Vermilion Cliffs

Between the water-carved underworld of Paria Canyon and its tributaries, and the upper wind-sculpted world of Coyote Buttes, this park is heartbreakingly delicate and preposterously photogenic. It’s the landscape’s curvaceous, sinuous, swirling lines of sandstone cross-bedding and sculpted cliffs that make so many strong images possible.

Photographers don’t spend hours hunting for great photographs in Vermilion Cliffs, they make impossibly difficult decisions about just which of them to pursue given the limitations of time, film, memory cards, batteries and human endurance.

My advice: Don’t go to Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. You’ll find that it is an exercise in photographic frustration. It’s too much of a good thing. —Gary Ladd

Vermillion Cliffs