Moonrise at Agathla Peak I

Agathla Peak looms over the Navajo Nation just south of Monument Valley. The eroded volcanic plug, which is considered sacred by the Navajo, rises 1,500 feet above the surrounding high desert. Non-tribal members sometimes call this rock "El Capitan". It's also common for people to mistake it for Shiprock, which is not too far away, just over the Arizona/New Mexico state line. Anyway, I arrived at this spot early, knowing the moon would rise near the peak. What I did not expect was that while I was waiting a huge shadow from cliffs behind me would start creeping up Agathla Peak. I was afraid the whole peak would become dark before the moon appeared. It was like an upward race between the shadow and the moon, and I was rooting for the moon. In the end both appeared in the photo, which I think actually made the picture all the more interesting.

Attach an invitation!

Dave Wilson Dave Wilson

Taken 6:41 PM on April 18, 2019
Uploaded 11:21 AM on April 19, 2019
Posted in Landscapes
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • ƒ/18.0
  • 1/100 sec.
  • 104 mm
  • 100 ISO
Kayenta, AZ
Map of Kayenta, AZ


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