I first visited the Grand Canyon on an awkward family road trip when I was a kid, and it blew me away. Last spring I went backpacking in Havasupai (equally mind blowing), and rather than going straight back to southern California, I routed myself east on I-40 to the South Rim. Yavapai Point did not disappoint, and I spent a few nights in Flagstaff as well, which had a surprising amount of charm. After that I brainstormed with my mom about other scenic spots in the state, and I added Saguaro National Park to my list, along with Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

I'm currently wrapping up a six-week road trip that has taken me through several states in the southwest, where I've been photographing national monuments that are under review by the federal government. I'm joining forces with my good friend, Nicole Brown, to drum up awareness on social media, and offer resources on how we can better protect these stunning, wild places. We've been a bit overwhelmed at times, but mostly in a good way, and I can't wait to share more of what we got into. Earlier this month we spent a few days in Canyon de Chelly National Monument on the way from Utah to New Mexico, and now we're on day 41 of this trip, leaving Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

After a wild sunset on our first night (and an incredible moment with a raven yesterday), we got hit with a storm this morning, just as we were packing up to head back to California. Arizona has given me magic light, friendly faces and a thirst for more (I'd love to come shoot the monsoons out here), so I will definitely be back as soon as things cool down a bit. I love desert camping, but when the overnight lows are still hovering around 90, it's not where you want to be. Still, I wouldn't trade those sticky nights in the tent for anything, and these are a few of my favorite photos from the two weeks I've spent in Arizona this spring.

#southwest #landscapes #desert #nature