Bear Lake Expedition
Fall colors arrive in the Colorado Rocky Mountains in a wave that goes from north to south, and from high elevations to low. I was fortunate to travel into the mountains this fall with a friend who is familiar with many trails and scenic locations in Colorado. This afforded me a chance for maximum success in capturing colors at or approaching their peak in a couple of places. Our trips also involved getting up and out of our respective houses and on our way well before sunrise. The older I get the harder this is to accomplish, but the views and lack of crowds at the destinations are a fitting reward for the inconvenience!
The first trip in mid-September was to the Bear Lake trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park south west of Estes Park. It might have been just a tad early for peak "plumage", but there were still some very colorful aspens.
Bear Lake Trail is one of my favorite locations for hiking and for its picturesque views. We found the best aspens in patches here and there mixed in with pine trees.
Kenosha Pass Expedition
The second fall colors trip we made was to Kenosha Pass in the Rocky Mountains near the end of September. This was the first time I had been to Kenosha Pass in fall, but I had passed through earlier in the month to retrieve my wife from Lake City further west (Lake City is beautifully picturesque and is now on my list for a future photo expedition). Kenosha Pass has a rich history. Read the words Walt Whitman wrote in 1879:
"I jot these lines literally at Kenosha summit, where we return, afternoon, and take a long rest, 10,000 feet above sea-level. At this immense height the South Park stretches fifty miles before me. Mountainous chains and peaks in every variety of perspective, every hue of vista, fringe the view...so the whole Western world is, in a sense, but an expansion of these mountains."
It's true - from the vantage point we found South Park looks like it stretches on almost forever.
Later in the morning we left Kenosha Pass for the nearby Michigan Creek area for some more photography.