phyris
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The western United States has many more National Parks and wilderness areas than the east and for good reason. The beauty and uniqueness of much of this area is extraordinary. I do not have the eloquence to do justice to the wonderlands that I have visited but I think my photos will do a much better job.

After years of visiting many of the beautiful places in our country, I find I am clearly drawn to rock formations; large and small; whether they be cliffs or canyons; spires or monoliths; sandstone or granite; or just beautiful rocks by the side of the road. I think of myself as photographing "Hikes for Rock Lovers". If you mostly enjoy trees and pastures, my website is not for you. But if you stare in amazement at a rock face where nature has painted a picture or created a sculpture, you will enjoy some of the hikes that I feature on this site. And with many of these hikes, you get rivers and lakes as well.

While I have found great beauty in many places, the Southwest (Arizona and Utah in particular) has claimed my heart. It is a land of awe inspiring beauty and grandeur - red cliffs thousands of feet high, often stained with desert varnish; slot canyons like the photos above of Antelope Canyon - sometimes so narrow that you have to turn sideways to squeeze through them. Buttes, spires, natural bridges and arches. These are nature's sculptures formed by water, wind, and ice over eons of time. The colors are incredible - the golds, purples, pinks and reds of slot canyons; sandstone cliffs in shades of red, brown, turquoise, gold, and white. Such a glorious land!

I'd like to share photos taken on some of my favorite hikes, both for your enjoyment and to tempt you to visit some of these wonderful places. My hope is that if their beauty touches you, it will inspire you to protect them from destruction so that future generations can also enjoy these spectacular places.

I visit many National Parks and I have found it frustrating that the only information I would get at the visitors centers would be a list of hikes that showed how long they were; elevation gain; and difficulty but nothing about what you would see on the trail. As a photographer, the views are more important than just the hike.

I have photos of many wonderful hikes in Utah, Arizona, California, Oregon, Colorado, and Wyoming and will gradually add them to this site.

Please continue to my photo gallery from various hikes, "Nature Photography by Phyris" to see my photographs.