Colorado Fall Foliage Photography & Cycling Tour 2017
Heavenly temperatures and crisp Colorado air, a beautiful array of colors splashed across mountain vistas and the shimmering gold of quaking aspens. This fall colors tours is for photography and cycling enthusiasts alike, and takes us through some of the most beautiful areas in Colorado’s high country. We ride through and photograph Colorado’s most iconic locations, including Maroon Bells, Crystal Mill and Hanging Lake. Photography instruction will be provided in the field with classroom time to review and edit photos. Beginning photographers are welcome, but we will not be spending time on basics of camera functions and photographic theory. This tour is designed to help aspiring photographers improve their visual storytelling skills and learn to work more confidently with their cameras.
What to Expect
You should have a basic understanding of how to capture digital images with your equipment and knowledge of basic digital editing (i.e. exposure and cropping adjustments). Photo review and editing time is set aside for group instruction.
Photography Opportunities: Our principal photo locations for this trip are all landscapes. We may spot some wildlife (moose, elk, beavers, lots of birds) along Castle Creek, and Redstone and Aspen offer Colorado mountain town streets and architecture to explore on your own.
Rides will be moderately challenging but no serious mountain riding is planned. Please train and come prepared to ride. The scenery and the experience is the most beautiful from the seat of your bike.
Colorado Fall Colors Bike Photography Tour Itinerary
Day 1 – arrive in Snowmass
Welcome orientation, route review, shoot locations/topics, and bike fitting at 6pm.
Day 2 – Photograph at Maroon Bells // Ride to Ashcroft – 20mi to 50mi (32km – 80km)
Early morning transport (5 a.m.) to the iconic Maroon Bells for sunrise photos. Photographing sunrise on the fall aspens at Maroon Bells is something you do not want to miss out on. Following our shoot, we will ride down the valley to Aspen and then on to the ghost town of Ashcroft for wildlife spotting along Castle Creek. Transfer or cycle back to Snowmass for a relaxing evening.
Day 3 – Ride Snowmass to Redstone – 47mi (76km)
This ride follows the Rio Grande Trail, old train tracks turned to paved bike path and part of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. The majority of this ride is on a paved bike path: approximately 9 miles are on a rural road. We will stop mid ride for a cycling photo shoot. Guests will take turns as photographers and as riders so everyone has a chance to practice shooting cyclists in motion. We will spend the evening in Redstone. Surrounded by towering red cliffs and set on the banks of the Crystal River, Redstone is an enchanting collection of art galleries and eclectic shops. We will have three hours for photo review and editing, and then time to explore the town on your own at sunset.
Day 4 – Photograph at The Crystal Mill // No organized ride this day
We will depart for Crystal Mill in the afternoon. The morning is yours to explore Redstone and then we will review and edit photos in a classroom session. Take time for lunch on your own and then transport by jeep to The Crystal Mill. We will be here during late afternoon and blue hour to photograph this iconic landmark framed by shimmering aspens and stunning mountain views.
Day 5 – Photograph at Hanging lake // Ride Redstone to Glenwood Springs – 29mi (46km) or 39mi option
We will ride from Redstone to the resort town of Glenwood Springs. A few photo locations may stop us along the way for wildlife spotting. In the afternoon we will take a short, steep hike to Hanging Lake for a photography session. Hanging Lake was just added to the roster of National Natural Landmarks. This evening, take a rejuvenating dip in the mineral-rich waters of the Glenwood Hot Springs, a must after a long day of cycling & hiking. Dinner as a group is covered for this last evening together before departure in the morning.
Day 6 – Depart Glenwood Springs
Breakfast is included. Transport back to Denver for your flight home, or spend the day with me in Glenwood for a full day of organizing, editing and reviewing photos from the trip.
Tour Map and Highlights
Full vehicle support
Including drivers, bike mechanic, first aid, baggage transfer, and camera gear transport to shot locations
Ride in comfort in the SAG vehicle if you need a break from the bicycle
Professional Cycling Leaders
We run no drop rides. A ride leader will be with you at all times.
3 & 4 star hotel accommodation
All breakfasts, one lunch, farewell dinner. Snacks and water provided during each ride.
Group and individual photo capture and editing instruction is covered
What’s Not Included
Airfare or other transportation to and from the tour will be your personal responsibility
Information will be provided after booking with options for transport to & from our start & end points
Breakfasts and ride snacks are included. Most lunches and dinners will be your own responsibility.
Guests are expected to bring their own photography equipment and know how to use it
Giant Defy 3 – From $180 USD per person for the duration of the tour. Bike rental includes helmet and handlebar bag.
What to Bring
- Camera, lenses, tripod and bag to carry them
- Laptop computer with card reader to transfer your files
- USB thumb-drive containing your 5 favorite images (your own or something you found) of all time as 2000px wide jpegs
- Trail hiking shoes. A couple of our shot locations require a short hike that you won’t want to do in your bike shoes.
- Your own cycling shoes and pedals, any bike bags you like to ride with, your bike helmet.
Weather and Kit
- During riding hours – expect warm sunny weather between 60F and 80F during the days. Mornings are chilly before 10am; around 45 degrees F
- During photography hours – morning and late evening photo shoots in the mountains can be in the 30F to 50F range. Bring layers, not heavy jackets.
I am happy to discuss any aspect of your riding and photography kit with you. Please reach out any time with questions.
Your personal bags will be carried by the support vehicle throughout the event. If traveling with your own bike; we strongly ask that your bikes be transported by bike bags (semi-rigid/soft). Please do not arrive to the event with rigid bike travel boxes. Support vehicles will not be able to stow large solid bike boxes as well as all luggage throughout the event.
Fitness & Training
You should be capable of riding comfortably up to 50miles/80km in a day over hilly terrain. Please arrive ready to ride. Don’t let us or yourself down. Train to ride.
Cancellation & Refund Policy
We understand that sometimes it’s necessary to change your plans. These policies apply if you need to cancel:
You may transfer your trip deposit ($800 US) to another tour up to 90 days before your original departure with payment of a $100 per person transfer fee. All cancellations are subject to a minimum of a $100 service charge. If you cancel and your spot is otherwise filled, you will be refunded the full amount you have paid (minus the $100 service charge). However if you cancel and your spot is not filled, the following applies:
- 120 days or more: full refund minus $100 fee
- 90 days or more: 50% refund
- 60 days or more: 30% refund
- Less than 60 days: no refund
Requests for refunds must be submitted in writing. There is no refund for travelers arriving late or unexpectedly leaving a trip.