At 11pm on Friday night, my old college roommate and I set out for the Grand Canyon. With Phoenix’s summer roaring to a start with 100+ temperatures, there was little reason to not get out of the valley.
Additionally, I’ve had night photography on my mind for a while and figured what better way to start out than doing it at one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Plus, we’d also get to see a beautiful sunrise and then do some hiking before coming back to the valley of the sun for Cinco De Mayo.
After an uneventful drive where I downed copious amounts of coffee and binged podcasts while Anthony slept, we arrived at the canyon around 2:30 am.
This is where the fun started.
Well, first we had to walk by an abandoned stroller at Mather Point and that was downright creepy but luckily this wasn’t a plot in a horror movie. “Crisis” avoided.
Now the fun began.
After momentarily forgetting how night photography worked, everything started clicking and away we went. The moon, for those curious, was still nearing third quarter (so still about half of it was present) which meant it was pretty bright out when you’re talking about 30 second exposures. Where’s the off button for the moon when you need it?
However, the photos were still super cool!
The awesomeness of being alone in the middle of one of the busiest national parks in the country didn’t really hit me until the next morning when we woke up to take sunrise photos and there were 40+ people fighting for the best spot to watch the sunrise.
Simply being able to take in the starry skies while looking over the vastness of the Grand Canyon was remarkable and it’s hard to describe it in words (which, I know, is ironic because I’m supposed to be the wordsmith). There were no sounds other than the occasional click of my camera. Totally quiet. Completely peaceful. 100 percent not what I get while living in the city. I even was able to see some early bird hikers starting their trip to the bottom, their headlamps the only thing recognizable from a mile or so away.
At around 3:55, I packed up my gear and headed back to the car where Anthony was always sound asleep – knowing full well that the nights sleep would be very short and likely uncomfortable.
By 5:10 am, I was up and headed back to Mather Overlook for a mesmerizing sunrise over the Grand Canyon.
Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.
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