Chasing Fall Color In Southwest Colorado

September 2017

The San Juan Mountains in Southwest Colorado can simply be spectacular in the fall if you have the good fortune to have some snow on the mountains. The last time we were there, two years ago, there wasn’t much snow and it was somewhat disappointing. As we headed south from Grand Junction and got near Ridgway, we could see there had been snow!

We headed to an area known as the Dallas Divide for sunset and captured the first photo you see below. It was the best sunset I had ever seen there. In the days that followed, we had more success at other nearby locations.

sunset over the Dallas Divide colorado
"The Dallas Divide" - Prints Available


San Juan mountains Sunrise
"San Juan Sunrise" - Prints Available


Sunset over Mount Sneffells in Colorado in Fall
"Perfect Timing" - Prints Available


sunrise over san juan mountains in fall
"Mountain Sunrise" - Prints Available


snow blowing from peaks of san juan mountains in fall
"Mountain Winds" - Prints Available


We came across this out of the way location by chance. The horses in the pasture were fenced in by the rustic wood fence, which was just what the image needed in the foreground. If I go back again, I’ll have to take some apples for the horses to get them closer to me.

fence in front of san juan mountains in fall
"Fenced In" - Prints Available


It is said that the shootout scene at the end of the original “True Grit” was filmed in the pasture here beneath Chimney Rock. Other scenes were filmed nearby in and around Ridgway, Colorado. The clouds at sunset above the Rock almost look like smoke coming out of the Chimney.

Chimney Rock and pasture with fall color
"Smokin' Chimney" - Prints Available


I really love it when I can find some nice ferns under Aspen trees in the fall. We were driving through an Aspen grove area near Crested Butte and I let out an excited “Stop, Stop” to my friend who was driving when I saw this scene. Long hours and lots of searching can really pay off big.

orange ferns below yellow aspen trees in fall
"Ferns Below"


Yellow aspen trees in fall in colorado
"Endless Aspens" - Prints Available


Next up will be a trip to the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway at the end of January. The winter mountain scenery on the rocky coasts there is incredible and there is also a good chance of seeing and photographing the Northern Lights.

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