Ancestral Puebloan Cliff Dwellings and Rock Art

November 1 – 6, 2024

From 13,000 B.C. to a few hundred years ago, ancient civilizations thrived within the towering sandstone canyons of the Cedar Mesa region. In the high desert of Utah, junipers and piñons live on the cliffsides, and cottonwoods hug the washes and streams. Here we will find some of the most preserved dwellings, pictographs, and petroglyphs found in North America that can still be photographed in their original state.

This will be a small group experience because of the sensitive nature of the locations and the limited space at each place. We’ll use jeeps to access these remote locations on 4-wheel drive roads. You will need to be able to walk up to two miles to these sites with your camera and tripod on your back. This will be a small group of enthusiastic photographers to capture images of unusual sites of ancient civilizations. Bring your super wide-angle lenses for low light, where you’ll learn to photograph the dwellings under the starlight. Don’t forget to bring a longer zoom lens. We will capture fantastic landscape images as blue hour turns the desert into an array of colors and textures.

We will ensure access to the best location in optimal light. Friends of Cedar Mesa will give an interpretive presentation about the region. We have arranged to have a local Navajo guide accompany us to a site with a shelter, pictographs, and petroglyphs. He will give us his interpretation and share his knowledge of the people that once thrived there.

This workshop will be held in collaboration with Friends of Cedar Mesa. In addition to creating images of these locations, we want you to learn about the people who lived here and how to preserve these fantastic sites for generations.

Ten percent of all proceeds will go to Friends of Cedar Mesa to help fund their essential preservation and educational endeavors.


Utah, USA




November 1 – 6, 2024


Sold Out
Limited to 6 Guests


This itinerary is subject to change due to weather, local conditions, and other factors.

November 1, 2024: Arrive in Durango, Colorado. You will be driven to Bluff, Utah. Once settled into our hotel, we will head to the Friends of Cedar Mesa headquarters to talk about what to expect, how to approach, and photograph some of the sensitive areas we will be visiting. Immediately following the talk, we will head out for our first sunset shoot along Comb Ridge. This geologic formation has been uplifted and reveals beautiful red sandstone textures in the late light.

Afterward, we will head back to Bluff for dinner.

November 2, 2024: We will photograph our first ruin along the San Juan River in the warmth of first light. After this shoot, we will drive a short distance to visit a fantastic panel of petroglyphs and photograph Moki steps along the river. Afterward, we will have our first image review, ensuring you can adjust your techniques in the field before the rest of the workshop. We will eat an early dinner and head out for a long hike to an incredible ruin at the top of a mesa.

November 3, 2024: After breakfast, we will head off to a ruin in a different region of Cedar Mesa. We will hike deep into a canyon and arrive at the ruin at around 11:00 a.m. This is the best time to photograph this ruin when the bounce light fills the walls with a warm glow. We’ll head back to Bluff for an image review and an early dinner. We’ll leave to capture sunset light and blue hour from Muley Point and Moki Dugway. We’ll finish the day with a milky way shoot in Valley of the Gods.

November 4, 2024: After breakfast, we will take a jeep ride and a short hike to photograph an amazing ruin in the Comb Ridge area. Our Navajo guide will be with us to discuss the people that inhabited the area. He’ll give us his interpretation of the pictographs and petroglyphs near the dwelling at the end of this cottonwood-lined canyon. We will then make our way back to Bluff. We will pack a lunch and head out to a little-known area full of picturesque granaries, shelters, pictographs, and petroglyphs.

November 5, 2024: After breakfast, we will again find ourselves deep in a canyon, driving the jeeps along a windy two-track road that will lead us to a short hike to another ruin that’s best photographed in the late morning light. This will be another location where we can photograph in reflective light. Then we’ll head back to Bluff for lunch and a lesson on post-processing night images.

This afternoon we’ll head out to another magnificent ruin. We will eat dinner out in the field and head to one of the best-preserved ruins in Cedar Mesa. We will photograph it in the late afternoon light and stick around to capture it with the Milky Way high in the sky above it.

November 6, 2024: After a hardy, well-deserved breakfast, we will have an image review and reflect on the photographs that we’ve captured. We will check out of the hotel and make our way back to Durango, Colorado.



Challenging: Up to 2 mile hikes in steep locations with soft sand and rocky terrain.


Arrive Durango–La Plata County Airport (DRO), Durango, Colorado before 11:00 AM on November 1, 2024. Flights out can be made after 2:00 PM on November 6, 2024. Air travel delays are common. Please arrive early, possibly even the day prior, so you don’t miss any of the workshop.

What to Bring

Please see our page How To Prepare For Your Workshop. We will send you a detailed information document 90 days before your workshop. This document will include specifics of where and when to meet, gear and clothing recommendations, and more.

What’s Included

  • Double occupancy lodging. Single available for $600 supplement.
  • All meals, soft drinks, and snacks during the workshop.
  • All permits and park fees.
  • All transportation during the workshop.
  • Tips for crew, drivers, and local guides.
  • Photographic guiding and instruction from 2 pros.
  • Image reviews and post-processing instruction.
  • Adventure, fun, inspiration, and a great time!

Not Included

  • Travel to and from Durango, Colorado.
  • Passport and visa fees (if applicable).
  • Any meals or accommodations before or after the workshop dates.
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Alcoholic Beverages.
  • Medical Evacuation Insurance (required).
  • Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended).
  • Anything else specifically not listed as included.
  • Single rooming available for $600 supplement.

Payment Terms

  • Your deposit of $2,995 will hold your space in this workshop.
  • The balance is due not later than July 1, 2024.
  • All of our standard Terms and Conditions apply.
  • Need special payment arrangements? No problem, just ask us.


“I think they broke the mold when they made Wayne Suggs, he is without question one of the most passionate, dedicated, generous and skilled professionals I have ever met and I’ve met many! He clearly loves to teach and is tireless in his pursuit of excellence…in fact I think he’s just tireless!! ”

— Andy Partridge, Lazarra Partridge Private '21

“The Wild Utah trip I just got home from was my third Muench Workshops trip and I'm totally thrilled with the experience and my resulting photographs. Each trip just seems to get better. I've been involved in photography for over 40 years, and I learned a lot of new techniques from the two very inspiring leaders: Marc Muench and Wayne Suggs. I highly recommend this company. ”

— Howard Brainen, Wild Utah Outback '18

Cyber Monday Sale!

$750 Off Any Workshop

Sign up for any workshop before midnight, November 28, 2023, and we’ll apply your $750 discount to your final balance payment.

Cyber Monday Sale!

$750 Off Any Workshop


Sign up for any workshop before midnight, November 28, 2023, and we’ll apply your $750 discount to your final balance payment.