Although the Southwest doesn't have much water, is does have abundant elevation changes. Therefore, there are many opportunities to see waterfalls. This is one of my favorite topics because I think about water all the time, particularly when I'm in the Grand Canyon. This exhibit emphasizes the diversity of ways water descends in western mountains and canyons.
View the exhibit video or scroll down to view individual photographs. Use these buttons to change the image size to fit your screen (cookies must be active).
Canyon in the Escalante National Monument in Utah, photographed on an off-trail trip through a maze of slickrock narrows. This is the only water for miles. The colors are just as recorded, with no augmentation.
Between upper and lower Lion Lakes, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. You ascend between the lakes on an off-trail route to reach the Continental Divide and ultimately Mount Alice. There is a substantial climb between the lakes with a multitude of waterfalls. I think a good word to describes this waterfall is exhuberant.
Clear Creek, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Clear Creek is a great backpacking destination nine miles past Phantom Ranch. We hiked from the South Rim in one long day and spent several days day-hiking. You find this waterfall on the way to the Colorado River. It's formed by a chokestone amidst magnificent striated rock. It's a significant obstacle because you have to bypass it on the slippery stone to the left.
Snow melt above Black Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. I like this image because of the oblique suggestion that color may exist and the ghostly nature of the creeping water in the morning sun.
The Gulch, Escalante National Monument, Utah. In this sensuous image, the rocks seem to flow with the water. The lower part of this waterfall disappears into a deep slot only a couple feet wide. There was no way to climb down, so we had to bypass the falls by climbing several hundred feet up the slickrock cliffs.
Below Chasm Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. The landscape of the park was carved by glaciers, with sequences of exposed rock shelves. Many hikes follow chains of lakes seperated by cliffs and waterfalls. This image suggests the verticality of the environment and the contrast between motion and repose.
Upper Chevaya Falls, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Chevaya Falls, a long day hike from Clear Creek, is listed as the highest waterfall in the Grand Canyon (800 feet). In actuality, it's a thin waterslide that's difficult to see. To get a better view, we climbed to the top over scree and found this smaller waterfall. The cool shade was a blessing in the oven-like environment of the canyon.
West Creek Falls, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
Emerald Pool, Zion National Park, Utah.
Glacier Gorge Creek, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. The water assumes an internal glow in the sunrise.
Another waterfall between upper and lower Lion Lakes, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
Unamed canyon, Sandia Mountain Wilderness, New Mexico. The rugged granite west side of the Sandia Mountains has hundreds of side canyons. They're mostly dry, but may have a trickle of water when the snow melts. This photo suggests the enveloping quiet and isolation only a few miles from the city.
Another canyon waterfall, Escalante National Monument.