Summertime in the majestic peaks of Southwest Colorado is simply awe-inspiring. Meadows and hillsides are blanketed in various shades of green forests and meadows, iron-red mountains, glacial blue lakes, spring-fed waterfalls, and vibrant splashes of multi-colored wildflowers. To capture these spectacular views requires an adventure into the backcountry with our favorite jeep outfitter Switzerland of America.
Departing from Montrose on the first day, our group will take a side excursion to photograph the deep, steep-walled gorge carved into the Black Canyon by the Gunnison River. Here we will practice creative compositions of the dramatic drops and the striated cliffs rising above the river. Then it’s back to Montrose to grab luggage and head to our final base destination.
We will spend the remaining four days in Ouray, based among towering peaks in the Uncompahgre National Forest. Each day, our group will traverse miles of back-country jeep trails, often reaching heights of 11,000 plus feet in elevation. Under the watchful eye of Colorado-based photographer David Jaffe, you will have the opportunity to capture scenic views from Black Bear Pass, Silver Basin, Corkscrew Gulch, Porphyry Gulch, Hurricane Pass, and the historic ghost town of Animas Forks. Whether focusing on grand mountain landscapes, or intimate macro vignettes, David will help you with tips and techniques for creating stunning images.
If fresh mountain air, unparalleled scenery, and great photography is to your liking, then join us for the Rocky Mountain High workshop.
- Pre-workshop webinar
- 5 nights of single-occupancy lodging
- Field instruction and image critiques
- Four outfitter-guided jeep tours
- Outfitter Gratuity
- Park permit and fees
- Water, snacks, group lunch on full-day excursion, and a group meal
- Post-workshop critique
Please be aware that shooting locations stated in this itinerary may change. Each day we will determine which locations are best based on lighting and weather. We want to give you the best possible photo opportunities.
Day 1– Sunday, July 23, 2023
- Arrive in Montrose late in the day and check in to the hotel.
- Convene at 5:00 pm for a meet and greet with the instructor, David Jaffe.
Day 2 – Monday, July 24, 2023
- Depart pre-dawn for a sunrise shoot at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP.
- Return to the hotel, check out and depart for Ouray.
- En route, we will stop for lunch in Ridgway at the True Grit Café
- Upon our arrival in Ouray, we will check into our hotel.
- Late afternoon/early evening our group will head out for a shoot.
- Return for dinner.
Day 3 – Tuesday, July 25, 2023
- We will depart early for our morning jeep ride with Switzerland of America Jeep Tours to Black Bear Pass where we’ll capture the morning sunrise over the San Juan Mountains.
- Late morning we will head back down the hill stopping along the way for some other spectacular photo ops.
- We’ll spend a bit of time resting and downloading our images before walking downtown for lunch.
- Our afternoon will be spent doing our first critique, looking at images you brought along or that you took earlier in the day.
- Weather permitting, we’ll head down the valley looking for some evening light to end our day.
- Welcome dinner.
Day 4 – Wednesday, July 26, 2023
- Once again we will depart pre-dawn to travel with our outfitters to the seldom-visited Silver Basin. Here we will capture spectacular views of the Uncompahgre Mountains dotted with meadows of wildflowers.
- Returning to town late morning, we’ll again take a break to download images before lunch.
- Our afternoon classroom session will focus on editing, workflow, and post-production followed by a critique of your Colorado images.
- A sunset shoot, weather permitting, will be followed by dinner.
Day 5 – Thursday, July 27, 2023
- This will be a full-day jeep excursion with our outfitter going through Ironton Park as we travel u the side of Red Mountain through Corkscrew Gulch. From this vantage point, we photograph the morning views of the backside of the Red Mountains.
- Continuing our journey up in elevation, we will climb to the top of Hurricane Pass and capture 360-degree views.
- As we travel over California Pass we will reach the ghost town of Animas Forks.
- Following along with the Animas River, we will arrive in the old mining town of Silverton where we’ll have lunch.
- Then it’s some free time for you to explore Silverton on your own.
- Finally, our excursion will come to an end bringing us back to our hotel in Ouray.
Day 6 – Friday, July 28, 2023
- Our last morning adventure will take us to Porphyry Gulch where we will capture wildflowers surrounding a picturesque waterfall.
- From here we’ll take a short walk to Bullion King Lake to capture some alpine lake images.
- Winding our way back down to town, we’ll stop along the way for photo ops.
- Back in Ouray, we’ll pack our bags and head back to Montrose.
- The workshop will adjourn mid-afternoon.
Strenuous Rating: Moderate — This workshop entails some light hiking at very high altitudes. Participants must be in moderately good shape to deal with the altitude and moving in and out of our vans and jeeps. The jeep rides can be very bumpy at times and we will be traveling on 4-wheel drive roads only without guard rails. The weather can be brisk in the early morning and evening hours, especially atop the mountains. Participants should plan to have access to warm clothing that can be layered as necessary.
Equipment Recommendations: Polarizing filters will help reduce the sheen on leaves, and will also help reduce hazy skies at this altitude. A reflector can help inject light into dim groves of trees, as appropriate.
The Workshop will Depart from / Return to:
The first night of the workshop begins on Sunday, July 23, 2023. This night is based on single-occupancy and is included in your workshop fee. If you plan to arrive earlier that the 23rd, a courtesy block of rooms is available July 22 and for the post-night of July 28th. Participants needing these additional nights are required to make their own reservations by calling directly to the hotel.
Lodging During the Workshop
Matterhorn Inn Ouray
201 6th Avenue
Ouray, CO 81427
Tel: (970) 325-4938
Four nights lodging, based on single occupancy, is included in your workshop fee at Matterhorn Inn Ouray. Double occupancy permitted for companions traveling together. A discount will be provided. This hotel does not have an elevator so please advise our office immediately if you would like a first-floor room. We will do our best to secure a room on the bottom floor.
TRAVEL INSURANCE IS RECOMMENDED
CANCELATION POLICY: All cancelations must be in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
- 91 days or more prior to the start of the workshop your deposit will be refunded less $100
- 61-90 days your workshop fees will be refunded in the form of an AHPS Store Credit Voucher less the $250 administrative fee. The remainder of the fees paid can be used toward a future workshop within 18 months of cancelation. The voucher is good for 18 months.
- 60 days or less until departure – No refund.
If we are able to fill your seat and the workshop runs at full enrollment we will refund your workshop fees less the $100 processing fee.
NOTE: Workshop bookings including, but are not limited to, outfitters, permit agencies, lodging, and more require firm financial commitments at 90 days. Therefore, in order to continue to bring you to great destinations, we must strictly adhere to our cancellation policy as outlined above. We recognize cancellations can sometimes be unavoidable which is why securing a Travel Protection Plan is highly encouraged.
Arizona Highways PhotoScapes reserves the right to cancel or change any workshop if our minimum enrollment is not met or if situations beyond our control arise that may create unsafe or undesirable travel conditions. Any cancelation or postponement as a result of situations beyond our control, AHPS does not promise any refunds or credits. If and when feasible, we will attempt to reschedule the workshop at a later date. Alternatively, we may decide to issue you credit for a future workshop, or issue a refund, less any non-refundable deposits we have paid to workshop providers on your behalf.
Please note that AHPS is not liable for any additional participant expenses incurred such as airfare, hotel accommodations, or any other components booked outside of the workshop.
PAYMENT TERMS: A minimum deposit is due at registration to reserve your space. Please refer to the specific workshop for the required deposit. Final payments are due 90 days prior to departure. Approximately 15 days prior to the due date you will receive a reminder email that your balance is coming due.