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Sunset in the Mountains, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Sunset in the Mountains, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

When I lived in Colorado, I loved driving from Denver to the Rocky Mountain National Park to hike and take photos. One of my favorite spots was the Forest Canyon Overlook, which I featured in another photo I shared a while back. This overlook from the top of the spectacular Trail Ridge Road offers unparalleled views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and tundra, making it a must see location for any landscape photographer.

Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

When we lived in the Denver area, I absolutely loved visiting the Rocky Mountain National Park whenever I could. It was about 1.5 hours away, and had some of the most spectacular scenery in the United States. On one visit in 2015, I wanted to find some scenery from the Trail Ridge Road up high in the tundra, but I struggled to find a good spot. On a hunch, I parked at the Lava Cliffs Overlook and walked up the hill across the road where I found this amazing view of the Trail Ridge Road zigzagging down the mountain with Longs Peak in the background.

Sunrise, Quartz Lake, Colorado

Sunrise, Quartz Lake, Colorado

Last year I did a solo backpacking trip to Quartz Lake in Colorado’s South San Juan Wilderness. While there, I was fortunate enough to take an outstanding night photo showing Mars and the Milky Way together in the sky at the same time. The next morning, when I woke up, I was greeted by the sunrise bathing the mountains in a warm, pleasant glow. Sort of…

The Milky Way, Independence Pass, Colorado

The Milky Way, Independence Pass, Colorado

This is one of my favorite photos from recent years because it really captures the beauty of the Milky Way from a remarkable location. My cousin (the very talented Allison Otto) and I had been scoping out good weekends to take Milky Way photos from somewhere in the Colorado Rockies, but our schedules never quite aligned to make it happen. So when my wife suggested a trip to Aspen on one of those weekends, I already knew it would be a good opportunity to see the stars from nearby Independence Pass. While Aspen is certainly beautiful, Independence Pass is a marvel and one of the most spectacular passes in Colorado.

Night on Piedra Road I, Pagosa Springs, CO

Night on Piedra Road I, Pagosa Springs, CO

Whenever I visit my family in Colorado, I always look forward to taking night photos. On the same trip where I took my Snowball Road photo in 2011, I also took a drive down nearby Piedra Road to see if I could find any good shots. I discovered this wonderful little barn on that road (it’s almost a shed), and it’s been a go-to source of photos for me for many trips since.