Fall in Central Colorado (Part 2)

Last time I got you all primed to hear about my adventure through central Colorado with my day and my wife. We started off in Carbondale, made our way across CR-12 to Crested Butte and ended that night overlooking Mt. Sneffels from the Dallas Divide in Ridgway. If you missed part one, check it out HERE and then come back and check out part two.

Sunrise for day two was scheduled for Crystal Lake in the San Juan National Forest. Waking up early is just a part of being a landscape photographer. So when sunrise is at 7 and your fearless leader (me) decides you need to be there an hour before sunrise, an early morning is what you get. Alarms were set for 5 a.m and the three of us were loaded and on the road by 5:30. We got there, scouted locations and finally settled on one just in time to capture the reflection of Red Mountain and the rest of the surrounding landscape.

Crystal Lake with Red Mountain in the distance

After breakfast, we set back out on the road. I had read about something called Lost Dollar Road. It winds 25 miles through the forest and is just breathtaking. We set out with Telluride in our sites and all afternoon to explore.

An afternoon downpour in front of Wilson Peak

Fun Fact: Wilson Peak is the mountain on the label for Coors Beer

The hardest decision we had to make all day was where to go for sunset. We had two options, Country Road 5 or Country Road 7. Both provide spectacular views so how do you decide? The conversation went something like this.

"Where should we go for sunset, we have two options."

"Why don't we just go to one for sunset and the other for sunrise tomorrow."

"That is a really good idea."

Tough stuff right? Anyway, we chose Country Road 7 for sunset. Side note: while editing I got so tired of looking at beautiful golden aspens so I made a few black and whites from here too. Have I ever mentioned how much I like making black and white photos? Well, I do.

Mt. Sneffels from County Road 7

The next morning was another early one. We had a bit further to drive so we got up a bit earlier. But it is always worth it.

Mt. Sneffels from County Road 5

Our route home took us over Owl Creek Pass which we had to skip on the drive down. Unfortunately it was just too nice of a day. Most of the time a bright blue sky on a perfect autumn day is ideal, unless you are a photographer. So while we were able to drive and enjoy the day only one photo really turned out, this one of Chimney Rock.

Chimney Rock

Unfortunately our journey had to come to a close at some point but this one was particularly special. I know I always look forward to road trips and I love every one of them, especially the ones that produce photos like this. If you have a road trip that you loved let us know about it in the comments below.

Until the next time,


Remember if you missed part 1 of my journey through central Colorado, you can find it HERE.

Also, if you are interested in purchasing any of these amazing photos as prints you have that option too!

If you liked this post I'm sure you'll love the others too. Go ahead and subscribe below and I'll send future posts straight to your email inbox!


Camera - Nikon D3

Lens - Nikkor 24-70 f2.8

Tripod - Slik

#CrystalLake #RedMountain #Sunrise #Sunset #reflection #aspen #aspens #lake #mountains #LastDollarRoad #macro #rain #WilsonPeak #landscape #landscapephotography #MtSneffels #CountyRoad7 #CountyRoad5 #ChimneyRock #OwlCreekPass #Ouray #Ridgway #Telluride #SanJuanNationalForest #NationalForest

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