“Balanced Rock & La Sal Mountains at Sunset”

Balanced Rock & La Sal Mountains at Sunset, Arches National Park, SE Utah (c) Mike Utley

Balanced Rock is one of the most notable features in Arches National Park. Rising 128 feet above the desert floor, this curious rock sits precariously atop a sandstone spire, sentry-like, watching over neighboring red rock fins, pillars, arches, and the distant La Sal Mountains. For this image from March 1996, I isolated Balanced Rock and its accompanying tower against the pale winter dusk sky to portray the silent, lonely feeling this icon has always instilled in me. From varying angles, this rock looks remarkable different, and one could almost say its personality changes depending upon one’s vantage point. It inspires contemplation and awe, and speaks to both the tenacity and fragility of this planet. Erosion will eventually topple this rock, but for now it stands in defiance of gravity and the weather. (Canon gear, Fuji Velvia ISO 50)

“Sandstone Pillars & La Sal Mountains”

Sandstone Pillars & La Sal Mountains., Arches National Park, SE Utah (c) Mike Utley

NP25-1(S)—Sandstone Pillars & La Sal Mountains, Arches National Park, SE Utah.
Arches National Park is famous for its many natural arches (more than 2,000 of them, making it the world’s most dense concentration of natural stone arches), but it also contains an abundance of monoliths like those shown in this image. I liked the juxtaposition of the orange desert rocks against the snowy La Sal Mountains and deep blue sky. Arches National Park is a perfect location for stunning natural beauty and contemplative landscapes. (Canon gear, Fuji Velvia ISO 50)

“Delicate Arch & La Sal Mountains”

Delicate Arch & La Sal Mts., Arches Natl. Park, SE Utah (c) Mike Utley

NP12-1(S)—World-famous Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, SE Utah. This is probably the most iconic spot of the Colorado Plateau, which covers a great portion of the Four Corners area (Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico). Delicate Arch is simply incredible and is the most photographed and most famous natural arch in the world. There was no color manipulation here—this is exactly what Delicate Arch looked like that evening when the warm light of the setting sun struck the orange sandstone. It was literally breath-taking. (Canon gear, Fuji Velvia ISO 50)