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08/13/2015 11:58:39 AM · #1
In Sep/Oct we are going to be traveling in Colorado, staying at Vail Colorado. Do you have any "must see's" in that area.

Then towards the end of the trip we are going to drive up to Cody, WY into Yellowstone (Lamar Valley) down through to Jackson Hole Wyoming (about 6 days). Because this is going to a trip of a lifetime. I was thinking maybe I would get a photo guide but in my researches they cost way to much. So I was wondering if anyone here had ever used one before and if so, who and what was your experience. I've used guides in Antelope Canyon and Machias Seal Island for the Puffins. In the past it's been totally worth it.

Of course any pictures or personal experiences you have will be appreciated...

Thank you
08/13/2015 12:16:48 PM · #2
I assume you've made sure the things you want to see, particularly in the Yellowstone area, will be open that late in the season. Much of Yellowstone closes for the winter, a lot of that happens in September. If I were planning the trip, I'd reverse the direction, and go to the northern things first, then drive South later.

I think Trail Ridge Road is still open that late.

Make sure you go somewhere where the Aspen are turning.

It's hard not to love anyplace in the Rockies during the fall. Bring warm clothes.
08/13/2015 12:30:06 PM · #3
Originally posted by Ann:

I assume you've made sure the things you want to see, particularly in the Yellowstone area, will be open that late in the season. Much of Yellowstone closes for the winter, a lot of that happens in September. If I were planning the trip, I'd reverse the direction, and go to the northern things first, then drive South later.

I think Trail Ridge Road is still open that late.

Make sure you go somewhere where the Aspen are turning.

It's hard not to love anyplace in the Rockies during the fall. Bring warm clothes.


Yes, my muck'a lucks are high on the list!!! (LOL). The timing is in stone (pretty much), I will check with the parks about early Oct entry...didn't think about that...

We have a condo unit in Vail (timeshare) so we can't change that.
08/13/2015 01:55:09 PM · #4
Be sure to check out Rocky Mountain National Park. Richard Hahn (' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' hahn23) lives there, and can put you on the right track for must-sees. It's absolutely beautiful in the late fall.

Message edited by author 2015-08-13 13:55:30.
08/13/2015 02:01:58 PM · #5
There's an elk preserve just east of Jackson Hole where it used to be (1980s) possible to camp. These are the view back to the West (scans from P&S film) ...

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08/13/2015 03:04:22 PM · #6
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Be sure to check out Rocky Mountain National Park. ...


RNMP is certainly beautiful... it is however another area that experiences very early season closures quite often. Some areas remain accessible, but the road that goes through it runs at very high altitude and thus is subject to early season storms.
08/15/2015 11:25:23 PM · #7
Estes Park Info

Info on RMNP

More Info

Glenwood Springs is Close to Vail and Fun

Vail

You will have a good time :)

08/16/2015 07:45:53 AM · #8
Trail Ridge Road in RMNP will be open until about October 15.

Colorado Fall colors begin to peak at 9500' on September 18 in RMNP. But, are very good at lower northern CO elevations and towards southern Colorado until Oct. 6. Where to see the Fall colors.

The elk rut is a September event, extending into early October. Best viewed in the glacial valleys of Rocky Mountain National Park.

The beauty of the Colorado Rockies optimizes in September with fresh snow on the peaks, open (not frozen) alpine lakes, amazing aspen colors and much animal activity. Hiking trails are less crowded (compared to summer) and there are fewer lightning storms. The air is clearer, more often. And, the atmospherics are sometimes dramatic and breathtaking.

Maroon Bells (over by Aspen, CO.) is the most photographed place in Colorado, but colors peak there early. This photo from September 2, 2004. ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1005/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_770287.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1005/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_770287.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Independence Pass is the highest paved pass in Colorado.

Mount Evans closes on Oct. 5.

Great Sand Dunes National Park is a must see, but not for the Fall colors. The light is best on the first few days of October. The same can be said for Taos, NM and Sante Fe, NM. I would be heading south towards Sante Fe in early October, rather than north towards Wyoming. (a serious piece of weather advice)

Message edited by author 2015-08-16 09:04:49.
08/16/2015 09:07:48 AM · #9
Thank you one and all!!! Might still get some of that southern mid-Sep colors in South Colorado/NM....especially if we help our daughter move to Colorado. We just don't know the timing of that yet.

