It was a mild week weather wise in Rocky Mountain National Park. There was no snow to speak of and the temperatures were very mild. Even the wind which usually accompanies warm weather during the winter months was mostly ‘average’ for Rocky. Much of the snow that has been hanging around the lower elevations of the park has melted and other than quite a few trees that have blown down or been uprooted from last week winds storms, the landscape remains dormant.
While the weather was temperate and above average there were a few mornings at the end of the week that hosted spectacular sunrises. Both Friday and Saturday mornings sunrise was spectacular over Rocky. On top of having two really colorful sunrises, the sun is now rising noticeably more towards the north as we move towards spring and summer. This is a welcome change as with the exception of the Mummy Range, most of Rocky Mountain National Park’s high peaks and ranges on the east side of the park are oriented in a northeasterly facing direction. In other words the lighting conditions for landscape photography are improving each passing day.
With the sunrise moving more northward each day, I decided to take advantage of the light and photograph Longs Peak on both mornings. While one can photograph Longs Peak anytime of year, the iconic face of Longs Peak known as The Diamond is oriented to the north and east making it optimal as we move towards the longer days of the year.
Friday morning I headed up the Twin Sisters to photograph Longs Peak. I was badly in need of putting some miles a trail and a hike up the Twin Sisters for sunrise was just what the doctor ordered. Saturday with the prospects for sunrise looking less like a slam dunk I hedged my bets at the Many Parks Curve overlook along Trail Ridge Road. Many Parks gives you a few options for sunrise but it also gives you a great vantage of Longs Peak with Beaver Mountain in the foreground. Both sunrises were beautiful and as always, Longs Peak looked majestic, imposing and iconic.
It’s easy to see why Longs Peak is not only the highest peak in Rocky Mountain National Park at 14,259 ft above sea level, but also why its a favorite subject of mine as well as the thousands of photographers the visit Rocky Mountain National Park each year.