My goal this past summer visiting Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, CA was Chasm Falls. I had never been and it was a interesting afternoon driving the scary dirt roads of the park. Just about 1 mile in you can find a pull off and take the 5 minute rocky trek to the falls. Follow the creek upstream and it appears magically! Such a wonderful little 25-30 feet waterfall. A perfect subject for HDR!
Some info from the web: Rocky Mountain National Park is a national park located in the north-central region of the U.S. state of Colorado. It features majestic mountain views, a variety of wildlife, varied climates and environments—from wooded forests to mountain tundra—and easy access to back-country trails and campsites. The park is located northwest of Boulder, Colorado, in the Rockies, and includes the Continental Divide and the headwaters of the Colorado River. The park has five visitor centers. The park headquarters, Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, is a National Historic Landmark, designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin West.The park may be accessed by three roads: U.S. Highway 34, 36, and State Highway 7. Highway 7 enters the park for less than a mile, where it provides access to the Lily Lake Visitor Center. Farther south, spurs from route 7 lead to campgrounds and trail heads around Longs Peak and Wild Basin. Highway 36 enters the park on the east side, where it terminates after a few miles at Highway 34. Highway 34, known as Trail Ridge Road through the park, runs from the town of Estes Park on the east to Grand Lake on the southwest. The road reaches an elevation of 12,183 feet (3,713 m), and is closed by snow in winter. The park is surrounded by Roosevelt National Forest on the north and east, Routt National Forest on the northwest, and Arapaho National Forest on the southwest.
…..continued from yesterdays post… So after my stop I kept driving up the steep mountain. It is a bit scary knowing you are on a dirt road climbing higher and higher with no guardrails. Whew…I tried not to look left…but it was difficult…such a beautiful dangerous drive! A few cars were ahead of me…so it was a nice 10-15 mph cruise. the road wasn’t close to perfect…it had tire ruts all over…so a 4 wheeler would have been nice. I had a rented Camry….great! About another 2 miles ahead…I noticed a pull off with a few cars parked. No sign, but I decided to park and check it out. Another family was getting out of their car…I asked if this was Chasm Falls. They had no idea. I saw 2 dudes walking near the river…they told me that there was a waterfall about 5 minutes hike ahead. But to be careful the hike is very rocky! Nice! Could this be it?
I felt like Indiana Jones is search of the lost Arc! LOL I threw my gear on my back and began the trek. The river was cascading all over and with every chance, I stopped and took a few shots. My second stop I could see a waterfall in the distance. A couple snaps, then on my way! I arrived and there ahead of me was Chasm Falls. Lovely! I really enjoy shooting waterfalls! HDR + Flowing Water + Long exposure = Cool shot! It doesn’t matter if you take a wide angle or close up…..its all good! I’ll post another shot soon from here and give you details of this great location. Also of my fun drive back to the hotel. An amazing park 2 explore, but one describes it all word…Whoa!! (Driving, views, Wildlife, etc…) I have to go back one day with time on my hands!
Talke Photography Settings:
Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 12.0mm
Exposure: HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza, Color Efex Pro
If you are traveling into beautiful Colorado, one amazing place is Estes Park. I think in the US after California, Colorado is the second most beautiful state in our country. So many amazing locations. I had to visit customers up in Boulder and had a nite to stay in town. Been to Boulder a bunch…so I decided to stay up in Estes Park. It is about 50 minutes northwest of Boulder. A beautiful drive. The Rocky Mountains are so lovely up here! I arrived on a Sunday and had just a few hours to enjoy the area. I was waiting for my hotel room to be available and had a few hours to pass. I found a great waterfall to photograph called Chasm Falls (pic coming tomorrow in HDR). To get there you have to enter the Rocky Mountain National Park. I had no idea how far it was or the exact location…so I drove in and decided to wing it! The road was nice for the first mile or so, then suddenly you have only have one main choice…drive up the one way dirt road on the side of the mountains! Just up the hill around the first bend is this view!! I pulled over and grabbed this shot in IR and HDR. Breathtaking! The journey continues tomorrow….onto Chasm Falls!