Colorado in November
I'm going to be visiting Colorado for two weeks in November and am looking for suggestions on places to photograph. I'll be based in the Castle Rock area. I won't be able to travel too far while I am there, but any tips or suggestions would be helpful.
It depends what traveling "too far" means. Colorado is the 8th largest state after all! Garden of the Gods is nearby (Colorado Springs), Glenwood Springs, and Pikes Peak come to mind immediately. I guess it also depends what kind of shooting you are into. There's so much!
Denver is closer, if you like cities.
I'll be there visiting my sister. The farthest I can go is probably Estes Park or Colorado Springs. I've been to Colorado before, but it's been a while and never before in November. I'm interested in landscapes mostly for this trip.
I took a road trip there several years ago and traveled around a bit. I've been to Rocky Mountain National Park, Pikes Peak and Breckenridge. This time around, I'm relying on my sister for transport.
The Garden of the Gods sounds interesting. What's in Glenwood Springs?
Glenwood Springs might be a bit of a drive for you! Just east of there is a spectacular hanging lake, but it is quite far. I'm not sure why that popped into my mind, though it is high on my list to do eventually :)
Very close by is Daniels Park which has Bison and great views of the front range.
Highway 67 out of Sedalia (a bit north of Castle Rock) is a fun drive with lots of fun options - like Cheeseman Lake and Devil's Head (if it is open, it usually closes around Dec 1).
I'm sure we Colorado folk will come up with more.
Very near Castle Rock is Castlewood Canyon park. It's a real nice walk with lots of interesting views. Your sister will know all about it.
If you head down to Garden of the Gods, try the back way from Castle Rock, down 105. It goes almost in the shadow of the front range, is prettier than I-25 and there might be a few shots worth taking. Also on the way is the Air Force Academy. The chapel is pretty amazing architecture.
A huge, loud second to toro_mike's recommendation of Daniels Park. Sometimes it's hard to find the Bison and sometimes they are right next to the road. But the view from Daniels Ridge is ALWAYS spectacular. I try to stop there for a few minutes on my Sunday trip to the grocery store. It's a great place for a sunset picnic. A few miles north of there is Bluffs Regional Park which is the very northern end of the same high ground. From there you overlook the entire metro with the mountains in the background.
Bluffs Regional Park address is:
10099 Crooked Stick Place
Lone Tree, Colorado 80124
If you will go to Estes Park, definitely check out the Peak to Peak (hwy 72). And stop at Red Rocks while you're at it, probably the most beautiful natural amphitheatre on earth. And if you're a flatlander, don't attempt to run the stairs. The surrounding park has endless examples of Colorado red rock formations.
OH, jeesh, I see you are coming from sea level. Drink at least a gallon of water in the 24 hours before you arrive. And then always have a bottle of water with you and never let yourself get thirsty. Altitude sickness usually doesn't happen below 7000 ft, but Castle Rock is about 6500 and if you head into the mountains at all, it can happen at any time. It's caused by the human body reacting to lack of oxygen by thickening the blood and you fight it by keeping hydrated. It can ruin a vacation.
Two weeks in Colorado and you can not venture too far from the front range...?....ouch! In my opinion, Colorado pretty much starts West of I-25, the rest is just glorified far Western Kansas, LOL!
If I were you, I would try to get out to the Sand Dunes near Alamosa in November since there should be snow ( god willing ) on the surrounding peaks and maybe even some of the dunes depending on the weather. Not sure how Pikes and Garden of the Gods looks right now after that massive fire, but with some fresh snow on it the contrast could be interesting. Even though Fall colors were stunning this year, it has been tough in terms of the drought, so don't expect a lot of color at all at this point, the ground moisture content is non-exsistant.
All that being said, I am sure you will find things to do...
I've always wanted to go to the Sand Dunes. Maybe if I twist some arms, I'll get to go. :D
It's too bad I'm going to miss the autumn colors in Colorado. However, the fall foliage here in CT is looking pretty good. I think we will be at the peak early next week. I was out scouting locations this morning.
Thanks for the tip about staying hydrated. When I was there in 2006, I didn't keep up with it and got very dehydrated.
I'll make a list of all of the suggestions and try to hit all of them.
Thanks for all of the information. I appreciate it.
Go awn' now, git' "Spire'd"....