Making great images in Colorado
Colorado is a state that offers endless opportunities for photography, with its rugged mountain landscapes, colorful sunsets, and vibrant wildlife. Southwest Colorado, in particular, is a region that is known for its stunning natural beauty and is a must-visit for any photography enthusiast. In this article, we will explore some of the best places to take photos in southwest Colorado, including the San Juan Mountains.
San Juan Mountains
The San Juan Mountains are located in the southwestern part of Colorado and are a popular destination for photographers from all over the world. These mountains are known for their jagged peaks, pristine alpine lakes, and colorful autumn foliage. In the fall, the mountains are painted with shades of yellow, orange, and red, making for stunning landscape shots.
One of the best places to capture the beauty of the San Juan Mountains is from the Dallas Divide. This location is situated on the western side of the range and offers incredible panoramic views of the mountains. Photographers can capture the stunning peaks of Mount Sneffels, Mount Wilson, and Wilson Peak in the distance, while the foreground is filled with golden aspen trees.
Another great location for San Juan Mountain photography is the Million Dollar Highway. This stretch of road runs from Ouray to Silverton and is known for its hairpin turns and stunning views. The highway offers a unique perspective of the mountains, with the road winding through valleys and over mountain passes.
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site that is known for its well-preserved cliff dwellings. The park is located in the southwestern part of Colorado and offers a unique opportunity for photographers to capture the history and culture of the region. The cliff dwellings were built by the Ancestral Pueblo people over 700 years ago and offer a glimpse into their way of life.
The best time to visit Mesa Verde for photography is during the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is low in the sky. This creates a warm, golden light that illuminates the cliff dwellings and surrounding landscape. Some of the best locations for photography in Mesa Verde include the Cliff Palace, Balcony House, and Spruce Tree House.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
Great Sand Dunes National Park is a unique location that offers a completely different landscape than what you would typically expect in Colorado. The park is located in the southern part of the state and is home to the tallest sand dunes in North America. The sand dunes rise to over 700 feet in some areas and offer a stunning backdrop for photography.
The best time to visit Great Sand Dunes National Park for photography is during the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is low in the sky. This creates long shadows on the dunes, which can add depth and texture to your photos. Some of the best locations for photography in the park include the Medano Creek, High Dune, and Star Dune.
Southwest Colorado offers an incredible range of photographic opportunities, from the rugged peaks of the San Juan Mountains to the ancient cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde and the towering sand dunes of Great Sand Dunes National Park. Whether you are a landscape, wildlife, or cultural photographer, this region of Colorado has something for everyone. So grab your camera, pack your bags, and explore the natural wonders of southwest Colorado.