A roundup of interesting places I found photographing in the Canyonlands, Arches and the Tetons.
As you start looking at the national parks outside Colorado, but still within a day's drive; three places look attractive - Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in Eastern Utah and the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. These places are outstanding for landscape photography. I drove to Utah during Christmas 2014 and to the Tetons in Autumn 2015. Here are a few photograph and notes from those trips.
The rugged landscape of eastern Utah is great for photographing in the winter. The snow on the red rocks creates great contrast and it's easier to hike in winter compared to summer. When I visited Arches though, there was a snow-storm and it was pretty miserable out there.
Island in the Sky region of the Canyonlands is perfect if you don't want to hike. There are plenty of overlooks along the road. If you wish, you can take short hikes to the Upheaval Dome, False Kiva etc.
In the Arches, most probably you would want to take short hikes to reach the most popular spots for photography - Delicate Arch and Windows. But the hikes are well worth it.
In short, you want to go there in Fall and you want to visit Oxbow Bend and Schwabacher's Landing. Other interesting places in the park from the photography perspective include Jackson Lake, Jelly Lake and Signal Moutain. If you plan to camp, the campgrounds in the Jenny Lake and Jackson Lake area provide great access to these locations.