Alberta Falls Overlook, Colorado, USA
kyle wurtz
kyle wurtz www.kylewurtz.com
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USA Alberta Falls Overlook, Colorado

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This east-facing overlook on the Alberta Falls trail in Rocky Mountain National Park is a very nice place to see the sunrise. This spot is only about a mile from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead, and it's one of the first places that you have a clear view of the valley. This makes it a relatively quick/easy place to view the sunrise. If you have more time and energy, continuing along the trail to Dream Lake and/or Sky Pond, both of which offer excellent views during sunrise. During the fall (mid to late September usually), you can see the changing colors of several aspen groves!

Photography Tips

Definitely bring a tripod so you can keep the ISOs down. You'll also want to do a lot of exposure bracketing if you're shooting a sunrise here, as you'll be shooting directly into the sun. It's pretty tough to capture the light on the foreground without blowing out the highlights in the sky with just one exposure, so consider doing some exposure blending or HDR work in post-processing.

Travel Information

Google driving directions to the Glacier Gorge Junction Trailhead (you'll have to enter the national park, but if you're getting there for sunrise you'll be there before any rangers and won't have to pay). Follow signs for Alberta Falls for the first ~0.7 miles. This spot is roughly another half mile past the falls. If you're getting there for a sunrise, it can be tough to find since you'll be hiking in the dark. Just pay attention to which direction you're facing when you're on the switchbacks and look for a little clearing off to your right when East is on your right. It's not marked, but the opening in the trees is fairly obvious when you're paying attention.
Crowd Factor Nearly no other people
Best Timing Sunrise during fall
Sunrise & Sunset 07:02 - 17:30 | current local time: 16:01
Photo Themes Aspens fall Forest forests hike Hiking Mountain Mountains Sun Sunrise
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