This winter has been the kind that photographers dream of. Since December of 2022, much of northern Arizona has been impacted by what seemed like a non-stop wave of winter storms. At my home near Flagstaff, as of March 1st, we have received over 150 inches of snow. There were days when we would spend 30 to 45 minutes shoveling a path from our front door to our 4Runner and by the time we were done, so much snow had fallen that you couldn’t tell that we had shoveled. There were times when it felt like winter would never end.
There were a couple of storms that were so severe that Sally and I spent days stuck at home, unable to get out of our driveway. When I could get away, I went to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to photograph it during as the storms would clear. Since December, I have made seven trips to the canyon, driven over 2,000 miles, spent 16 days in the park. There were several times where the normally 1.5 hour drive to the South Rim took over 3 hours, with much of the drive requiring four-wheel drive.
So, why do I make effort? What could possibly be worth it? The answer, at least for me, is that yes it was worth it because the canyon is simply stunning during the winter months after a storm. The site of the landscape covered in snow with clouds below the rim of the canyon is magical. Even as the snow is falling and the wind is howling, there is something incredibly peaceful about these moments in time.