View Full Version : A Special Day in Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado CJ
29-Sep-2019, 17:08
All images are shot with a Pentax 645D.

I decided to go up to the park yesterday for some hiking and photography. Up at 4 am and on the trail at 5 am.

I hit the clouds while driving to the trailhead. And once on the trail, even with a decent headlamp, I couldn't see much past 5 feet in front of me. The trail starts at roughly 9500 ft. and ascends up to over 10,000 ft.

It was kind of spooky hiking a trail in the dark, in extremely heavy fog (really a cloud) knowing that there are plenty of dropoffs.

I got to Emerald Lake just as it was getting light enough to not need the headlamp, still in heavy fog. So, after having a cup of coffee, I started doing some long exposure photography. Well, what I could in the fog anyway.


My lens kept fogging up and I forgot to bring a microfiber cloth. I hated to do it, but I used my fleece jacket continuously to keep the lens clear.


As I waited for the clouds to clear, I hiked up a boulder field and tried to shoot some old pines, but the fog was just too thick to get anything decent.

After a couple of hours, there was a 5 minute clearing of the clouds, and the spires around Emerald Lake were finally visible, for a short while anyway.

(3 shot vertical pano with a 645D and 35mm lens)


After another cup of coffee, the sun came out one more time.


Colorado CJ
29-Sep-2019, 17:08
Then the fog closed back in, so I headed down the mountain. A foggy hike down gave me a few more photography opportunities.


It feels like a different world compared to how it normally is up here. Almost like on a movie set.



Finally, down out of the clouds, the bull elk bugles can be heard echoing through the mountains. I didn't spend any time photographing them since I only had my medium format camera with me, which doesn't have the "reach" my wildlife setup has. I did get one shot of a bull during a bugle though.


It was a special day in the park, one that I will remember for a while. There is usually some weather around when hiking there, but not like it was today. The light worked just right many times and I am happy with what I was able to capture.

Alan Klein
29-Sep-2019, 21:12
Nice shots.Well done.

Juergen Sattler
29-Sep-2019, 22:00
These are amazing!

29-Sep-2019, 22:09
You elk picture reminded me of this recent article about hiking and Elk in Colorado.


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Peter Collins
30-Sep-2019, 14:49

Drew Wiley
30-Sep-2019, 17:34
Thanks for these lovely images. They're a refreshing break from spotting prints this afternoon.

1-Oct-2019, 17:39
Very nice, makes me want to head for the hills.

12-Oct-2019, 05:36
Not a bad one in the bunch thank you for sharing them. BTW Emerald lake is one of my favorite spots in RMN.