American Photo Tours
American Photo Tours California Winter Tour

Arizona New Mexico Winter Tour

Tour Description

The Southwest in Winter!

Highlights: Tucson AZ, Kitt Peak, Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum, Saguaro National Park, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Chiricahua National Monument, White Sands Reserve, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, desert wildlife, mountain landscapes, beautiful caverns, saguaros

Day 1: We rendezvous in Phoenix at our motel (private tours are met at the airport) and have dinner together as we get acquainted and get oriented to the week’s adventures. We will be staying at this motel for 1 night.

Cactus flower in bloomDay 2: Early in the morning, we head south to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and visit both the East and West units of the park to capture the rare cactus and the beautiful sandstone formations in the eastern section of this remote area of Arizona. This is a rare opportunity to see a natural spring in the desert and learn how it contributes to the animal life of the Sonoran Desert. Midday we will head east toward Tucson and stop at Kitt Peak to view the desert from high up in the mountains and see and photograph some of the telescopes that have made Arizona famous. We end the day in Tucson and a comfortable night in this night-sky-darkened city.

Day 3: We head north from downtown and explore Sabino Canyon today, taking a shuttle to the top of the canyon and then leisurely working our way down as we photograph this gem of the mountains. We can hop on and off the shuttle as we wish between photo shoots and will end up back at the bottom of the canyon by midday. This afternoon we will make our way over the Tucson Mountains to briefly visit Saguaro National Park’s West Unit, and then spend a few hours exploring the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum for a wide range of photographic opportunities with wildlife and plants of the region. This evening we head back to the motel and a good dinner and a chance to discuss the day’s “captures.”

Day 4: Today we make our way east toward New Mexico making a short side trip to the east side of the Chiricahua Mountains and an opportunity to photograph these seldom seen majestic orange cliffs. Then it’s back on the highway to White Sands Reserve and a chance to photograph one of the most pristine white dune formati0ons in North America. Sand dunes are best photographed early and late in the day, and we will be there with the last few hours of daylight to create the best shadows and wave formations to be found. When we are finished, we will travel a few miles more to Alamogordo and stay the night in this small town.

Day 5: The way east leads us to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico and what is critically acclaimed as the most interesting underground cavern system in North America. There are others, Mammoth and Luray, etc., but Carlsbad has immense underground rooms and a great variety of formations and colors to add to the appeal. We will spend a few hours in this great cavern, never having to walk very far, and then take the elevator back up and visit the surface features to round out the day. We will then stay in the very nice town of Carlsbad for the night before heading south in the morning.

Day 6: We don’t have to go very far today as our next landscape is on the border of Texas and New Mexico, and represents the tallest mountains in the Lone Star State – the Guadalupes. We will spend time on the east side poking into some of the short canyons, then make our way to the south end, and then drive out into the desert on the west side and frame the mountains with the dunes and desert brush in this area of sand and jack rabbits. Very little walking, but a lot of dynamic landscapes! We then make our way west back to Las Cruces New Mexico and a good night’s rest and dinner.

Day 7: It is up and out by 8:00 AM and a trip just east of the city of Las Cruces to Dripping Springs Natural Area and a leisurely stroll through this photogenic area of seeping water and wonderful desert backdrops. When we are done by late morning, it’s off to the El Paso airport and return flights to all points of the Southwest Airlines compass with memories of a beautiful and varied photographic experience in the winter deserts of Arizona and New Mexico (with a little bit of Texas!)

Tour Information:
7 days/6 nights
Group Size 1 to 4
Arrive/Depart: Phoenix, AZ/El Paso, TX
Trip Includes:
Transportation - entire tour itinerary will be provided by American Photo Tours.
Lodging - all motel/hotel accomodations, single or double occupancy for entire tour are included.
Meals - breakfast and lunch for entire tour are included.
Professional Guide Service - Greg Smith will be your professional guide and photographic consultant for the entire tour.
Fees and Admissions - all fees and admissions will be paid by American Photo Tours as part of the tour.
Tour Departure Dates:

Contact us to choose your preferred tour dates!

Tour Costs:

Double Occupancy - $3,590
Single Occupancy Supplement - $995
We offer 20% discounts for all travelers in groups of 2-6!


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