I do realize (this coming from a Michigan Gal) that the weather could be dicey in Wyoming and that the cold and snow in that area is very "different" than Michigan for sure.

I did call Yellowstone National Park and talk to them about the roads and the Lamar Valley, might just end up doing that on another trip when we're visiting Rochelle out there in Colorado. We'll be smart about it for sure. (Well, at least we'll try...wink)

Is this in Vail area? Do any of you recognize it?

08/16/2015 03:58:55 PM · #10
If you are going to be north of Taos, Combres & Toltec RR, a 60 mile trip along the NM, Co border and it's a great photo adventure. Tickets in 06 were around $60 per person.
If you can time your NM early Oct to be at Abq for the balloon fest, that's a great time too. Colleen Gino lives near Abq, and she may be willing to show you around in that area.
09/11/2015 05:29:17 AM · #11
//www.9news.com/story/weather/2014/09/05/fall-colors-colorado/15138709/
09/11/2015 09:39:01 AM · #12
Originally posted by Ja-9:

Thank you one and all!!! Might still get some of that southern mid-Sep colors in South Colorado/NM....especially if we help our daughter move to Colorado. We just don't know the timing of that yet.

I do realize (this coming from a Michigan Gal) that the weather could be dicey in Wyoming and that the cold and snow in that area is very "different" than Michigan for sure.

I did call Yellowstone National Park and talk to them about the roads and the Lamar Valley, might just end up doing that on another trip when we're visiting Rochelle out there in Colorado. We'll be smart about it for sure. (Well, at least we'll try...wink)

Is this in Vail area? Do any of you recognize it?


That would be a tree farm. Aspens never grow so orderly in nature.
09/11/2015 10:11:10 AM · #13
Originally posted by hahn23:

//www.9news.com/story/weather/2014/09/05/fall-colors-colorado/15138709/


Maybe.....just maybe!!!

Rick (husband) is there now says the colors haven't really even started yet....fingers crossed!!!
09/11/2015 10:16:32 AM · #14
Originally posted by Ja-9:

Originally posted by hahn23:

//www.9news.com/story/weather/2014/09/05/fall-colors-colorado/15138709/


Maybe.....just maybe!!!

Rick (husband) is there now says the colors haven't really even started yet....fingers crossed!!!

Not only have the aspen started their color change, the colors will peak on September 18, 2015 at 9500' in RMNP. ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1982/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1130110.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1982/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1130110.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/50000-54999/54446/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1166149.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/50000-54999/54446/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1166149.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Message edited by author 2015-09-11 10:21:25.
09/11/2015 10:23:10 AM · #15
Originally posted by hahn23:

Originally posted by Ja-9:

Originally posted by hahn23:

//www.9news.com/story/weather/2014/09/05/fall-colors-colorado/15138709/


Maybe.....just maybe!!!

Rick (husband) is there now says the colors haven't really even started yet....fingers crossed!!!

Not only have the aspen started their color change, the colors will peak on September 18, 2015 at 9500' in RMNP. ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1982/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1130110.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1982/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1130110.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/50000-54999/54446/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1166149.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/50000-54999/54446/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1166149.jpg', '/') + 1) . '


Damn n double damn...
09/11/2015 11:01:10 AM · #16
If you're coming in from Denver, on your way to Vail, turn left at Idaho Springs and head up to Mt. Evans, the highest paved road in the US.

That's where this was taken.

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' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' hahn23 also gave me some good advice or the area.

Maroon Bells near Aspen is easy to get to and oft photographed.

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09/11/2015 11:16:27 AM · #17
Originally posted by scarbrd:

If you're coming in from Denver, on your way to Vail, turn left at Idaho Springs and head up to Mt. Evans, the highest paved road in the US.

That's where this was taken.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1775/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1076416.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1775/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1076416.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' hahn23 also gave me some good advice or the area.

