View Full Version : Photo locations between Alamosa and Durango

Norm Buchanan
5-Sep-2006, 17:27
My wife and I are spending the last 3 weeks of September in Utah. We are driving from Chicago and will be stopping at the Great Sand Dunes Monument for a day. I was hoping to find something to shoot in the mountains between Alamosa and Durango as we head down toward Utah. We have one day to spend so I am looking to concentrate on one, or maybe 2, locations. Any advice would be highly appreciated. Thanks.


Kirk Gittings
5-Sep-2006, 20:16
Are you looking for mountain scenes? I love the Conejos river valley a nice little side trip north off the road to Durango about half an hour west of Antonito. Further on past Pagosa, Mesa Verde is a good side trip.

6-Sep-2006, 05:12
There's a good waterfall between the two areas. Personally, I would spend more time at the Great Sand Dunes but at this time of yr the water won't be flowing anymore which is the only time I'll go there (early summer).

Jim Galli
6-Sep-2006, 07:45
OH MY! I could spend the rest of my life photographing in the area you just mentioned. The narrow guage steam train that runs between Antonito and Chama is about the most picture perfect little railroad left on earth. Plenty of yellow aspens in the mix. It tops out over 10,000 feet as it goes through there. Good road access for train chasers. Just west of Antonito there is a wonderful little Mexican mission style church ruin that I photographed in Mogote. The train yards in Chama are wonderful. If you're into hiking, the Toltec gorge is awesome! Too much to do, too little time. I was in there 13-17 Aug and don't have most of my film developed yet. I envy your visual feast on the dates you'll be there. The aspens should be glorious. In Utah, we stayed at a B&B called Castle Valley Inn about 18 miles east of Moab and Arches. It was the treat of the trip. If you enjoy wine, there is a guy growing grapes about 2 miles from the Inn. We bought 6 of his last of 600 bottles he made in '04. Arches is just awesome.

Eric Biggerstaff
6-Sep-2006, 09:12
Not sure what your driving plans are but if you are looking to take CO 160 from Alamosa straight over to Durango then there will probably be nice images as you go over Wolf Creek Pass. There are very large stands of Aspen up there and peak color should be about when you are there. It is a very nice drive over and you can take side roads to get off the main drag if you like.

Kirk and Jim hit several of the sweet spots if you decide to go south. One route I have never done would be to take 285 out of Alamosa down to Antonito, then take 17 from Antonito over to Chama, then take 84 from Chama back up through Chromo to 160 and over to Durango. I have done parts of that several times but never the loop, in fact, I might just do that this fall as well!

Have a great trip!

Norm Buchanan
6-Sep-2006, 15:39
Thanks for all of the great suggestions! Sounds like I'll have a very busy day.

John Jarosz
15-Sep-2006, 17:25
It's out of your way, but Creede is a very nice location. Depends if your driving straight thru or if you can divert. I think you can route it so you don't have to backtrack. The ride to Creede from the turnoff west of Alamosa is exceptional along the river the entire length.