COLORADO ASPEN Photo Tour 2023

September 28 - October 2, 2023
San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Capture the stunning fall color of the San Juan Mountains during Jeff Parker's Colorado Aspen Photo Tour 2023
Capture the stunning fall color of the San Juan Mountains during Jeff Parker’s Colorado Aspen Photo Tour 2023. 

The jagged, photogenic peaks of the San Juans are often called “The Switzerland of America” due to their breathtaking beauty.  

This Colorado Aspen Photo Tour 2023 is perfectly timed for when the oak leaves turn red and the quaking aspen golden — all against a gorgeous pallet of evergreens including Engelmann spruce, Colorado blue spruce, and ponderosa pine. 

The aspens, especially, set the scene for awesome landscape images. This species accounts for about 20% of the tree population in these parts.  We’ll be there to witness their peak color bonanza!  And, within the colorful environs, we’ll also look for mountain streams to highlight in our shots.

We’ll base out of the picturesque town of Ouray (pronounced “you-RAY”) where you’ll have your own room (SINGLE-occupancy lodging is included in your tour).

Ouray was designated a National Historic District in 1983 and boasts natural hot springs and Victorian-era architecture.   You might want to arrive a day early so you can explore it and also acclimate to the town’s elevation of approx. 7,800 feet.

And…weather permitting…we hope to get in at least one evening of night photography as well.

Throughout the tour, we’ll take our time.  No rushing from location to location! We stay at each sweet spot until every person in our group has had the chance to create the images she/he wants.

Limited to six (6) photographers.  All-inclusive (SINGLE-occupancy)

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  • Tips on landscape composition
  • Technical aspects of field photography on an individual basis
  • How to create mountain landscape images
  • When to use HDR and when not to
  • How to master manual exposure
  • How to get that silky look with flowing water
  • Night photography techniques (weather permitting)

A note about instruction on my photo tours:
Since skills levels vary so much on photo tours, I don’t typically focus on structured lessons during these events (my workshops, however, are a far different story — they are all about structured instruction).

Instead, on photo tours, I tailor my teaching to individual needs done on an individual basis.  Included in your tour is a scheduled one-on-one session with me.  When on tour with me, please do not be shy about telling me what you need!


PLEASE NOTE: This is an estimated schedule and we’ll do our best to stick to this itinerary, but certain conditions may necessitate changes. Good photographic experiences will be our goals at all times.

September 28, 2023 (Thursday):
Plan to enjoy a 7:00 pm Welcome Dinner together (time may be adjusted once we know everyone’s specific arrival times).

During our Welcome Dinner, I’ll go over the plan for our upcoming days of photography fun while we all get to know one another.

After dinner, settle into your comfy room for a great night’s sleep. (Single-occupancy lodging included.)

September 29 (Friday):
Rise and get ready to head to our first photo shoot within the beautiful fall color here in the San Juan Mountains.  We’ll be up and out too early to get breakfast at local restaurants, but I’ll provide some healthy snacks.  And, never fear: we’ll fill up on an early lunch!

After lunch, enjoy a bit of down time.  Our hotel has hot springs so keep that in mind when we take our break.  Those interested can also use this time to join me for a one-on-one session. 

Come late afternoon, we’ll head out for the evening shoot.  Sometime during the tour, today or another day, we’ll focus our lenses on a rugged old silver mine tucked into the autumn scenery.  Upon our return to town, we’ll relax and enjoy dinner together.

September 30 (Saturday):
It’s early to rise once again to travel to the morning shot location. Return to town for lunch, nap, downloading, image reviews, etc. 

After lunch, for those interested, join me for a one-on-one session, during which you’ve got my undivided attention to discuss photography, review images and/or allow me to help you with problem-solving. 

With the approach of late-afternoon, we head back to the “hills” in time to catch the sweet light as it settles over the photogenic landscapes.  Once it’s too dark to shoot, we’ll head back to town for dinner.

October 1 (Sunday):
Today’s schedule will be similar to the others with the goal of getting captures you may not yet have had a chance to get.  

Once more, we’ll enjoy an early-morning shoot followed by an early lunch, rest/relaxation, image reviews, and scheduled one-on-ones.

After our break, it’s time for our final evening shoot.  If weather permits, plan to do some night photography since we don’t have to rise as early the next morning.

