Colorado Fall Foliage 2017-10

October 21, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

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This year, I made three trips to the Colorado high country to photograph the fall colors, with some additional opportunities to capture some starry nightscapes.  My plan was to follow the fall color change from North to South, catching the peak color in each area.

To see more photos from these trips, please visit the Colorado Fall Foliage 2017-10 location gallery here.  Click on any image below to see a larger version.

I started this Fall season in Colorado’s northern mountains around Steamboat Springs.  I camped along Buffalo Pass Road and took several photos of the Milky Way, but the light pollution from the town of Steamboat Springs washed out some of the dark sky.  As I was shooting, a car drove by and illuminated the aspens along the road, leading to a very different photo. 

 

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Headlights and Starlight

 

I moved on to Hahn’s Peak Lake, where the weather closed in, and then to Rocky Mountain National Park.  RMNP was more crowded than I expected for mid-September, but the crowds were gone when I shot the Milky Way above Bear Lake and Sprague Lake.  Shooting in different directions gave different amounts of light pollution from Estes Park, and different colors in the night sky

 

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Bear Lake Milky Way

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Sprague Lake Milky Way

 

On my second trip, the fall color was better in the central mountains around Crested Butte.

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I also found a couple wildlife subjects.  Driving down from Lake Irwin, I was surrounded by a family of moose, the bull, cow and two calves, but only the bull was willing to pose for me.  Just outside of Gothic, I saw a fox carrying his lunch along the road, and he was kind enough to drop his meal and give me a smile.

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My third trip was to the southern mountains between Ridgway and Cortez, where the fall color was on full display. 

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Part of this trip was a drive on Last Dollar Road between Ridgway and Telluride.  There is a sign at the north end of this road warning about very slick mud when wet, but I have driven this road many times without any problems.  But this trip was different.  After an overnight snow and early morning melting, the road surface was wet with frozen soil below, and about a mile of the steep downhill slope was as slick as grease.  My sole focus as I fish-tailed down this section was making it down alive.

The fall color display in the Colorado mountains is always a pleasure to behold.  To see more photos from these trips, please visit the Colorado Fall Foliage 2017-10 location gallery here

As always, I would appreciate your adding a comment in the section below.

 


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