Maroon Bells near Aspen is easy to get to and oft photographed.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1783/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1076362.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1783/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1076362.jpg', '/') + 1) . '


The highest paved road is definitely on our list. I'll look up Maroon Bells and mark it on my map...wink Anyplace else?
09/13/2015 06:22:49 PM · #18
I grew up 100 miles from Yellowstone. This time of year ... make sure your tires are snow tiers. It is very likely you'll be driving in snow in Yellowstone. And like someone said previously ... check that all roads you plan to travel will be open.
09/14/2015 04:16:07 AM · #19
I'm up in the northwest portion of Colorado (Steamboat Springs area), and our aspens have just begun to change, as well. I haven't been up north where they have the best color, but towards the east, they are mid change+ currently. If you plan to come through my area, I have simple accommodations (PM for further). So far as Yellowstone/Teton in general, I actually just made a trip up to Jackson last month. Plan for extreme traffic delays when traveling anywhere in the park due to wildlife (could be deer, elk, bison, wolves, or bears that actually slow things down, but plan on a HUGE slowdown both in the Lamar (presumed slowdown) and Hayden (experienced slowdown). When I say huge slowdown I mean 1/4 of gas= 1 minute of driving past wildlife present. Bring your big lenses and prepare for a conga line of cars. Old Faithful is a veritable CITY, but still houses some cool items (again, PM for further) that you should check out. In short, depending upon your plans, I have a large or a small amount to share. Hope your trip goes great in any case!

Message edited by author 2015-09-14 04:17:51.
09/14/2015 09:26:32 AM · #20
I forgot to mention Derek (' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' spiritualspatula) in my previous post.

He is a wealth of information about Colorado, too. I would love to be up there for the color change!

Originally posted by spiritualspatula:

I'm up in the northwest portion of Colorado (Steamboat Springs area), and our aspens have just begun to change, as well. I haven't been up north where they have the best color, but towards the east, they are mid change+ currently. If you plan to come through my area, I have simple accommodations (PM for further). So far as Yellowstone/Teton in general, I actually just made a trip up to Jackson last month. Plan for extreme traffic delays when traveling anywhere in the park due to wildlife (could be deer, elk, bison, wolves, or bears that actually slow things down, but plan on a HUGE slowdown both in the Lamar (presumed slowdown) and Hayden (experienced slowdown). When I say huge slowdown I mean 1/4 of gas= 1 minute of driving past wildlife present. Bring your big lenses and prepare for a conga line of cars. Old Faithful is a veritable CITY, but still houses some cool items (again, PM for further) that you should check out. In short, depending upon your plans, I have a large or a small amount to share. Hope your trip goes great in any case!
09/14/2015 11:09:16 AM · #21
I'd love to do a meet-up if anyone had any time...David...your always on the road...come on!!!

I've sent Derek a PM...so we'll see where he directs me (probably off a cliff!!!).
09/14/2015 11:33:41 AM · #22
We used to go to Colorado to visit my wife's best friend in Vail. She moved to Florida a couple of months ago :-(. Still have cousin in Denver, so who knows.

Thinking about Rocky Mountain National Park for my annual photo trip in late May.

Originally posted by Ja-9:

I'd love to do a meet-up if anyone had any time...David...your always on the road...come on!!!

I've sent Derek a PM...so we'll see where he directs me (probably off a cliff!!!).
09/14/2015 12:19:51 PM · #23
Originally posted by scarbrd:

We used to go to Colorado to visit my wife's best friend in Vail. She moved to Florida a couple of months ago :-(. Still have cousin in Denver, so who knows.

Thinking about Rocky Mountain National Park for my annual photo trip in late May.

Originally posted by Ja-9:

I'd love to do a meet-up if anyone had any time...David...your always on the road...come on!!!

I've sent Derek a PM...so we'll see where he directs me (probably off a cliff!!!).


well, when you come to Florida...you'll have to let me know...I know loads of interesting places to go shooting wildlife!!! And other scenic areas.

ETA: Winter months are best for wildlife


Message edited by author 2015-09-14 12:20:13.
10/01/2015 11:16:58 AM · #24
alright all you great people...

Where to eat in Denver, Vail & Jackson Hole....Favorite places. I know that when I went home to Michigan there were places I'd always visit and still do to this day...that's what I'm looking for. Mom n Pop places with excellent food fare.
10/01/2015 11:30:44 AM · #25
Denver's Oldest Steakhouse: The Buckhorn Exchange A unique experience for locals and visitors. I've enjoyed each and every visit.

Message edited by author 2015-10-01 11:33:45.
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