Escalante and the Grand Staircase Photo Workshop

5 Days - Escalante, Utah
Sep 30 - Oct 4, 2019
Activity Level


Join landscape photographer Laurence Parent for an outdoor photo adventure to Escalante and the Grand Staircase. Spend five days hiking in the backcountry and capturing some of the most spectacular images of slot canyons, hoodoos, river washes, slickrock and waterfalls.

Registration deadline: August 28, 2019

Southern Utah’s Grand Staircase, situated in Escalante National Monument, boasts more than 3,000 square miles of sun-drenched backcountry, colorful sandstone cliffs, hoodoos, slickrock, narrow slot canyons, scenic washes and ancient petroglyphs. But to see many of these fascinating locations you must lace up your hiking boots and traverse the trails and washes to find these hidden treasures. Although considered a bit more strenuous than some of our workshops, participants will reap the reward of their efforts. Awaiting your arrival at the end of the trails will be the spectacular sights of Hell’s Backbone, Hole-in-the-Rock Road, and the Burr Trail. Each twist and turn will reveal yet another unique canyon, plateau or mountain vista. Photographer and instructor Laurence Parent has navigated this expansive wilderness region and knows the best photographic treasures in the area. Over the course of five days, Laurence will guide photographers on technique, composition and settings in order to capture stunning images of this region.


We will spend time photographing Peek-A-Boo Canyon and Spooky Gulch as well as the unique hoodoos in Devils Garden and the flowing falls at Lower Calf Creek. And when not photographing canyons, slickrock and waterfalls, we will head into the Dixie National Forest and photograph the changing color of aspens and sweeping vistas across the plateau. During the workshop, time will be spent reviewing photographic techniques and image reviews.

Workshop Includes:

  • Photographic instruction
  • Lodging based on Double Occupancy
  • Round-trip transportation from Phoenix
  • A couple of picnic breakfast/lunches in the field, water, snacks and a farewell dinner
  • All applicable entrance, park, permit* and tour fees
  • Post workshop critique

Day 1 – Monday, September 30

  • Arrive in Escalante by early afternoon. Check into motel.
  • Photograph that evening at Devils Garden along Hole-in-the-Rock Road where there are arches and many hoodoos. Total hiking is around a ½ mile.
  • Dinner on own.

Day 2 – Tuesday, October 1

  • Early rise for a morning hike to Zebra Slot (about 4.5 miles RT on relative flat trail and desert wash), one of the most scenic slot canyons in the region. We will bring snacks to hold us over until we hike out.
  • After our hike we will stop for a late lunch and then back to hotel for a bit of downtime for downloading images.
  • Late afternoon, we’ll head out again near Boulder Mountain where we’ll photograph the dramatic high ridge at sunset or possible groves of aspens.
  • Dinner on own.

Day 3 – Wednesday, October 2

  • Rise early to catch sunrise down along the Escalante River Canyon among the slick rock bluffs.
  • The remainder of our morning will be spent shooting the twisted slot of Peek-A-Boo Canyon, Spooky Gulch and the Dry Fork of Coyote Gulch.  This hike and scramble is about 2 miles roundtrip through the two slot canyons.
  • Along the way we will stop and enjoy our picnic lunch.
  • Mid-afternoon we will drive to Fortymile Ridge Road to the Sunset Arch trailhead where we will hike to the arch for sunset photos.
  • Alternately, if the group prefers a lighter excursion for sunset we will return to Devils Garden for Sunset.
  • Dinner.

Day 4 – Thursday, October 3

  • Pending how late our previous night’s excursion goes, we will either catch sunrise against the dramatic bluffs of the Escalante River Canyon or skip for a leisurely morning.
  • Mid-morning we will embark on a 6 mile RT hike to photograph Lower Calf Creek Falls before returning to town for lunch.
  • Early afternoon we will head out into the Dixie National Forest on Pine Canyon Road to Posy Lake for fall aspen photos.
  • Then it is on to Hells Backbone for sunset photos.
  • Final group dinner.

Day 5 – Friday, October 4

  • Our final sunrise will take us to slick rock bluffs along the Burr Trail.
  • Return to motel. Checkout.
  • Meet for last classroom session and image critique.
  • Workshop adjourns by noon.

Strenuous Rating: Moderate to Difficult.
Participants must be in good physical condition. During this workshop we will hike approximately 14 miles over five days. You must be able to hike, carrying your own gear and water, through desert washes and be capable of some light rock scrambling. Most hikes will involve little elevation change. Sturdy hiking shoes are recommended.


The Workshop will Depart from / Return to:

Holiday Inn & Suites
3220 S. 48th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85040
Phone: (480) 543-1700

Pre-night and post-night rooms are available for workshop partipants at our corporate rate. Participants are required to make their own reservations and pay for these dates. The corporate rate is only available on a space-available status and must be booked online. The corporate rate is not available by phone.

Lodging During the Workshop:

Circle D Motel
475 W Main St.
Escalante, UT 84726
Phone: (435) 826-4297

The workshop begins at the Circle D Motel in Escalante. Four nights lodging are included in your workshop fee based on double occupancy. Should you wish a single room, you may select the single supplement during registration.

Laurence Parent
Ken Brown
Photo Guide
There are a number of reputable companies who provide Travel Insurance.  For your convenience, we offer travel protection through TravelEx Insurance Services.  For more information on the available plans or to enroll, go or contact TravelEx Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 03-0147.  Travel Insurance is underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. W20




Should you find it necessary to cancel your workshop, the following cancellation policy applies – NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • 91 days or more prior to the start of the workshop your deposit will be refunded less $100
  • 90 days full payment is due
  • 61-90 days your workshop fees will be refunded in the form of an AHPS Store Credit Voucher less $100 administrative fee.  Voucher is good for 18 months.
  • * 60 days or less until departure – No refund.

* If we are able to fill your seat and the workshop runs at full enrollment we will refund your workshop fees less $100 administrative fee.

NOTE:  Workshop bookings including, but not limited to, outfitters, permit agencies, lodging and more are requiring firm financial commitments at 90 days.  Therefore, in order to continue to bring you to great destinations we must strictly adhere to our cancellation policy as outlined above. We recognize cancellations can some time be unavoidable that is why securing a Travel Protection Plan is highly encouraged.


Arizona Highways PhotoScapes reserves the right to cancel any workshop if our minimum student enrollment is not met. In the event AHPS cancels a workshop, participants will be given the option to reschedule to a later date or receive a full refund for the workshop components booked directly with AHPS.  Please Note: we are not liable for the additional expenses incurred such as airfare, hotel accommodations or any other components booked outside of the workshop.


PAYMENT TERMS:  A minimum deposit is due at registration to reserve your space.  Please refer to the specific workshop for the required deposit.  Final payments are due 90 days prior to departure.  Approximately 15 days prior to the due date you will receive a reminder email that your balance is coming due.