High atop the Grand Mesa in western Colorado, the aspen are often beautiful in late September and early October. With plentiful lakes on the mesa and mountainsides of aspen groves, the gold and orange that permeates the area for a few weeks makes for some amazing landscapes and even some more intimate scenes within the aspen forests.
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Grand Mesa, Colorado, in Autumn
Autumn in Rocky Mountain National Park
One of my favorite places near the Denver area to shoot is Rocky Mountain National Park in Autumn. While this area may not have the same amount of golden aspen as the San Juans, there are still some beautiful scenes to enjoy, including one of my favorite paths near Bear Lark.
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Point Park Pier - Grand Lake, Colorado
Point Park Pier is on the southwest side of Grand Lake, The park itself is about as big as my living room, but the small shoreline and pier offer great views of the lake, Mount Craig (12,007') and the distant peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Pier on Grand Lake
On the northeast side of Grand Lake just south of Rocky Mountain National Park, a small beach and a pier make for a great place to play and relax. Early in the morning the colorful boats and still water make for some great landscapes of this beautiful area. See more in my Grand Lake gallery.
Bear Lake in early October - Rocky Mountain National Park
Bear Lake near Estes Park and on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park is mostly surrounded by pine trees, but there are a few patches of aspen. In Autumn, the aspen turn orange and gold and create some amazing windows that look down on the lake at sunrise. No paths exist to reach this location - a steep uphill bushwhack will lead to this perch. But the scrapes and bumps are worth it to take in this sight. This is one of my favorite sights of fall - Bear Lake in the fall - as Longs Peak rises in the distance.
Artist Point, Colorado National Monument
One of my favorite views in Colorado National Monument comes from Artist Point. This sunrise photograph from the western slope just outside of Grand Junction shows the amazing red and orange colors of this rugged canyon.
Berthoud Pass - Current Creek
One of the hikes that starts along the north side of the north side of Berthoud Pass is a trail that leads up Current Creek. High up near treelike, the path fades and the valley opens up to majestic views of the Fraser Valley. Even summer mornings are frigid up here between 11,000-12,000 feet in elevation. My feet are usually soaked and frozen, but the morning sunlight soon warms me up again. I love my time up here.