Photographing Monsoon Storms & Light at the Grand Canyon - 2023

September 17, 2023

It has been another great year photographing monsoon storms, rainbows, and light at the Grand Canyon.

Since late July, I have led several photography workshops on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and I've made numerous personal trips to both the South Rim and the North Rim of the park. Three of those workshops were my regular group workshop, one was a private workshop for a group of friends, and one was for several members of a camera club.

Over the years, I've come to notice that more people are coming specifically to photograph lightning at the Grand Canyon. I get it; the lightning is extremely exciting to photograph, and the shots can be stunning. I love to photograph the lightning, but what I love most about the monsoon season is the light and atmosphere that often comes with photographing the storms.

I love capturing rain falling into the canyon or clouds below the rim as they tumble across the temples, buttes, and ridges. And I love the way the normally harsh sunlight is scattered by the humidity in the atmosphere, creating a softer palette of light and color. For these reasons, I feel that the monsoon season isn't just about capturing lightning, but rather, it's about photographing the Grand Canyon when the landscape transforms before our very eyes into a breathtaking canvas that stirs the soul and ignites the creative spirit.




One of the most majestic views on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is from Cape Royal. With a nearly 270º panoramic vista of...
Guardian of the Grand Canyon

One of the most majestic views on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is from Cape Royal. With a nearly 270º panoramic vista of the canyon, the view is dominated by Wotans Throne.

Wotan, also known as Wodan, Woden, or Odin, is one of the principal gods in Norse mythology.

From earliest times, Wotan was a war god, and he appeared in heroic literature as the protector of heroes. From the high perch at Cape Royal, you can imagine Wotan surveying the scene as he protects the Grand Canyon.

The sky over the Grand Canyon lights up in a brilliant display of color thanks to clouds from monsoon storms. From Point Sublime...
Sublime Sunset

The sky over the Grand Canyon lights up in a brilliant display of color thanks to clouds from monsoon storms. From Point Sublime on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

The warm light of a summer sunset bathes the distant reaches of the canyon in pastel hues. From the Rim Trail in Grand Canyon...
Sunset from the Village

The warm light of a summer sunset bathes the distant reaches of the canyon in pastel hues. From the Rim Trail in Grand Canyon Village near El Tovar and Bright Angel Lodge. © Adam Schallau, All Rights Reserved.

After a rainy night, clouds form within the depths of the Grand Canyon and rise to meet the light of the sun. In the distance...
Rising to the Sun

After a rainy night, clouds form within the depths of the Grand Canyon and rise to meet the light of the sun. In the distance is Marble Canyon and the Vermilion Cliffs. From Point Imperial on the North Rim.

The sky above the distant Navajo Mountain lights up at sunrise. This view from Point Imperial on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon...
Sunrise over Navajo Mountain

The sky above the distant Navajo Mountain lights up at sunrise. This view from Point Imperial on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon looks across 80 miles of desert landscape including Saddle Mountain, Shinumo Altar, and Echo Cliffs before reaching Navajo Mountain.

Sunkissed clouds drift between the ridges below Point Sublime after a sudden monsoon storm. From the North Rim of Grand Canyon...
Clearing Storm at Point Sublime

Sunkissed clouds drift between the ridges below Point Sublime after a sudden monsoon storm. From the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

Early morning rain falling into the canyon  is backlit by the sun. From Point Sublime on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National...
Sublime Sunrise Panorama

Early morning rain falling into the canyon is backlit by the sun. From Point Sublime on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

A foggy view of Brady Peak and Mount Hayden from Vista Encantada on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Vista Brumosa

A foggy view of Brady Peak and Mount Hayden from Vista Encantada on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

After heavy rain from monsoon storms, clouds have formed within the Grand Canyon. They drift amongst the many buttes below the...
Siegfried Pyre in the Clouds

After heavy rain from monsoon storms, clouds have formed within the Grand Canyon. They drift amongst the many buttes below the rim of the canyon including Siegfried Pyre. From Point Imperial on the North Rim of the canyon.

Clouds silently drift between ridges within the depths of the Grand Canyon.
Listening to the Silence

Clouds silently drift between ridges within the depths of the Grand Canyon.