This sunrise shoot at Dead Horse State Park in Moab, Utah absolutely blew me away. It had everything: snow capped mountains, epic Grand Canyon-esque desert views, classic vibrant red/orange Moab coloring, and a sunrise that showed up for us! I certainly left a piece of my heart in the desert and can’t wait to go back (hopefully soon).
I took a big leap this spring. I decided to go on a 10 day solo road trip with my two dogs (so not alone at all actually) through the desert and 5 states. We hiked, camped, kayaked, crawled through slot canyons, drove off road, and met some amazing people along the way! It was a major learning experience for me personally to be on my own for 10 days as you can imagine. My limits were tested and I know I came out a more confident, stronger version of myself. There were several speed bumps along the way like camping in 30+mph winds, having to take my dog to the vet after an eye injury, and hitting a deer with my car in the wee morning hours (on my birthday no less). Regardless of these “bumps in the road” the trip was so special and an experience I’ll never forget. I’m an adventurer to my core and am already dreaming up the next trip.
Annalyssa and Eric were introduced to me through a mutual friend and have been married for a few years. They never got their wedding photos back, which is absolutely heartbreaking. This is somehow not the first time I’ve heard a story like this and I don’t understand it. Do better wedding photographers. We chatted and decided it would be so amazing to meet up in Moab to do this shoot while I was on my road trip. The experience and the photos did not disappoint! It was a chilly desert morning in March but they were such troopers and so sweet with each other.
Dead Horse State Park is about a 40 minute drive from the town of Moab, Utah. We all camped just north of Arches National Park the night prior to be a little closer and have a shorter early morning drive! The town of Moab was really cute with lots of great restaurants, food trucks, shops, and an overall great small town vibe. The hiking all around Moab is incredible and you really cannot go wrong. My favorite spots personally were the Fisher Towers and the Corona Arch at sunrise before all the crowds arrived.
Are you convinced yet that you should take a visit to the Utah desert? Or to elope in Utah? If so please take me along! I would love to help you plan out an adventure of a lifetime and some epic photos along the way.
Kelsey Straus is a PNW Elopement +
Intimate Wedding Photographer
based in Portland, Oregon