Scottsdale, AZ advise needed
My company is sending me to a 3-day conference in Scaottsdale, AZ the last week of March. I'll have a little time in the early mornings and late afternoon/evenings to explore the area. Are there any 'must see' spots I can take in while I'm there? I shoot mostly B/W landscapes with various folders or 4x5 field camera.
Wes in Washington, DC
Scottsdale landscapes are pretty tough, think flat and cookie cutter. Not a lot of character. For cityscapes or street I would head to Mill Ave and ASU in Tempe. I would say mornings are out, unless you are near a golf course. In the evenings you can head east to the Fountain Hills Fort Mcdowell area. Head up 87. I shot out that way about 3 years ago. You leave the city pretty quick and get into the hils out there.
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No 'must see' locations, AFAIK. As Mark says, the whole area is so overgrown...
If the rain continues, the mountains N of Phoenix should have some good flowers on display.
McDowell Mountain Park is close by and is fairly photogenic.
If time and daylight allow, continue N on 87 a few dozen miles. There are numerous mountain/desert short hikes along the way.
Also try the Bumble Bee area, an hour N on I-17.
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The Superstition Mountains area, out near Apache Junction, has a lot of opportunities. Lost Dutchman State Park is being shut down in June, but is a good base for scenics and wildflowers. Do a search for pictures to give you some ideas.
I'm not sure how far afield you could get in the morning or evening. Highway 87 has been mentioned, I would put my vote in for Bush Hwy, which is just south of 87. From Scottsdale you would want to get onto the 202 probably via the 101. Take the 202 to Power Rd and head north, which turns into Bush Hwy.
I have spent a lot of time along here over the years. Just outside of town you enter the southern portion of the Tonto National Forest, which may sound like a misnomer if your from the east. It is an understated portion of desert along here, but there are some nice vistas I think. In March, if the rains keep up as they have, the wildflowers could be pretty spectacular. The Bush Hwy follows and crosses the Salt River, which in March should be flowing pretty well. There are half a dozen Tonto National Forest recreation sites to pull off into and wander about. Granite Reef is the first along the highway, with a good view of the Salt River and Red Mountain. Water Users rec site, one of the furtherest along Bush Hwy, is one of my favorites to burn a few rolls quick. At least for me it's within reach of punching the clock and catching the fading light.
Another one that is a little farther afield but worthy if you get some "extra" time is Lost Dutchman State Park, which is in danger of closing due to State budget cuts, is at the base of the Superstition Mountains and in March with a season of good rain could have a spectacular wildflower display. Same general direction as the Bush Hwy, just stay on the 202 to the Brown Rd. exit and head east to Hwy 88.
Closer in you might want to head over to Papago Park (McDowell Rd and Galvin Parkway), the buttes are a little unique I think for folks around here they have just faded into the urban landscape, but you might find them creatively motivating. The Desert Botanical Garden is also in the park area and it is a nice stop. I'm not sure what their photography policy is. It may be one of those "buy our postcards..., don't make your own..." kind of things but something to check out none the less. It gives a nice perspective on the true beauty of the desert, and not desert as wasteland...
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