Photograph the Night Sky Over Trail Ridge Road

Rate this Adventure Forest Canyon Overlook, CO

Get up high for stellar views of the Milky Way and dark skies. Stop at one of the numerous pull-offs for easy star spotting or to watch a meteor shower.

The highest continuous paved road in North America, Trail Ridge Road takes you above 12,000 ft to an alpine tundra. Being above treeline means you have unclogged panoramic views of the night sky and any possible meteors. You can start your trip from Grand Lake in the west or Estes Park in the east. There will be some light pollution at night from the towns, but it's subtle enough to add interest to your images.

If you want to create more compelling images bring along a tent, headlamp, or another interesting prop. Just remember there's no camping up here and minimize your impact on the fragile environment, the growing season is only a short couple months. Be prepared for snow or thunderstorms at any time and make sure to check the road conditions before leaving; the road is only open seasonally, typically from Memorial Day to the first significant snowfall.

Pack List

  • Warm Clothes
  • Camera
  • Fast Wide Angle Lens (f/2.8 or faster)
  • Tripod
  • Extra Batteries
  • Chair & Blanket
  • Headlamp
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Activities Chillin, Photography
Skill Level Beginner
Season Summer
Features
Scenic

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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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