Desert Thunder Tours

General Overview of Our Tours

We offer one tour in the summer when lightning storms are at their peak. We will help you with the field techniques used to capture amazing lightning and storm images.


The Desert Thunder tour offer guests an amazing experience during the peak of the monsoon season in southern and eastern Arizona, as well as neighboring southwestern New Mexico. The monsoon season sees the return of moisture to the desert areas where very photogenic thunderstorms, lightning, landscapes and cactus abound. Desert thunderstorms typically have high bases which allow long and forking bolts of lightning to occur and are considered the most photogenic in the world!

This tour is a "storm first” tour, in that any landscape photography will be tied into storm formation and location, thus we have a highly variable daily schedule. If there is a day where storm formation does not look probable, we will use the day to our advantage to photograph local landscapes such as Saguaro National Park, Mt Lemmon, Benson, Tubac, Chiricahua National Monument, Organ Pipe National Park, the Superstition Mountains, Sedona’s Red Rock country and others. We will be happy to provide you a suggested equipment list for capturing amazing lightning photos. No matter where we go, we always return to our base hotel in Tucson each night (which is included in the price!!!!).

For Your Safety

Thunderstorms have high winds and lightning is dangerous. If a storm moves into what we think is a dangerous proximity, we will ask everyone to return to the vehicles. Thunderstorms also produce flash floods. The first few moments of a flood appear benign but it can quickly turn into a torrent that sweeps away people, cars, and animals. As soon as you see any water in a formerly dry wash, we ask that you immediately return to the vehicles. Do not attempt to cross the wash when it is running.

Equipment You Will Need

  • Closed walking shoes (even if you stay near the vehicle, the ground is often uneven and there could be reptiles/insects).
  • A sunhat. The desert sun is fierce and without a hat you could receive a bad sunburn. (Bring plenty of sunscreen!)
  • DSLR and variety of lenses
  • sturdy tripod (thunderstorm outflow winds can exceed 60 mph!)
  • Lightning trigger (www.lightningtrigger.com tell them we sent you and save %10!)
  • Polarizer/ND filters

What Is Included

  • All lodging from your arrival night through the last night of the tour.
  • Transportation while on the tour (you must make and pay for own flight to and from Tucson, Arizona).
  • Meals and incidentals are on your own.


Desert Thunder Tour, 2024

Dates: August 4 - August 10, 2023

Tour Status: 1 SPOT LEFT!!!!

Fitness Level: Low.


  • Arrival Day (First tour day): Arrive in Tuscon, AZ on August 4th by noon (chase in the afternoon)
  • Last Tour Day: Aug. 10th
  • Departure Day: Aug 11th

Cost: $2500 per person

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Disclaimer: The actual terms and conditions of the customer agreement control any contractual arrangement. 

Site Design & Management by

Southwest Photography Tours