Petrified Dunes After Rain Storm – Snow Canyon State Park


Snow Canyon State Park is about 15 minutes from where I live. After significant rainfall, which occurs very rarely, reflective pools build in an area of the park with sandstone formations known as petrified dunes

Here is a vertical version of the same scene.

Feature Image Details

Those are sunset images from October.

The next sufficient rainfall was Christmas Eve. I took images Christmas Eve and on Christmas day.

Of the three images above the first was an October sunrise, the second Christmas Eve early morning, and the third Christmas day early morning.

The previous two images are opposite sides of the same pool.

It takes specific natural requirements for these images

  1. Sufficient rain. It happens rarely.
  2. No wind. Good reflections are not possible if it’s too windy.
  3. Clouds at sunrise or sunset.
  4. Clear air or the background will not look sharp.

After summer rains, the air is hot and muggy with temperatures 100 degrees or more. The pools dry up quickly and the cloud formations tend to be poor.

October through March are generally best, but the rain, clouds, wind, and air quality all have to be right. I had this shot in mind for a year before I got it. Then conditions were right twice in two months but only on one of them did the clouds turn colors at sunset.

Many times I went to the park after rain only to find the rain all soaked in or evaporated too quickly. One seemingly good opportunity was ruined by wind and then the next day the pool was gone.

More images from Snow Canon State Park coming up.


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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

5 thoughts on “Petrified Dunes After Rain Storm – Snow Canyon State Park

  1. These are spectacular! Gorgeous landscapes. I bet you captured some fabulous tortoise photographs today too. It was fascinating to watch you work.

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