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Bear Lake Sunrise

Bear Lake Sunrise, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Bear Lake Sunrise, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

The aspen grove above the north shore of Bear Lake is one of my favorite fall color locations in Rocky Mountain National Park. On the left, in the distance, is 14,255-foot Longs Peak, the highest peak in the park. Pagoda and Chiefshead rise on the right. At your feet lies Bear Lake. On a calm, clear morning, Bear Lake reflects the blue sky, providing a strong color contrast to the golden leaves framing the right side of the scene. In mid-September, when the leaves are turning, the warm-toned light of the rising sun floods into the Bear Lake valley and intensifies the orange and yellow hues of the aspen leaves.

I first photographed at this location in 1994. That very first effort produced one of my all-time best sellers, Longs Peak from Bear Lake in Autumn, a vertically-oriented image which is still in my line. Over the years, however, I got a number of requests for a horizontally-oriented image taken from the same location. The good luck that had allowed me to produce a memorable vertical image on my first try didn't hold, however, when it came to producing a horizontal version. It took half-a-dozen attempts, spread out over several years, before Lady Luck smiled again and allowed me to produce Bear Lake Sunrise.

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