Utah and the Wasatch Mountains were the main targets for western fall color this year, because different from Colorado, in Utah some of the leaves turn red in addition to yellow.
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Mark, from my office, came with me and did a fantastic job handling the driving. The weather didn’t cooperate enough to give us a wide-angle view of mountains with red foliage, but we did have some success finding some really nice settings with fantastic colors.
Part of our plan was to take a few days over in Colorado and photograph a couple of my favorite locations there. Near Aspen is Maroone Lake, known for its reflection of the mountains in the lake. We had to get there 2 hours before sunrise to get a good spot because well over 100 photographers will show up there each morning during the fall.
Another location near Aspen is the view of Capitol Peak. The last part of the long dirt road to get there is an extremely rough section that requires a high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle and some good experience navigating it. Our rental F150 4×4 did the trick, although it was a little more exciting at a few spots than we wanted. But in the end, it was worth it.
The color in Colorado was the best it has been in years. The view at McClure Pass was a prime example. Last year, it was half green and half bare. What a difference a year makes!
We also headed down to the aspen grove near Crested Butte. Nothing says fall in the western United States like the yellow aspen trees. The trick is finding some settings with some nice undergrowth with color.
We drove over 2,500 miles scouting for locations, and while the days were long, we still had a lot of fun. I have a feeling I’ll be back there next year. Next up is October fall color in North Georgia. Will report on it as soon as I can.
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