A Photographer’s Guide to Mindful Travel
A few simple steps to care for Utah's unique environment
With blazing red rocks in almost unfathomable formations, brilliant blue skies and breathtaking lighting, the Utah desert is a photographer’s dream. It’s also a very fragile place. Photographers can take a few simple steps to care for this unique environment while getting great shots. Read on for tips on mindful photography in a very special place.
Leave no trace
It seems obvious not to leave candy wrappers and trash behind, but visitors should also be sure to pack out anything they might be tempted to leave behind, including things like apple cores and toilet paper. In some areas, including around Moab, it’s also required to pack out solid human waste with special bags or portable toilets.
The old saying “take only pictures, leave only footprints” isn’t quite enough for the fragile desert environment. “Take only pictures, but don’t leave any footprints,” might be a better mantra. The red rock desert is home to a rich biological soil crust — also known as “cryptobiotic crust,” — which is actually living soil. It includes mosses, lichen, green algae, microfungi and cyanobacteria. The crust controls erosion and helps the desert retain water, allowing plants and other creatures to flourish. Once this fragile soil is compacted — such as by a footprint or vehicle track — it can take hundreds of years for the crust to fully recover. (Read: A Soil Sleuth Protecting Utah’s Living Landscapes.)
In order to prevent causing this damage, stay on existing trails or, when trails are unavailable, durable slickrock. Know what biological soil crust looks like so you can avoid it.
Photographer Jon Fuller has lived in Moab since 1992 and offers private photography tours and workshops through his company, Moab Photo Tours. He advises people to be mindful of the long-term impact even one quick trip off trail can cause.
24 Hours in Cedar City
A unique small town, Cedar City is a perfect place to stop on your journey to natural wonders such as Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.
A Confluence of Pioneer and Native American Heritage in Southwestern Utah
Home to the historical Iron Mission, Cedar City’s rich pioneer heritage is encapsulated at the Frontier Homestead State Park.
A Party of Astronomic Proportions
Every Saturday from May through Labor Day weekend, weather dependent, crowds ranging from 100 to 500 people gather at Cedar Break’s main overlook, Point Supreme, to gaze up at the region’s amazing dark skies and explore the stars and the planets that make up the solar system.
An Adventure Guide to Harts Draw Road
Winding up into the Abajo Mountains of southeastern Utah and down into sprawling red rock canyons, the 18-mile Harts Draw Road offers the perfect mixture of snow and sand, scenery and solitude.
Best Restaurants In Cedar City
From woodfire-grilled pizzas to authentic southwestern Mexican cuisine, Cedar City has plenty of great restaurants for treating yourself after a day on the trails.
Boomer Travel: 76 Hours in Moab
Moab, Utah is a prime destination for Baby Boomer travel. Check out our specially-designed itinerary and plan your visit!
Bridesmaids Gone Boating
If you and your bride tribe are more outdoorsy than indoorsy, consider booking a whitewater rafting trip in southern Utah instead of club night at a casino. Half-day, full-day, and multi-day river trips are easy to plan and are great for groups of all sizes and abilities.
Cedar City Scene: Centro Woodfired Pizza and The Grind
Right downtown on Center Street, just off Main Street in Cedar City, Utah, and within walking distance to everything, lies the famed Centro Woodfired Pizzeria. (The Grind Coffee House is just around the corner.)
Cedar City to Cedar City 90-Mile Cycling Loop
The 90-mile Cedar City loop is one of Utah’s most challenging and scenic bike routes. Learn all about the route and plan your ride today!
Desert Shutter Speed
After lunch isn't the prime time to head to the desert. Come early or late, and Utah's deserts will reward you with their isolated landscapes, sunrises and sunsets, and stargazing opportunities.
Estrogen on Adrenaline: 48 Hours in Moab, Utah's Giant Playground
Looking for an unconventional girls weekend getaway? Get inspiration for an ultimate Moab mountain biking, stargazing, camping adventure here! Visit Utah.
Hole N'' the Rock
Your road trip in Moab might call for a stopover at the famous Hole N” The Rock.
How the Life of One Utah State Park Ranger Reveals the Healing Power of Nature
After years of protecting the Utah landscape and the people who flock to it, Brody Young found strength from the river and the red rock to recover from what should have been a fatal incident.
Moab Farmers' Market
Thursday evenings & Saturday mornings in summer, discover a food and community market that shares the harvest of the desert.
Moab Under Canvas: Glamping
If you’re looking for a luxurious camping experience, Moab Under Canvas is just the ticket. Book your stay in a fully-furnished canvas tent in canyon country!
Moab's Singletrack Renaissance
Moab isn’t just for burly Slickrock riders anymore. In the last few years, local groups have established dozens of miles of new mountain bike trails.
Post-Adventure Meals in Moab
Milt’s Stop & Eat and Eddie McStiff’s are two of Moab’s many restaurants that offer more than just great food to fuel or satiate a big adventure.
Red Cliffs Lodge + Winery
On the outskirts of Moab, near the entrance to Castle Valley, Red Cliffs Lodge is a beautiful estate resting on the banks of the Colorado River. That’s the hook. For those staying overnight, if you arrive early to check-in, you’ll be anticipating your return to your room throughout the day.
Red Rock, Rock ’n’ Roll and Ribs
Planning a great weekend getaway? Utah’s Brian Head Resort is smokin’. Come play in the snow, party like a local, and chow down on Big John’s KC-style BBQ.
The Best Restaurants in Moab
Post-fun meals in Moab are an essential part of the adventure. Recharge your energy, enjoy a cold one (or two), and refuel at some of Moab's best restaurants.
Touring the Indian Creek Corridor Scenic Byway
Prepare to be captivated as you drive along Indian Creek Utah’s Corridor Scenic Byway. Explore the Needles District, Canyonlands NP and admire Utah’s natural beauty.
Use These Apps to Enhance Your Utah Travel
Apps can help you identify wildlife, learn about the night sky, plan your trip, and more. Use these apps to help take your Utah trip to the next level.
What Happens When Wandering and Stargazing Leads To a Life-Long Journey
National Parks Service Superintendent Kate Cannon patrolled and managed the country’s wilderness for more than 40 years, finding a special connection with the unique Utah terrain along the way.
Where to Take Your Family to Eat in Moab
You’ll work up a solid appetite biking, exploring and hiking in Moab. Here are a few of the best family-friendly restaurants in Moab.
Women in the Wild: Transformation and the Outdoors