Fuji 400H film photography of some cacti in the desert

Arizona Road Trip!

I was finally able to make my way back down to Arizona again when I shot Nathan & Janet’s wedding in Tucson. My best friends & I made a road trip out of it & were able to visit a few amazing places along the way. Including Moab, Utah, Arches National Park, the Grand Canyon, & Saguaro National Park. (P.S. these make great locations for an elopement in Arizona!)

We started by getting up early & leaving for Colorado. We were in Denver by 10AM. Colorado has so much to offer but we wanted to get to Utah so decided to take the faster way through Colorado on I-70. We arrived in Moab that evening. We would have loved to camp, but had a wedding to attend. It would just be too much with camping, haha! We got ready for an early morning hike to Delicate Arch.

We woke up about 2 1/2 hours before sunrise so we could have time to eat, pack up, & hike. I just had to see Delicate Arch at sunrise. As the sun rose the whole area glowed & it was beautiful! Except for one thing. There was a guy on his phone talking very loudly about things that weren’t even important.

When you are in beautiful places like this, take some time to enjoy these amazing places, even if you are photographing them. Put your camera down for just a few minutes, sit, breathe in the fresh air, & take a look around without a camera or a phone between you & the view. Live in the moment! Don’t just photograph it.

I do this a lot with my friends- dragging them along to scenic locations at the worst times of day & night! I drive them crazy, but somehow we’re still friends! BUT they’ve been able to see some of the most amazing things & places at the best times.

After Utah, we made our way down to Monument Valley, Arizona & the Grand Canyon. By the time we got to the Grand Canyon we were chasing the sunset. Some closed roads made us turn around a few times & speed a little but I couldn’t miss a sunset at the Grand Canyon! And I’m so glad we made it.

The sunset was nothing short of amazing! The Grand Canyon was a sight to behold & it sure took my breath away. I haven’t ever seen anything like it. The different canyons are like the veins of the earth, & at sunset they came alive with color.

We eventually made our way down to Phoenix & visited the Desert Botanical Gardens there. It was so nice to finally enjoy some warmth & sun in Arizona. The whole Sonoran Desert is a beautiful area, I know a lot of people don’t attribute beauty to deserts, but the Sonoran Desert is such a beautifully preserved area. Here in Nebraska there is so little land left that isn’t disturbed, many plant & animal species have become endangered or nonexistent in Nebraska & for me it is so refreshing to see these wild places that, for the most part, haven’t been severely disturbed by people.

On our way back we took the scenic route through Colorado. We stopped by the little towns like Silverton, Ouray, & Durango. The drive through the Red Canyon in Colorado National Monument was amazing! It was also a little scary driving it because there were no guard rails on the steep sided road & there was freezing rain. But we made it home safe & sound!

And if you are looking to elope in Arizona, I’d love to help you out! An elopement in the desert can be a perfect way to get married, especially in the winter or spring when the desert is usually a little more green & the weather is perfect.


  1. Moab is a wonderful destination. Been going there and staying for one week , every year for past fifteen or so years. Love running the river as well taking the razir out on the slick rock, etc.

  2. Wow, what a fantastic road trip! I really need to get to Moab in Utah! I fell in love with Zion and Moab looks just, as if not more magical!

  3. Wow! The colors of those Grand Canyon photos are incredible Malachi! And your Arizona adventure looks incredible. What an incredible road trip <3

  4. Your landscape photos of your Utah and Arizona road trip are STUNNING! I love the sunset shots of the Grand Canyon! So gorgeous! I did this roadtrip last year too and it was so amazing! The Southwest is so gorgeous!

  5. This road trip looks like a blast! I mean, Moab, Arches?! Ugh! I’d love to shoot an elopement there!

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