Top 10 of 2015: 6
Little Wild Horse Canyon and Goblin Valley, Utah
I’m counting down my “Top 10” of 2015 and instead of posting my 10 favorite images, I’m sharing my 10 favorite experiences behind the lens from this year. Continuing on and in no particular order, brings an incredible day spent in Central Utah. I had the pleasure to photograph an adventure for Elevated Adventure Company as we explored a few fascinating areas of Utah. Elevated Adventure Company (EAC) provides an incredible experience that is unrivaled in Utah. You can wake up in Park City, fly to any number of destinations via a small plane, adventure all day and then return to Park City the same evening. The entire experience is guided and catered by two amazing people, Alex and Tina, and they ensure an unforgettable day!
We departed from the St. Regis Deer Valley, where we picked up Edward (Hotel GM), Rajesh (Hotel Manager) and Vanessa (Director of Activities), and traveled 30 minutes to the Heber City Airport. After a quick briefing, we were airborne and headed south to Hanksville, UT, which was roughly 1 hour away. The Wasatch Mountains filled the windows on the right side of the plane while a blinding morning sun filled the left windows. Everyone was excited for our epic day and before long, we were landing in Hanksville where Alex was waiting in a Suburban. Within minutes, we were at the trailhead for Little Wild Horse Canyon. Utah is home to incredible slot canyons that give you the sense of being inside the Earth, surrounding you with fascinating patterns of erosion, shadow and light. Several members of our group had never been to Southern or Central Utah, let alone a slot canyon. Eyes were wide open and cameras were clicking away!
Little Wild Horse Canyon is well-known for its ease of access and stunning scenery. The recent dry weather made for great walking conditions and despite being only April, the temperatures were warm and the sun was intense. It was crazy to think we just left a ski resort that morning which still had plenty of snow! Once in the shadows of the canyon, the temperature cooled and we explored the various nooks and crannies of the canyon. We reached a spot further in the canyon where we stopped for a break and the group was able to learn some basic rappelling skills under Alex’s expert instruction. We explored a bit further before returning along our same route, reaching the car before noon. Time for lunch!
Tina had prepared a gourmet picnic lunch for our group and we chose to eat at a another destination only a few minutes away, Goblin Valley. The shaded tables were welcomed as the sun was becoming quite hot. We had a few “beverages” and snacked on prepared appetizers while our meal was being prepared. The scenery was breathtaking but the food may have stolen the show. WOW. I wish I would’ve photographed more of the food we enjoyed!
After lunch, we explored the strange landscape of Goblin Valley. Mushroom shaped pillars of sandstone fill a vast valley and beg to be explored. There are no trails or paths here, just open ground and odd formations of rock. We wandered for an hour or so before returning to the car. It was late afternoon by this point and unfortunately, it was time to return to Park City. We headed back to the small airport where Alex gave us a thumbs up as the plane buzzed over his head while taking off! Our pilots did a great job getting us home with windy conditions and the views were equally as stunning on our return. We landed in Heber City and were back at the St. Regis Deer Valley around 6pm, less than 12 hours from when we departed. We were all tired with sore smiling and laughing muscles:) It was an incredible day.
This trip is normally a several hour drive each way and is out of reach as a day trip from Park City. Elevated Adventure Company allows you to have such an experience within a single day and creates a lasting memory for your group. Simply choose your adventure and day, they’ll make it happen with style!
I loved being included with this group for a few reasons, one obviously being that I love hiking in Utah! I’m also friends with Alex and Tina of EAC and it was a pleasure helping them realize their dreams of creating experiences for others in the outdoors. I enjoy this type of photography where it is spontaneous and focused on moments, instead of staged. It feels more natural and allows the others to be present and not worry about having to document their experience. Lastly, I used to work at the St. Regis Deer Valley (I left there to pursue photography!) so having the opportunity to photograph this adventure with Edward, Raj and Vanessa was a true joy. This was just one day but it stands out as one of my all-time favorite days behind the lens.
Create your memory with Elevated Adventure Company
Thanks for reading,