News from Kane Engelbert

2-10-2020: New Hunts Mesa Gallery

New Hunts Mesa Gallery

Ive added a designated Hunts Mesa Gallery to my site.  I often get asked questions about my two visits to Hunts so I thought adding its own collection of Images might be helpful as well.  

Years ago, I remember discovering the perfect desert scene while looking for photography inspiration on a website called NPN (Natures Photography Network.) The years that followed I just couldn’t move on without knowing where it was... The damage was done, the purity of that scene was forever burned into my conscience. I'll describe it to you. It is the grandest of Grand Vistas. It is overlooking hundreds of miles of red and orange Sands with perfectly placed sandstone Pillars and Buttes resembling towering Monuments of the Southwest. The tone here screams Navajo Nation! It is the one and only Hunts Mesa.

Ive made two trips to Hunts Mesa, once in 2016, and in 2017 I went back, this time with friends and we stayed three days and two nights. Hunts Mesa is located in the Navajo Nation and Reservation. To visit, one must be accompanied by a Navajo guiding service. Its virtually impossible to visit Hunts without a guiding service, the complicated logistics include some of the roughest off-roading I’ve experienced which includes actually getting lost for hours on my first 2016 visit. For those that attempt a stealth visit without a guide, the obvious color of our skin gives us away if we are not accompanied by Navajo. Our guide explained that visitors without a guide will always be approached to insure one is safe and not lost. Most guide services have a well planned service for a single overnight stay that comes with shelter, authentic Navajo food, campfire and plenty of Navajo ambiance. Sharing your enthusiasm for photography will get you to a few of their more popular overlooks for sunrise and sunset.

My first visit was the above, planned out by the guide service. My second visit had to be more. I wanted to live the Hunts Mesa experience to its fullest so I negotiated two full nights and three days. We brought our own food and tents, to keep cost down and asked permission to hike the mesa rim for miles. After building trust with our guiding service they granted our group access to that mesa rim and to a rarely viewed arch. We would be dropped off anywhere we wanted and were free to explore the pristine lands of Hunts Mesa. Always mindful of our environmental impact we all went our separate ways and soaked in the powerful Navajo ambience and the perfect views over looking the world famous Monument Valley. It was an incredibly memorable experience, one worth going back for more…

The following scenes are from my second visit. A few are from the same overlook with different foreground elements, and the rest are likely from my hike along the rim of the mesa. Some of these scenes I have not ever viewed before online and I feel privileged to have visited and ultimately share with you.

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