Ken Papaleo: X Marks the Shot: Shrine Pass, Vail, Colorado.

Shrine Pass, Vail, Colorado.

"X Shot" information.
Camera - Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO - 200
Shutter - 1/250 sec.
F/stop - 16
Lens - 16 - 35 mm

1. Shrine Pass Road is about 2 hours from Denver.
2. Get off at the rest area on the top of Vail Pass (I-70), entrance to Shrine Pass is there.
3. Shrine Pass will take you to Red Cliff, hwy 24.
4. The dirt road is pretty good, but does get rougher towards Red Cliff.

Last week I decided to put off my shoot on Shrine Pass until I went back and climbed up to Shrine Ridge. I heard the flowers where "Killer" up there. But the challenge for me on this shoot would be climbing up the 2 mile trail to the top. I'm not a spring chicken anymore, so I got the help of my daughter Kelley.

We arrived at the parking lot early in the morning, only two other cars parked. I figured out what gear I needed, didn't want to have a heavy packs. We split the gear, carried water, energy snacks and rain gear. I would have preferred to go up late afternoon, for the better light, but the monsoon season is in full swing. You don't want to be up there in the open, during a late afternoon thunderstorm. Lightning is the number one killer, weather related, in Colorado. We took our time on the trail, stoping many times to catch our breaths, mostly me! The trail is well marked and easy to follow. When we reached the top, we turned right. Flowers were everywhere, the hike to the shrine was flower filled. Paintbrush and lupine were the most predominate. Being up there gives you a great 360 degree view. Around 11 am we started to make our way down. Now I like greeting people on trails, but we must have crossed paths with about 100 people, going up. When we got down, the lot had over 5o cars in it with more parked on the road and this was a week day. The flowers should still be very nice, but if your going to go, go soon. The nights are getting colder. I suggest you start you hike early morning or you could be spend your time with a lot of people. Make sure you check out the weather forecast before heading out.

Ken Papaleo
Colorado Nature Photographer


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Evergreen, Colorado, United States
I worked for the Rocky Mountain News for 28 years, until they went out of business. I now do freelance work, post this weekly blog, ski and play with my four grand children. I still have the love to get out and take photographs, which brings me great peace and comfort.

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