Last year we witnessed many amazing things, from a spectacular sunrise along the shores of Lake Estes overlooking the famous Stanley Hotel, to seeing and photographing bull Elk crossing the lake to working on more intimate nature scenes with macro photography in Moraine Valley. The sound of Elk bugling fills the air early in the morning and it makes for a magical experience. Get ready to see, hear and photograph things like you never have before!
Week 1---Saturday Sept. 28 & Sunday Sept. 29
Week 2---Saturday Oct. 5 & Sunday Oct 6th
Place & Time;
We will meet at 6:30 am on the shores of Lake Estes in Estes Park, Colorado. GPS coordinates are 40.376418,-105.503399 roughly. A map can be found here through Google Maps http://goo.gl/maps/zQdpW Don't be late and allow yourself enough time to get there, we wouldn't want you to miss anything after all. It is very easy to get to and I will be there early with my tripod set up, just look for a tripod on the shoreline pointing east along with a silver Caravan. From here, we will shoot the sunrise and then move on to Rocky Mountain National Park to photograph the Elk rut in the morning light of Golden Hour. You are of course also free to do your own thing too, naturally!
What To Bring;
*A change of clothes. Dress warm for the mornings but also bring a change of clothes for the warm temps mid day. Temps swing wildly this time of the year and going from 20 degrees to 70 is commonplace. That means gloves people! I can't stress this enough.
* Food & drinks. There aren't many places in the park to get a drink so be sure to stock up on bottled water and the like which also helps with the altitude. Same can be said as far as food goes.
*Lenses. Generally you will want something in the 300mm range at minimum to be able to photograph the Elk. Though we have been known to lend out a few lenses while on location to fellow photographers who don't have that focal length depending on what system you shoot.
*Money for entrance into Rocky Mountain National Park. Be aware that Saturday, Sept. 28th is a FREE day into the park. As such, no admission is charged however that also means that the park becomes very crowded by late morning. Fees are $20 per car and is good for a full week. More about the fees and annual passes can be found on the website of RMNP here http://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/feesandreservations.htm
I highly suggest inquiring about reservations as soon as possible if you plan to stay over night.
*KOA Estes Park. http://koa.com/campgrounds/estes-park/ Several people have stayed here in the past and have had good experiences. They offer quite a variety as far as lodging goes including cabins with showers. The rates are quite affordable.
*RMNP Campgrounds http://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/camping.htm Many are first come, first served this time of the year and don't take reservations.
*Saddle & Surrey Motel. http://www.saddleandsurrey.com/ One of Estes Parks best kept secrets.
*Comfort Inn Estes Park http://www.comfortinn.com/hotel-estes_park-colorado-CO406 has very high reviews with competive rates.
Bring on Fall in the Rocky Mountains!