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Archive 2013 · Colorado Fall Color Reports
  
 
JimFox
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p.6 #1 · p.6 #1 · Colorado Fall Color Reports


stanparker wrote:
Jim, there is a lesser known Crater Lake just a short hike above Maroon Lake. I would assume that's the one he referred to, not the one in Oregon.


Hey Stan,

Now that would make more sense!

Thanks for clearing that up.

Jim



Oct 03, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Joe_A
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p.6 #2 · p.6 #2 · Colorado Fall Color Reports


Thank you all for the updates. My contribution: (I mostly lurk on here...)

First trip to Colorado flying in from Montreal. First day spent in Colorado Springs. Went to Garden of the Gods and had my rental's front passenger window broken in the parking lot in daylight, with lots of people around. I had left a small power generator on the passenger seat, my mistake, that's all they took. Worth only ~$60 but caused me a lot of hassle and frustration to get the car exchanged. They also broke into the car next to me and stole the gentleman's (also a photographer) iPhone. The best light that evening: dramatic sunset... While I was talking to the police officers at the scene...

Next two days looking up at Great Sand Dunes NP. The park rangers kicked us out (very nicely) on Tuesday.

Apologies for telling the story of my life, had to share my frustrations. Enough about me.

On my way to Gunnison, saw more and more colours along highway 114, starting at Buffalo Pass and looking South and West towards the mountains. Drove back from Gunnison to Saguache Park on a dirt road. camped on site for evening/morning shots. Increasing colours the more south I drove. Would say it's happening now... You'll see lots of colour on the hills a little far off the road at first, but the deeper you drive the closer they'll get...

Great backdrop with some snow on the mountains to the south. Mostly aspens mixed with greens. Also saw pockets of brown, leafless trees, and reds... You'll have to drive about 1 -1.5 hrs to get close, but I would recommend a high clearance as the road gets more rough after the first 2-3 miles. Even had to cross a creek (I have high clearance).

Colours also looking good (close to peak I'd say) from Gunnison looking North/Northwest (guessing this is towards Crested Butte). Should be heading there tonight or tomorrow. Will try to update once I have a chance. Will try to upload some shots I took with my iPhone.

In short, I' say the larger area around Gunnison is good overall. If the snow/rain doesn't do much damage, should be good for the coming few days and into next week I guess.

Thanks all,

Joe




Oct 03, 2013 at 08:04 PM
JimFox
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p.6 #3 · p.6 #3 · Colorado Fall Color Reports


Hey Joe,

Sorry to hear about the car break in... it's a shame people will do things like that... really sad.

But it does look like you are getting some good shots, and thats good to hear.

Jim



Oct 03, 2013 at 09:37 PM
ckcarr
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p.6 #4 · p.6 #4 · Colorado Fall Color Reports


The sky has turned a dark stormy gray...
Over by Grand Mesa



Oct 04, 2013 at 12:04 AM
DougDolde
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p.6 #5 · p.6 #5 · Colorado Fall Color Reports


Silver Jack is blazing even some aspen leaves already falling .







Oct 04, 2013 at 12:43 AM
Joe_A
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p.6 #6 · p.6 #6 · Colorado Fall Color Reports


JimFox wrote:
Hey Joe,

Sorry to hear about the car break in... it's a shame people will do things like that... really sad.

But it does look like you are getting some good shots, and thats good to hear.

Jim


Thanks Jim, I really appreciate your reply.

More updates: Drove North towards the general direction of Crested Butte, but instead of staying on 135 I took a left on Ohio Creek Road (CR 730), and the colours/scenery were even better than where I was yesterday. The East side still has a lot of greens and greens turning into yellow; but this side is not that interesting IMO.

The Western side, on the other hand, is stunning. Colours at or near peak, mixed with the evergreens, with a foreground of ranches and and mountain backgrounds all along. I believe these would be The Castles according to my map but I could be wrong. I turned back shortly before reaching Kebler Pass, which was my original destination, because I was so stunned by this area I decided to give it another round tomorrow morning (weather-permitting), so I'm staying in Gunnison for the night.

