If you plan your hiking trip well, you can photograph The Needles and Druid Arch on the same 12 mile round trip excursion. In mid March we left the Squaw Flat trailhead about an hour before sunrise. After stopping briefly to photograph The Needles at sunrise, we headed on to Druid Arch. Located near the head of Elephant Canyon, about 6 miles from the trailhead, Druid Arch is quite impressive. If will take about 2-3 hours travel time for a typical hiker to reach the arch.
The best light for this location occurs around the spring and autumnal equinox. So the months of March and September would be a good time to try it. The cooler temperatures in March of course would make for more comfortable hiking on the return trip. Be sure to take plenty of water as there is no good source of water on the route.
Late morning for this side of the arch. Like most desert shots it’s better with some puffy clouds. The other side of the arch is best photographed in early afternoon. The shot above was taken at the equivalent of a 44mm focal length lens on a 35mm full frame camera
LENS & FILTERS
LENS: 28-70 mm on a full frame camera, 17-40mm on a crop sensor camera
FILTER: A warming polarizer can really intensify the red light and sky.