The dark skies across much of the Southwest, especially northern Arizona, make for some incredible astrophotography opportunities. Even when you are near cities such as Flagstaff or Sedona, the skies are plenty dark enough to see countless stars, and when in season, an EPIC Milky Way.
I first moved to Flagstaff, Arizona back in June of 2014 after starting my job with the National Weather Service (NWS). I had no idea how long I would live here, so it was always my goal to travel as frequently as possible to see all the beauty the American Southwest has to offer - and that is exactly what I did.
The 2016 Perseid Meteor Shower peaked on the morning of August 12th. I set out with a friend to Buffalo Park in Flagstaff, Arizona to capture the shower. We arrived around 10 PM, a time during which the moon was still a couple hours from setting. This allowed me to capture a well-lit foreground shot that I would use to layer all the brightest meteors that I captured through the night.
I began my hike from the Hualapai Hilltop parking lot around 5 AM. The trail starts off going down a series of switchbacks where you descend around 1,000 feet in the first mile or so. Almost immediately I ran into my first obstacle; four horses, two of which were babies. The trail was quite narrow, so I made sure not to get too close to the horses as they were slowly walking down in front of me.