The place is only 1/2 hour north of Gunnison, on a well-maintained dirt road. Passenger vehicles should be fine, at least up to where I turned back.

If you're in the area, this place is happening now. Sorry, haven't figured out how to upload from my iPhone yet.

Joe



Oct 04, 2013 at 04:58 AM
rxgolf
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p.6 #7 · p.6 #7 · Colorado Fall Color Reports


The 5.6 mile hike to the lake was beautiful yesterday with nice color.
Greg

Please understand this is straight from camer to iPad with no PP












Oct 04, 2013 at 05:36 AM
JimFox
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p.6 #8 · p.6 #8 · Colorado Fall Color Reports


Hey Greg,

The shots look fine even with no PP. Now that we can upload easily from our mobile devices thanks to Fred's hard work, I am hoping we will see more of these "condition" shots.

The colors around the lake look pretty yellow. I know there is some snowing going on back there today. If you were to guess, how much life do you think is left in those colors around the lake?


How many are hiking back in there?

Jim



Oct 05, 2013 at 12:31 AM
JimFox
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p.6 #9 · p.6 #9 · Colorado Fall Color Reports


Anybody gotten to the Dallas Divide and Ridgway area the last day or two? I am heading out that way (Colorado) and would like to have an idea if that's a good place to start. I guess with the snow today, that Saturday will give a better idea on color that's left in case some got blown down with the snow.

Jim



Oct 05, 2013 at 12:39 AM
JimFox
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p.6 #10 · p.6 #10 · Colorado Fall Color Reports


Asrale wrote:
Does anyone think there'd still be color anywhere next weekend, 10/11-13? I know there's some snow in the forecast, but hopefully it won't be too much. I won't mind missing peak color as long as I get to shoot something somewhere next weekend.



Good question. Hopefully we can get some eyes on the ground to report on how the snow today is affecting the leaves.

Jim



Oct 05, 2013 at 12:40 AM
 

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coferg
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p.6 #11 · p.6 #11 · Colorado Fall Color Reports


Jim -
I was at Dallas Divide (parking lot at top of Hwy 62) and drove a half hour on Last Dollar Road from 62 on Wednesday, October 2. Some views were really fine, others still had big stands of nearly green aspens. However the scrub oak was really in full bloom, it was worth the trip just to see those. But the big uncertainty is what effect the storm had last night and today. Here is a few views that I saw.... you can see that, in absence of wipe out weather, there still should be some color around for another week. regards - Jim Ferg





Dallas Divide Oct 2

  NIKON D7100    50mm    f/16.0    1/400s    640 ISO    -0.3 EV  







Last Dollar Road Oct 2

  NIKON D7100    105mm    f/16.0    1/400s    640 ISO    0.0 EV  




Oct 05, 2013 at 02:06 AM
rxgolf
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p.6 #12 · p.6 #12 · Colorado Fall Color Reports


JimFox wrote:
Hey Greg,

The shots look fine even with no PP. Now that we can upload easily from our mobile devices thanks to Fred's hard work, I am hoping we will see more of these "condition" shots.

The colors around the lake look pretty yellow. I know there is some snowing going on back there today. If you were to guess, how much life do you think is left in those colors around the lake?

How many are hiking back in there?

Jim


Hi Jim,
I started up in the dark and there were maybe half a dozen doing the same. On my way down around noon, I met 3 or 4 dozen people walking up, but few seemed to have tripods and I doubt half decided to go all the way. There were MANY bikers going up and down by noon. I am probably not the best at predicting how much longer the colors will be around, but I am guessing that the best is either occurring or very close. BUT, some years I am amazed at how long the great color will last through wind, rain, and snow.
Thank you for the kind words and I hope you get the chance for some great fall shots. I am on the west coast now hoping I can get in Yosemite some time in the next week. I plan to visit some redwoods and the north coast before making it down to the Golden Gate in the next few days. If the boys in Washington keep up their fun, in place of Zion and Yosemite I will try to catch the area around Mammoth Lake before heading back to the Ozarks.
The best to all!
Greg

One last bit of info for those interested. McClure Pass was really beautiful a couple of days ago!



