Incredibly Rare Grand Canyon Cloud Inversion Time-lapse

If you didn’t catch enough time-lapses in 2017 to whet your photographic whistle, then ring in the new year with this breathtaking video from SKYGLOW project: Kaibab Requiem. Filmed in the Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, this stunning time-lapse showcases a rare cloud inversion, alongside some extraordinary night skies.

Full cloud inversions occur on days when cold air is trapped in the canyon by a surface of warm air, combined with moisture and condensation to create blankets of thick cloud and barreling fog.

As seen in the video, the dense cloud laps like ocean waves against the canyon rock before shrouding it in the murky fog. These inversions are often followed by whipping snowstorms that fleck the ground white, again depicted in this time-lapse.

The video is part of a series for the crowdfunded SKYGLOW project, which is on a mission to “explore the effects and dangers of urban light pollution” against the mesmerising dark sky zones of the North American landscape.

SKYGLOW is an ongoing project in conjunction with the International Dark-Sky Association, who recently designated the nation’s first ever Dark Sky Reserve in Idaho, and fight tirelessly across the globe to preserve our starry night skies.

This time-lapse is certainly no dark sky disappointment, as following the inversion is a visual feast of interstellar proportions. From a naked tree before a swirl of stars, to the rising sun breaking over the canyon, the video enshrines the importance of dark sky preservation to perfection.

For more from the SKYGLOW project, visit their website, Facebook, and Instagram.

If you’re feeling inspired to capture your own slice of the celestial, then check out our 4 Important Habits to Improve Your Nightscape Photos, or our instructional video for nightscapes and time-lapses!


Ed Carr is a Yorkshire-born landscape photographer and nature writer. Having spent his youth in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, he takes any opportunity to don his hiking boots and head out, camera in hand. When not out taking pictures or hastily scribbling down his thoughts, Ed’s halfway up a hill out chasing after his dog, Hendrix.