In my first few years living in Colorado I made several brief hiking and photography trips exploring the corners of my new home. This was back in the days of film (typically Provia 100), and I have a modest collection of slides only some fraction of which were ever scanned. There are plenty of locations I really ought to return to for longer visits: here are three of the best.
It’s a short but steep hike to Electric Pass, in the Maroon Bells wilderness just outside Aspen. The trail here reaches higher than any other in the state not headed for a mountain peak. Although not a national park, the Maroon Bells are quite possibly the most impressive part of the Rockies in Colorado. Get an early start if you attempt this hike, as it’s not named “Electric Pass” without good reason.
The Black Canyon is a national park, but it’s far enough away from any tourist route as to be sparsely visited. The South Rim is best for photography, the North Rim (to which there’s no paved road) better for hiking and extremely quiet.
Chasm Lake, with the Diamond Face of Longs Peak as a backdrop, is spectacular at any time of the day (or year, though an ice axe and crampons are recommended to get there safely in winter). The classic sight though is sunrise, which on a clear day turns the Diamond Face a glorious shade of orange (on a not-so-clear day, which I’ve also experienced, there’s nothing to see!). Get a very early start and join those attempting to summit Longs for the 2-3 hour pre-dawn hike to the lake.