Oct 05, 2013 at 02:30 AM
Joe_A
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p.6 #13 · p.6 #13 · Colorado Fall Color Reports


More updates: Drove back on CR 730 heading North. Took a morning trip & hike on one of its offshoots CR 727 to Mill Creek. Snow clouds rolling in and out coming from the West made for some dramatic views albeit the light was nothing special. On second and more careful look, I revise my original statement that CR 730 was at or near peak. I would say it is about 60%, or more in some places, but that makes it perfect for my taste as there is a wider array of colour. I think this area is good for next week as the snow fell mostly on higher elevations and to the West.

Drove through a mini snow storm up Ohio Pass and into Kebler Pass, then headed West on CR12 towards Paonia. Anywhere from a trace to 3-4 inches on the ground. It started clearing up around 6:00 p.m. and the colours and scenery looked magnificent in the snow; lots of white stuff that should hold at least till tomorrow given tonight's temperatures. I'd say Kebler and CR12 are closer to peak than the lower CR 730. Going back tomorrow for a sunrise shoot.

You won't be disappointed if you're in the aread in the next few days.

Joe



Oct 05, 2013 at 05:44 AM
JimFox
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p.6 #14 · p.6 #14 · Colorado Fall Color Reports


Joe_A wrote:
More updates: Drove back on CR 730 heading North. Took a morning trip & hike on one of its offshoots CR 727 to Mill Creek. Snow clouds rolling in and out coming from the West made for some dramatic views albeit the light was nothing special. On second and more careful look, I revise my original statement that CR 730 was at or near peak. I would say it is about 60%, or more in some places, but that makes it perfect for my taste as there is a wider array of colour. I think this area is good for
...Show more

Thanks for the update here Joe. It will be interesting to see how things look tomorrow. I am going to be really interested to know if the snow/cold/wind hurts the leaves much.

Jim



Oct 05, 2013 at 06:54 AM
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p.6 #15 · p.6 #15 · Colorado Fall Color Reports


stanparker wrote:
With all the reports on various areas, I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Lake City area. I drove there yesterday and found magnificent color along the highway, in town, around Lake San Cristobal, along the Alpine Loop (passes closed, I'm not sure why) and up toward Slugmullion Pass. Perhaps it goes farther, but that's where I ran out of time. No photos processed yet, but trust me, it is a good place at this time. I've also found good color in patches on Kebler Pass and Ohio Pass outside Crested Butte.


I concur with the latest info on the passes. Sometimes not up to date. We also found out the passes were closed to Lake City. There was still too much snow from the last storm. If you are near Silverton you can get current pass info from Heather or her mom Cindy. They work at the Conoco station at the south end of town. They service the county vehicles or something like that and get daily updates from the county maintenance truck drivers. We were pointed that way by Cindy's husband Malcolm who works for the D&S and can be found in the train station. Hopefully this info can help someone who needs up to date info.



Oct 05, 2013 at 04:02 PM
mccaf
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p.6 #16 · p.6 #16 · Colorado Fall Color Reports


JimFox wrote:
It's great to hear those conditions in that area. I think the 5 mile walk will be worth it, especially as there will be a much smaller crowd than normal there I am sure.

As for Colorado vs the Eastern Sierra.... yeah, Colorado does win hands down... it's not even close. I used to think the Eastern Sierra was the greatest fall colors around, until that one fateful year I went to Colorado during fall colors.... This year I am doing the Eastern Sierra, perhaps catch the tail end of the Colorado's color. But I am doing the Eastern Sierra with
...Show more

Jim thanks for the post. Just a follow up to Maroon Bells:
For anyone wanting to walk in, the hike uphill is 2.5% grade is 6.4 miles per my GPS app. (Not sure how exact that is) Right now you need to be there at 6:45 at the latest for the 7:05 sunrise.

