Steptoe Butte is the ideal place to shoot at both sunrises and sunsets. The low sun on the horizon at these times accentuates the mounds and hills with both light and shadow. Shooting at other times of the day, while still pretty, impacts the definition and three-dimensional look to the landscape.
The cool feature of Steptoe Butte is its shape. Generally round in shape, it is quite broad at the bottom and quite small at the top. At the top, you get a 360-degree view of the surrounding farmland. While that sounds like a great view, from a photographic standpoint, it is quite difficult to capture even with a wide panorama. Since the road to the top is circular, you can stop just about anywhere and choose whether you are shooting into the rising/setting sun or away from it. For this shot, we parked looking into the rising sun. While the rest of the group was shooting in that direction, I walked up the road to a more north-looking direction. I did this to capture the sidelight that gives the scene a different look without the glare of the sun at the top of the image.