Most of the better digital cameras are DSLR's or Mirror-less models with interchangeable lenses. Is that what you're using? You can't beat the versatility of that arrangement, because with the right combination of lenses, you can handle just about anything (photographically speaking). The only problem: every time you swap the lens, you're exposing the inside of the camera, most especially the extremely delicate sensor that records your images, to our dusty world. If you're outdoors, no matter how careful you try to be, good odds you'll get a speck or a particle of some dang thing or another in exactly the wrong place on that sensor, casting a tiny shadow that's amplified into a smudge on your image, and every picture you take from that point forward will have that same smudge, in that same spot, until you can have your sensor cleaned. That's not a huge big deal; any good camera shop can handle it for you, and with a bottle of special sensor cleaning solution, a special one-time-use swab, good light, good eyesight, a steady hand, and nerves of steel you can even do it yourself. Been there, done that! But what about all the pictures you took that have that smudge embedded in the upper left corner (or wherever)? Well, with just about any decent photo editing software, all it takes is reasonably good eyesight, a steady hand, a single click, and voila!
As for the "where were you?" issue, I'm honestly not sure. I've never been an avid hiker (personally). I see what looks like a cliff dwelling in your photo, so it's somewhere in the four corners. Beyond that, I (personally) will be needing another clue!