Photographing the North Rim of Grand Canyon and other national parks around.
I did this long roadtrip between Bay Rea and the North Rim of Grand Canyon during the middle of October. I split the journey in six days and camped every night in between. It was a great trip. The landscape along the way is incredibly diverse. The camping on this route was also a great experience. I camped at the Red Rock Canyon Campground outside Las Vegas, Demotte Campground near the North Rim, Watchman Campground in Zion, and Furnace Creek Campground in Death Valley. The Demotte campground was probably the best. Here are a couple photos from the trip. All nights were around a new moon. So I got a chance to get some milky way shots too.
I drove through Las Vegas on the way to Grand Canyon and spent the night at Red Rock Canyon Campground. On the next day, I took a detour to the Kanarra Falls in Kanarraville, UT. It's a great short hike through a slot canyon and it was especially pretty this time of the year because of Fall colors. If you are driving through these parts, I would recommend Better Bowls in Bakersfield for lunch, Vesta Coffee Roasters for a coffee in Vegas, and JamonJamon.com Tapas in Vegas for dinner.
The North Rim is more remote, is at a higher elevation, and has more distant viewpoints compared to the South Rim. Since the North Rim Campground was closed, Demotte Campground was the next closest camping option. It's a great campground and there is a nice coffee shop/truck outside the campground for a good espresso. The views from the rim are spectacular for sure, but there were fall colors along the road and Bisons in the meadows along the road. All of this together, made for a memorable trip.
Zion and Bryce were two stops on the way back from Grand Canyon. I spent just a few hours in Bryce. Watchman Campground in Zion was the camping spot for the night. It's a very conveniently located campground with foot access to the town of Springdale. There is great cell phone reception too. I had a hunch that Milky Way will be visible over the Virgin River this time of the year. That turned out to be true. Some planning using PhotoPills helped too.
This year has been pretty bad in terms of wildfires in California. Initially I had planned to spend the last night on the way back in the vicinity of Mono Lake in California. But because of the fires, I stayed in Death Valley and drove through Yosemite with the car windows up. Death valley was an experience in itself. It was 90 F a couple hours after sunset in mid-October. I got a final milky way shot over the pristine Mesquite Flat sand dunes. On the way back, I stopped a couple times to experience the smokey landscape in California, but apart from that, it was a long drive back to San Jose.