Autumn Evening Radiance-Sunset in Northwestern Colorado

The sun sets through distant clouds beyond a golden hillside and a valley dotted with vibrant fall color outside of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
The sun sets through distant clouds beyond a golden hillside and a valley dotted with vibrant fall color outside of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

I haven’t spent much time shooting in northwestern Colorado. It always seems like I end up in the more well-known locations around the state or in my own backyard. My good friend and fellow photographer Rod Hanna invited me to come up for a few days this fall and it just so happened that I was going be coming back that way from my trip to Glacier National Park. The timing was perfect with plenty of fall color in the area.

Rod knows the area like the back of his hand and is always more than happy to show me his favorite spots. One of those that is right outside of Steamboat Springs is a location he has dubbed “Rainbow Ridge”. County Road 38 winds its way out of town and into the Routt National Forest on its climb up to Buffalo Pass and the Continental Divide. As you get up to about 9,000 feet, the road hugs the edge in spots and provides open views of the valley below. Rainbow Ridge is one of those spots. What makes it special is in the fall is has the combination of a hillside covered with multicolored undergrowth in the foreground and multiple stands of aspens filling the valley below. The aspens never seem to all turn at the same time, so there is a combination of golds, reds, and greens. Add in a blue sky and it really lives up to its name!

Click on the image to view a larger version in the galleries.

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