maneuvering on top of various mesas, we reached the top and decided that this was one of the better vantage points of the valley. As the sun went down, it was interesting to observe how the shadows from the western mesas cast on the ones more east. I took several photographs over the course of approximately 30 minutes so I could determine later which composition I preferred. I feel this image was one of the more interesting.

Oh, by the way, yes, we did have to hike back down after our photographs. And yes, when it comes to scaling rocks, it’s considerably easier to go up than down; at least without ropes. Add to that the fact that it was getting dark, and with all my equipment, and I think you get the idea how challenging it was to get down.

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