Sandstone Beauty - Colorado River Scenic Byway, Moab, Utah

Moab is a town that is the hub to access two major national parks of the southwest, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Those parks usually get the majority of the crowds that stay in Moab. There is, however, a much less visited area even closer to Moab that is every bit as spectacular known as the Colorado River Scenic Byway. Also known as the River Road, it follows the twists and turns of the mighty Colorado River for 44 miles and is one of the most scenic drives in the US.

Rock formations rise from the ground everywhere you look, and each one seems more amazing than the last. Many of these formations have unique names, such as the formation on the left in this photo that is known as the Priest and the Nuns (it is also known as the Rectory). We started out here on our first full day in Moab at sunrise and captured the early morning light and deep shadows that started our day. This particular formation can be found in the Professor Valley section of River Road.