Originally published: September/October 2017

Aspen gold in the Rockies isn’t the only reason to head west from the Front Range. Three photographers offer their favorite images from a region less-traveled—Colorado’s arid Western Slope.

Big Dominguez Falls

Falls plunge to the stream lined with autumn cottonwoods above its confluence with the Gunnison River. Big Dominguez Creek is a perennial stream running through a canyon used by Native Americans for centuries. © Dave Showalter

Unaweep scrub oak

Unaweep/Tabeguache Scenic Byway (Colorado State Highway 141) runs through Unaweep Canyon, out of which two creeks flow in opposite directions. Along the canyon in autumn is bright red scrub oak bright enough to distract you, so be careful. © Norman Moody

Lands End Road, Grand Mesa

The Grand Mesa is an ancient volcano standing more than 10,000 feet above sea level and nearly 5,000 feet above the valley below. Snaking its way up the mountain is Lands End Road, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a post Great Depression work force in the early 1930s. As a photographer, I knew that there is only a small window of time before the leaves drop. For a community known as being in the desert, it is a magnificent sight. © Matt Janson

Big Dominguez Canyon

Golden autumn cottonwood trees line Big Dominguez Creek, perennially flowing through this culturally and ecologically important wilderness. © Dave Showalter



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