We were told by one of the locals It was 5 miles to the lake. So our time calculations were off by about a half an hour.
After waking at 3AM , Driving from Marble, leaving the gate at 5:05 we were about a 3/4 mile from the lake when the clouds from the approaching storm turned a brilliant pink. Damn! My wife was literally in tears because we didn't leave a half an hour earlier. My only consolation was that the leading edge of the storefront brought 25 mph winds and the lake was pretty choppy.
From now on I don't trust someone else's info with out checking out first. 13.5 miles r/t walking, all the time involved, and sore muscles with no decent picture = I will know better next time! ;-}

One thing, the local fitness peeps are loving the road closure and there is heavy bike traffic and lots of walkers.

Edit: oh PS: there was only 2 other tripods there.



Oct 05, 2013 at 04:25 PM
homersapien
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p.6 #17 · p.6 #17 · Colorado Fall Color Reports


Last Dollar Road today:



Green everywhere. The spots that do have color appear to be dropping leaves very quickly.

Note: Last Dollar is well coated with snow and ice towards the top, so please leave the 2WD vehicles at home. We spent an hour getting a 2WD truck unstuck today

We took 285 over Kenosha and though we didn't stop, the color looked really good there.



Oct 06, 2013 at 02:15 AM
Joe_A
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p.6 #18 · p.6 #18 · Colorado Fall Color Reports


Today I drove back and forth on CR 12 between Kebler pass and the junction with 133, starting with a memorable sunrise session near Kebler Pass. Some stunning conditions with the clouds still clearing and rolling in and out of the mountains. Fresh snow and fall foliage and stunning views. I've had two incredible days for photography. We've hit the jackpot on CR12 and CR730.

I then drove up 133 towards Carbondale in the afternoon up to Mcclure Pass. Unfortunately here, all I saw from the highway were swathes of brown and patches of green that I guess don't seem like they will transition to yellow. So Jim, at least in this area, I'm afraid the cold snap has had its toll... Another poster here said Mcclure was beautiful a few days ago, so I guess it was perhaps going to be past peak by today anyway.

I did not venture sideways from 133, such as into CR265, might do that tomorrow, or might head south to Ridgway. hope to get some updates from others on here.

Did not do any sunset session as I need a bit of a break from all the driving/hiking, but if I leave Colorado now, I will still be very happy, just the last two days made it worth it for me...

Thanks everybody else for the updates.

Joe




Oct 06, 2013 at 03:21 AM
ultragraffics
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p.6 #19 · p.6 #19 · Colorado Fall Color Reports


Lots of great photos and information. I made it in to Breckenridge yesterday. Smart as I am I had a few drinks with dinner and that didn't play well with my altitude acclimation. So today I didn't get anything as far as shots. I plan on walking a little downtown here in a bit and will hopefully get the trip started off right with something as the sun goes down.

I only have this to share thus far. My wife who is learning how to shoot as we drove up in the car took it on off of Highway 9/Hoosier Pass with my old D2X. Lots to learn but I think she will be fine as she gets to see what she is producing.


Colorado by LaunchDS, on Flickr



Oct 06, 2013 at 09:46 PM
Joe_A
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p.6 #20 · p.6 #20 · Colorado Fall Color Reports


Today I drove along CR265 from Paonia. I did not go all the way (read on); turned south on CR701 and returned back to Paonia for lunch and then on to Ridgway from where I'm writing this report.

Basically, the colours are mostly brown or green. Not sure what will happen to those greens and I'm no expert but I saw many half brown/half green trees, which is not a good sign. There were still some nice patches and I did take a few closeups and abstracts here and there, but if you're heading there for the foliage colours and are picky, I'm afraid I don't think you'll find them here by and large. I think that the same snowstorm that gave us a couple of magnificent days on Friday and Saturday was also responsible for precipitating the end of foliage season... But you can't have it both ways so no complaints whatsoever.

It was still a pleasant ride though, and please don't let this report deter you from driving around this place. The views to the East are wonderful, with plenty of stops providing grand vistas over the snow-capped mountains.

Driving south on 550 it was all more of the same. Tomorrow, I'll try my luck around Ridgway. I have 7 days to go, but maybe I need to shift my focus from prime foliage colours to something else. The area is beautiful after all.

Joe



Oct 07, 2013 at 04:24 AM
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