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Author Topic: Best Dates for Fall Color in Rocky Mountain National Park  (Read 1208 times)

John Hollenberg

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Best Dates for Fall Color in Rocky Mountain National Park
« on: January 30, 2024, 03:17:35 pm »

I am planning to go to Estes Park, Colorado in Sept, 2024.  Trip will be 9 days with a mixture of day hikes and photography.  I am trying to figure out the optimal time to have the highest likelihood of great Fall Color in RMNP and may want to do some wildlife photography as well (Sony A7r V and Sony 200-600mm lens).  Any suggestions of exactly when to go appreciated.

Thanks.
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PeterAit

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Re: Best Dates for Fall Color in Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2024, 10:42:20 am »

I am planning to go to Estes Park, Colorado in Sept, 2024.  Trip will be 9 days with a mixture of day hikes and photography.  I am trying to figure out the optimal time to have the highest likelihood of great Fall Color in RMNP and may want to do some wildlife photography as well (Sony A7r V and Sony 200-600mm lens).  Any suggestions of exactly when to go appreciated.

Thanks.

Nature is not on the clock!
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John Hollenberg

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Re: Best Dates for Fall Color in Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2024, 07:27:42 pm »

Nature is not on the clock!

Very unhelpful response.  Nature IS on the clock, there is a range of times when it is usually best.  I won't be looking for Fall Color in July.  On a previous trip to Western Colorado I had very good input from someone who lived in Colorado and knew about when the Fall Color peak was most likely.  His guess was spot on.  A trip to Caddo Lake in Eastern Texas in early November, 2023 for Fall Color was successful because I had specific info on when great colors were most likely.  I found two Fall Color photo workshops offered in RMNP in Sept, 2024 and based on those dates and the timing of the Elk Rut (Sept 15-Oct 15) I have tentatively decided to go Sept 17-26.  Fall Color change starts first at the highest elevations (11,000-12,000) and works its way down as the season progresses so I should be able to find an area with good Fall Color by varying the elevation.

Helpful responses from those who live in the area would be appreciated.
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stevenfr

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Re: Best Dates for Fall Color in Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2024, 10:38:38 pm »

I have spent 15 years photographing aspens in autumn in Colorado. Mostly south of RMNP.  I usually allocate two to three weeks starting on the 20th.

Steven
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John Hollenberg

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Re: Best Dates for Fall Color in Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2024, 10:14:20 am »

I have spent 15 years photographing aspens in autumn in Colorado. Mostly south of RMNP.  I usually allocate two to three weeks starting on the 20th.

Helpful, thanks.  Presumably peak would be a bit earlier in RMNP which would be North of where you shoot.
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stevenfr

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Re: Best Dates for Fall Color in Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2024, 11:15:21 pm »

That would be my guess peak earlier in RMNP. I always prefer to shoot into the peak colour.

John Hollenberg

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Re: Best Dates for Fall Color in Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2024, 10:45:20 am »

Here is the definitive word on the optimal times to photograph RMNP in September from Erik Stensland who has photographed there for over 20 years:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-uZsavg9Ks
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BradSmith

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Re: Best Dates for Fall Color in Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2024, 06:35:55 pm »

One data point.....For whatever it is worth.............Grand Mesa, CO   Oct 1, 2022

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Benny Profane

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Re: Best Dates for Fall Color in Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2024, 10:10:25 pm »

Best I have ever seen is third week of September in Vail valley. But, foliage, eh, incredibly hard to schedule. Some years, glorious, others, nothing.
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TomEgel

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Re: Best Dates for Fall Color in Rocky Mountain National Park
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2024, 09:11:40 pm »

I was there this past fall during the first week of October and it seemed to be a little past peak color.

Tom
Ann Arbor, MI
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Tom
Ann Arbor, MI
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