The Painted Desert

painted desert

Almost two months ago, Brendan and I embarked on one of the most exciting adventures of our marriage so far – driving 3400 miles across the country to move to California. I’ve already shared pictures from our day at the Grand Canyon, but today I’m sharing images from another favorite day. While planning for our road trip, I wanted to stop at as many National Parks as possible. The Painted Desert and Petrified Forest were just across the Arizona border and were the first parks we visited. I had originally only budgeted a few couple hours for our stop thinking that we’d take in some pretty views and look at the old trees-turned-rocks. Man, was I wrong!

The Painted Desert is without a doubt one of the most incredible places I’ve seen with my own two eyes. Miles of red desert speckled with cacti, agave and desert flowers. It seemed like the more we drove through the park, the more amazed we became that so much varied landscape could be in one area. One minute you’re looking over multicolored hills and valleys, and the next you’re looking as far as the horizon goes. The best part? The National Parks Association encourages you to go off the beaten path! If you’ve ever been to a state or national park, you know that this is not a normal thing. Typically, there are signs everywhere warning you of danger or requiring you to stay on the path, but here they wanted us to make our own way and explore the landscape for ourselves.

This was one of my favorite stops on our trip and I hope these pictures encourage you to visit this amazing place sometime! I’ll be sharing more film from our trip, but you can catch highlights on Instagram and in this little video I made a while back :)

Film Processing: PhotoVision

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Emily is a destination film wedding photographer. She loves natural light and is available to travel worldwide.

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Based in Santa Rosa, California. 

Available worldwide.

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