Elk Meadow Loop - A Brown Christmas

Elk Meadow, Colorado

It looks like it’s going to be a brown Christmas because the local weather forecast doesn’t call for any moisture in the near future. Usually by now there’s a bit of snow on the ground but this year the fall has been warm and dry.

Every day we awake to clear, sunny skies that delay winter’s arrival, keeping even the smallest ponds from becoming frozen. Most people are enjoying the unusual conditions but the photographer must use curious techniques in order to document the dull scenery.

Last week while looping around Elk Meadow, I found myself looking for creative ways to portray the barren landscape. At one of my favorite places overlooking the park, I took to shooting straight into the dazzling sun.

Further on, a lone rock is described with strong contrast as it’s settled on a bed of soft grass. Along the dusty trail and down into a damp drainage, a ghostly grove of aspen are an eerie niche in the dark forest.

Out on the open ridge, a flood of yellow light streams through the atmosphere as if it were still summer. Back down on the golden plain, there’s a gradual elevation gain that can become a grind as the long hike comes to an end.

This area is beautiful during any time of the year but it definitely gets more exciting when the weather takes a turn for the worse. It’s been a nice break so far but hopefully things will get back to normal, meaning frigid temps and fresh powder.

Curious techniques

Shooting straight into the sun

A lone rock

A ghostly grove

Yellow light on the ridge

Beautiful any time of the year

Waiting for worse weather

Hopefully things will get back to normal


  1. Well never knew someone would celebrate Christmas in such a way haha. Anyways, hope you have a great Christmas and manage to enjoy your time. A very merry Christmas to you mate.


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