Photograph Ancient Bristlecone Pines on Mt. Goliath

Rate this Adventure Colorado Mount Goliath Natural Area

Added by Jason Hatfield

Capture these incredible looking old pine trees twisted and shaped by the wind. These trees are ancient, some over 1000yrs old! This spot has the best dark night skies close to Denver.

On the way to the summit of Mt. Evans sits a small 160 acre preserve of some of the world's oldest living trees. The Mount Goliath Natural Area protects a rare site of Bristlecone Pines that make excellent photographic subjects.

Immediately after parking you're surrounded by a miniature forest full of gnarly twisted shapes. While there are many interesting trees close to the small visitor center, the best bristlecone pines are further down the short nature path; look for mostly bare trees for the best subjects.

If you're visiting at night use an app like Star Walk to find out where the Milky Way will be visible. The most interesting tree is actually a 1/4 mile walk up the road towards the summit on the right side. The sharp curve of this tree shows the prevailing wind direction and its isolation really makes it stand out.

For a night photography bonus, head to the summit of Mt. Evans and use the observatory as a foreground subject.

When visiting these ancient trees please protect their fragile environment by not climbing around them or removing branches.

Pack List

  • Camera w/ extra batteries
  • Wide Angle Zoom Lens with Fast Aperture
  • Tripod
  • Cold Weather Gear: Jacket, Hat, Gloves, etc.
  • Headlamp or Flashlight
  • $10 or America the Beautiful Pass for entrance fee
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Added by Jason Hatfield

Adventure and travel photographer based out of Denver, Colorado. I teach photography workshops and offer private guiding around the west. More at

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