Sunday, May 26, 2013

Roxborough State Park: May 2013, Part I

I called the visitor center at Roxborough State Park this past winter to see how I could get into the park to shoot the sunrise. The polite answer from the ranger was that I can't; the park didn't open until much later in the morning. Leaving my car outside the park and walking in wasn't even a realistic option, as it's a good couple of miles from the gate to the interior. So I went to South Valley Park instead, which turned out pretty well.

Fast forward a few months, and I got an e-mail saying there was a ranger-led sunrise hike coming up. Patience wins again!

Roxborough State Park sunrise
We actually got started just a few minutes before sunrise.  But fortunately hit a nice break in the trees on the South Rim Trail in time for me to snap a few shots of the actual event before the sun got too high.

Roxborough State Park sunrise
The mix of sandstone and iron in the Fountain Formation makes it eye-catching any time of day.  But even more so in the warm light just after dawn.

Roxborough State Park
The cool, wet spring may have given these mushrooms even more fuel than normal to grow.

Roxborough State Park
As we continued our hike, my eye kept coming back to the Fountain Formation.  From varied angles and elevations, it took on different appearances.

Roxborough State Park
One of the most distinctive features of the park is the opportunity to see formations from three different geologic eras -- the aforementioned Fountain Formation, the Lyons Formation in the center and the Dakota hogback to the east.

After a nice jaunt around the South Rim Trail the morning was not yet over.  A wildflower photo hike remained with yet another of the park's terrific volunteers.  We hadn't even left sight of the visitor center when most of our group were already on their hands, knees and even bellies shooting some Pinweed.

Click here for Part II.

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