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Thread: Colorado Suggestions?

  1. #1
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    Colorado Suggestions?

    I just learned that I'll be visiting Colorado for four days, starting September 30, 2019. Wednesday and Thursday I'm attending a seminar in Broomfield (near Denver). As of this moment I have to book the hotel(s) and rent a car. I'm trying to decide where to stay, this will be my first time going "out west" on a solo trip. As such, there's no need for a pool, hot tub, shopping, antique stores, etc. Kind of unusual to not have to plan for the whole family.

    Anyway, I'm hoping for suggestions on what area to stay and what area to find a few items that I'd love to photograph. I'd love to find a moose, a large male elk (I gather Elk "own" RMNP in the fall) and an perhaps an eagle or two. I'm also hoping to have a clear night or two to shoot the night sky.

    As of this moment I'm leaning towards staying at a good old reliable Best Western in Winter Park (southwest of RMNP). Bringing most of the camera gear I own, possibly renting a second body and a super-telephoto. On the long end I own a 100-400II (and both extenders), for the night sky I own a Sigma 35 1.4 and a Canon 24-702.8. I'm considering renting a 500 or 600mm for the first time and perhaps a Sigma 14 1.8 for night skies if the budget allows.

    I've been to Colorado once few years ago in January, basically a winter sports trip with the family, but we did visit RMNP for a few hours during a snowstorm.

    I'm open to any suggestions. I'll have rental car and I'm not opposed to driving all over the countryside if necessary.

    Thank you,
    Scott
    Scott

  2. #2
    Senior Member clemmb's Avatar
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    Continental Divide near Winter Park, CO. This spot is over 11,000 ft above sea level and only about an hour drive from downtown Denver. On Flicker, I have marked this spot on the map. Just a few minutes past this spot is Winter Park, CO. You will most likely see elk and several other wildlife. I'm sure at night this would be a good spot for night skies.


    _DS_0017-19 by Mark Clem, on Flickr
    Mark

  3. #3
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    Mark,
    Thank you for the advise, I was able to find your 'secret' spot online. My plans are coming together, looks like I'll be renting a super telephoto for the wildlife and the Sigma 14 for the night sky. Plan to spend some time in the western section of RMNP for the wildlife.
    Scott

  4. #4
    Senior Member clemmb's Avatar
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    Another excellent place to visit is Estes Park, CO. The elk roam through town and on the golf course. Good restaurants where you can get an elk burger. There is also an entrance to RMNP where you will have opportunities for wildlife as well.
    IMG_0067 by Mark Clem, on Flickr
    Mark

  5. #5
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    Trip went very well, problem is I took too many photos... Now I have to download and cull them to a realistic number, family and friends are asking for photos and have a lot of work to do.

    The Canon 600mm f4II that I rented really is an awesome lens. I've only used my 100-400 II and my 400 f5.6 with and without extenders in the past, they are ok but certainly not in the same class as the 600. I already started saving for the 600, may have to sell my sole to buy it but I'll get one, eventually.

    RMNP was fantastic, I was amazed at the photo opportunities. The learning curve was steep for me as I was mostly using rented equipment that I was not at all familiar with in a national park that I visited once for a few hours with lots of snow on the ground. Wish I could have come a week earlier and joined Bryan, he obviously knows the prime locations and I would have learned a lot about technique. Unfortunately my schedule did not allow it.

    Once I cull my photos (going to take some time), I'll post a few. Thanks to all that helped out.

    Scott
    Scott

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