October 2 (Monday):
Wake up later than you have been.  Then meet the others for breakfast (included), your final gathering together. 

Be sure to exchange contact info before you head home.  Also, make sure you share some of your favorite images with me once you’ve had a chance to work them up!


  • Meals (See note below about breakfasts.)
  • Lodging (SINGLE-occupancy)
  • All ground transport I can provide transportation to the shoots, you can also drive your own vehicle if you’d prefer.  (You will not need 4-wheel drive on this tour; a vehicle with some clearance will work just fine.)
  • Pick up from the Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ)
  • Tips for wait staff
  • Snacks & drinking water during shoots
  • Dedicated one-on-one session with Jeff


  • Airfare
  • Transportation to Ouray if not flying into Montrose
  • Laundry & other personal expenses
  • Alcoholic beverages


We will be at elevations from 7800 to 10,000 feet.  For this reason, if you live someplace with low elevation I highly suggest you arrive a day early so that your body can acclimate to the elevation by the time we head out for our first shoot.  That said, we don’t go as high during this photo tour as we do during my Colorado Wildflowers one.

This tour does not require hikes or serious walking — you walk as much or as little as you like; however, in order to get in position for your best shots you will have to navigate some slanted terrain.

These mountainous slopes can be steep in places.  Certain parts also tend to be muddy so please keep that in mind as well.

The closest airport is in Montrose.  The Montrose Regional Airport is about 40 miles from Ouray.  Your tour includes transport to Ouray from the Montrose airport if you need it.

At 86 miles from Ouray, the Durago-La Plata County Airport provides another option. 

You can rent a car at both airports. 

You need a vehicle with decent clearance, but do NOT need 4-wheel drive. 

Or just ride with me.

Please plan to arrive at Ouray, Colorado on Thursday, September 28, 2023 in time for our Welcome Dinner, which is scheduled for 7:00 pm. If you desire airport pick up plan to arrive before 5:00 pm.

Capture the stunning fall color of the San Juan Mountains during Jeff Parker's Colorado Aspen Photo Tour 2023. 

Your tour includes most meals from the Welcome Dinner on September 28th through the basic hotel breakfast the morning of October 2nd.

Please note: Due to shoot times & logistics we’re unable to go to breakfast before our morning shoots. I will provide healthy snacks (e.g. apples, KindBars, nuts, etc.) in the field, but highly recommend you pack breakfast items in case you need more for breakfast. 

We enjoy an early lunch as soon as the morning shoot is over.  The timing of dinner will depend upon the evening shoot.

SINGLE-OCCUPANCY lodging is included.  (Sorry; no discount for double-occupancy)
If you will be traveling with another and need a room with two beds, please be sure to let us know that when you sign up.

We’ll send out more info, including packing lists, as your photo tour grows closer.

In the meantime, wondering what sort of photography equipment you might need for this tour? Check out the EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST (PDF) for COLORADO ASPEN PHOTO TOUR.

NOTE: You do not have to own everything on the checklist to get good shots of these amazing landscapes! It’s a list of recommended equipment. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!

Capture the stunning fall color of the San Juan Mountains during Jeff Parker's Colorado Aspen Photo Tour 2023


  • DURATION: 3 days, 4 nights
  • DATES: Thursday evening, September 28 ~ Sunday night, October 1, 2023 (plus breakfast Monday, October 2)
  • SPACE FOR: Six (6) 
  • PRICE: $2495 – Includes most meals,  lodging (single-occupancy)  & ground transport
  • PAYMENT DUE DATES:  A total of half the cost of the tour due 6-months before departure. Remaining balance due 60 days prior to start date of tour.


Please read our Cancellation Policy before purchasing.(Follow the provided link or go to link under “MORE” on sidebar to the right.) Thanks!


At the start of each event, we’ll ask you to sign this liability waiver.  We encourage you to review it before signing up. 

Colorado Aspen Photo Tour 2023

Capture the stunning fall color of the San Juan Mountains during Jeff Parker's Colorado Aspen Photo Tour 2023. Capture the stunning fall color of the San Juan Mountains during Jeff Parker's Colorado Aspen Photo Tour 2023.

EIF with Jeff Parker, LLC ~ DBA: Explore in Focus™  / Wildlife photography tours & workshops for the Naturally Curious™