Painted Desert

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All throughout Big Bend National Park, bands of different-colored rocks give the mountains a painted look. At sunset, the sky and the mountains and the desert floor all explode with vibrant colors, and it seems like you’ve stepped straight into the canvas into another world. Taken on January 11, 2013 with a Nikon D7000 and 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 Nikkor lens. Click image to enlarge.

Tuff Canyon Ravine

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Composed of many different types of volcanic rock, Big Bend National Park’s Tuff Canyon is a geologic wonder. My companion and I climbed through the canyon a good distance before we began to lose daylight. To save time getting back to our vehicle, we scaled one of the canyon walls. Three quarters of the way up, I couldn’t help taking a shot of the breathtaking view below us. Taken with a Nikon D7000 and 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 Nikkor lens. Click image to enlarge.

The Grapevine Hills

Sweeping Clouds over Grapevine Hills

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During my Grapevine Hills hike at Big Bend National Park, the clouds were varied and remarkable. Click here for a more detailed description of the hike. Both photos were taken near the trailhead on January 10, 2013 with a Nikon D7000 and 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 Nikkor lens. Click image to enlarge.

Grapevine Hills Boulder Valley

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Grapevine Hills, a valley of boulders and monoliths. While the main attraction of this 2.2-mile hike at Big Bend National Park is an enormous rock window affectionately known as “Balanced Rock,” the view back towards the trailhead and down into the boulder valley is just as impressive. As I weaved in and out of boulders, I mused about how easily a mountain lion could lay in wait for me behind one of the boulders, if it wanted to. Taken on January 10, 2013 with a Nikon D7000 and 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 Nikkor lens. Click image to enlarge.

The Land of the Shadow

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“Then shouldering their burdens, they set off, seeking a path that would bring them over the grey hills of the Emyn Muil, and down into the Land of the Shadow.” – J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings. In some places, Big Bend National Park does look like Mordor; as a land birthed in volcanic activity, the result is a valley of stunning, jagged mountains, striped ruddy, white, and black. Taken January 11, 2013 with a Nikon D7000 and 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 Nikkor lens.