Sunrise, and the San Rafael “River”

Sunrise, and the San Rafael "River" On a scale of pure beauty ranging from 1 to 10, the San Rafael Swell goes to 11. Late spring while everything was green, gorgeous and calm, I captured this little corner of the Swell just as the morning sun was beginning to cascade over the red rocks [...]


Campsite, San Rafael Swell Steve McQueen said, "I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth." I so agree, and here it is, my nowhere. Click the “Donate” button (below) to get your rights-free high-res printable (tiff) file of this photograph, which you can use however and wherever [...]

Frank Gehry Eat Your Heart Out

Frank Gehry, eat your heart out. There's no man-made architecture on Earth that can come close to the San Rafael Swell. Wandering through the Black Box area, I came upon this nameless mound, about 80 feet high. The bright yellow stubble, which surrounds this precarious formation, serves to light it from the underside, bringing out [...]

Desert Floor

Desert Floor, San Rafael Swell, Utah Shot at noon on an early spring day, here is a wide view of the northern portion of the Swell posing as a classic western movie backdrop. Although outlaw legends, such as Butch Cassidy, called the Swell home, the Swell is not the kind of place for Hollywood, [...]

Council Hall Bluff

Council Hall Bluff I set up my tripod and waited until the morning sun hit the rock full-on. In the foreground are bands of vegetation and cottonwood trees that grow along the San Rafael River. This combination of improbable colors and light is not uncommon in the Swell, that is, if you’re patient and [...]

Buckhorn Wash

Buckhorn Wash It’s difficult to convey the true vastness of this place. From the floor of the Swell, formations can jut straight up to over 3,000 feet. Click the “Donate” button (below) to get your rights-free high-res printable (tiff) file of this photograph, which you can use however and wherever you wish. And know [...]

Edge of the Wedge

Edge of the Wedge This shot was taken at the Wedge, a “mini-grand canyon” in the San Rafael Swell. Moments later, this exquisite desert juniper and the rest of the Wedge, was hit by a rare late-summer cloudburst. This photograph is a personal favorite of mine. It was taken with a 2007 vintage "point-and-shoot" camera [...]

Evening Shadows

Evening Shadows, San Rafael Swell, Utah This shot was taken about a half mile from where I like to camp when I'm in the Swell. It had been a very hot day, and getting toward sunset, the Swell was breathing a sigh of relief. Click the “Donate” button (below) to get your rights-free high-res [...]

The Wedge Overlook

The Wedge Overlook, San Rafael Swell, Utah Look down 1,200 feet and there's the lowly San Rafael River, which, along with millions of years of erosion carved this "little grand canyon," exposing rocks over 300 million years old. Look on the horizon, roughly 15 miles, and there's Window Blind Peak. Click the “Donate” button (below) [...]

Rainbow San Rafael Swell

Rainbow, San Rafael Swell, Utah May 2015, afternoon. Some friends and I had trekked down to the Swell for a yearly Cinco de Mayo celebration, and I'd barely set up camp when a wild spring thunderstorm blew in and blew out just as fast. Right after the storm, the afternoon sun came out full-force and [...]

Black Box Gorge

The Black Box Gorge, San Rafael Swell, Utah The Black Box is best known for a 400 foot gorge, carved by the San Rafael River. The Black Box, which most likely got its name by the one of the notorious Swasey boys, is covered by a type of lichen that dies and stains the rocks black. In addition, the gorge, which runs [...]

Bottleneck Peak

Bottleneck Peak, San Rafael Swell, Utah It was early autumn. The weather had been iffy the night before, but I was determined to catch the full sun on this fantastic rock. While it was still dark, I hiked to the top of a rise, positioned my camera and telephoto lens on a heavy tripod, [...]

Window Blind Peak

Window Blind Peak, San Rafael Swell, Utah This is a shot of an autumn morning in the Swell, just before the sun has risen completely; the “magic hour,” while the rocks are at their very brightest sienna, and the dirt is still cool to the touch. I've been told that Window Blind Peak, at [...]