Aspens are PEAKing in the San Juan Mountains

If you didn’t get a chance to get out and make photographs today, tomorrow will do, as will next week. Although I’ll call it “peak” color, and there are plenty of places to get your fill of Colorado Fall Foliage, there is still plenty of time.

Now in bloom:

  1. Near Durango Mountain Resort, Engineer Mountain, Lime Creek Road.
  2. Along the Hermosa Cliffs about 17 miles north of Durango.
  3. Just starting to peak at Haviland Lake
  4. You can find “pockets” of color everywhere in the San Juan Mountains.

Give yourself till next weekend for peak color making it’s way down to Durango.

The view looking northwest from Haviland Lake.  Yesterday's snow was sure to melt so I hit the road for sunrise this morning. ©Kit Frost

The view looking northwest from Haviland Lake. Yesterday’s snow was sure to melt so I hit the road for sunrise this morning. ©Kit Frost

Multicolor Fall Hues from Haviland Lake. ©Kit Frost

Multicolor Fall Hues from Haviland Lake. And YES, that’s digital dust on my sensor.  I was in a rush to get a report out today.©Kit Frost

 

Set your f-stop for a small aperture and take a few images of backlit aspens.  Along Hwy 550 North of Durango

Set your f-stop for a small aperture and take a few images of backlit aspens. Along Hwy 550 North of Durango

Just south of the Cascade Village. ©Kit Frost

Just south of the Cascade Village. The shadows on the corral are from the low sun behind me. ©Kit Frost

At Purgatory, Durango Mountain Resort, just after sunrise. ©Kit Frost

At Purgatory, Durango Mountain Resort, just after sunrise. I used a 300mm lens to compress the “space” and create a painterly feeling. ©Kit Frost

I was anxious to photograph the spruce fir with snow on them, as I knew our warmer, sunny day would melt the snow and "clump" it up.  8am today. ©Kit Frost

I was anxious to photograph the spruce fir with snow on them, as I knew our warmer, sunny day would melt the snow and “clump” it up. 8am today. ©Kit Frost

Colorado Fall Foliage Report

Every year, in mid-September, I begin keeping an eye on the weather in the San Juan National Forest of Southern Colorado.  Tonight’s forecast in Durango is for rain.  Silverton is expecting snow.  And YES, that means the first frost will hit the aspens tonight.  A safe bet for fall foliage changing color is to count ten days from today and get out as often as possible.

My favorite fall foliage photography locations:

  • Near Durango, Colorado.  I love to drive our nearby, backcountry roads. (photos below)
  • The drive from Durango to Silverton, including the Pigeon and Turret Overlook, Durango Mountain Resort, and Lime Creek Road. (Potato Hill photo below)
  • Shrine Road, northwest of Silverton
  • Red Mountain Pass
  • Dallas Divide
  • Owl Creek Pass
  • Telluride
  • The West fork of the Dolores River to Dunton.

Stay Tuned.  Follow me for updated Colorado Fall Foliage Report.  The attached photos were taken in the fall of 2012.

Fall colors are stunning in Colorado

This scene, mixed aspen and spruce/fir is indicative of altitudes around 9000 feet in Colorado in the fall. ©Kit Frost

I like to find "opposites" on the color wheel in my photos.  In this case the backlit aspens were gold, orange and almost burgundy, against the blue of the La Plata Mountains.  The camera meter wants to expose backlit subjects too dark, so, go ahead and overexpose a series of images and see which tones you like the best ©Kit Frost

I like to find “opposites” on the color wheel in my photos. In this case the backlit aspens were gold, orange and almost burgundy, against the blue of the La Plata Mountains. The camera meter wants to expose backlit subjects too dark, so, go ahead and overexpose a series of images and see which tones you like the best ©Kit Frost

A local favorite, Potato Hill, on the left is surrounded by Aspens glowing in their fall glory.  I waited for a few moments to capture this wide angle image with the shadows outlining the Twilight peaks (West Needle Mountains) ©Kit Frost

A local favorite, Potato Hill, on the left is surrounded by Aspens glowing in their fall glory. I waited for a few moments to capture this wide angle image with the shadows outlining the Twilight peaks (West Needle Mountains) ©Kit Frost

Fall colors are stunning in Colorado

A short drive from Durango, up along Junction Creek Road, leads to this big view of the San Juan Mountains. That’s Engineer Peak lit by the sun. I waited about 1/2 hour for the cloud shadows to exaggerate the colorful scene. ©Kit Frost