Wild Colorado

Wild Colorado

Wild Colorado

Taking its name from the river that flows through it, Colorado became the 38th state of the US in 1876. It is home to the Southern Rocky Mountains and the western Great Plains.

When you first leave Denver International Airport, and look out across the endless Great Plains at the distant Rocky Mountains, it is not hard to imagine the history of this land, and those who once lived and travelled across it – the Ute, Comanche, Apache, and Cheyenne tribes, as well as the early settlers.

As you may have guessed, from all its history and natural wonders, Colorado has acted as the backdrop to some of Hollywood’s most famous Westerns, including ‘True Grit’ and ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.’

From a distance, Denver (the capital of Colorado) sits like a tiny island of skyscrapers on the massive Great Plains, with the edge of the Rocky Mountains as its backdrop. It is currently going though a population boon, and the city seems to be ever expanding, merging into nearby cities, such as Aurora.

Urban Photo B&W - Denver, Colorado, US. ‘City Centre.’ Tracing its origins back to 1858, the city now has a population exceeding 700,000. sketchbookexplorer.com @davidasutton @sketchbookexplorer Facebook.com/davidanthonysutton #denver #colorado #unitedstates #USA #travel #travelblog #photography #wildwest
Urban Photo B&W – Denver, Colorado, US. ‘City Centre.’ Tracing its origins back to 1858, the city now has a population exceeding 700,000.

With only a short time to explorer this giant state, I set about hunting down five of its most beautiful spots, all within a day’s traveling distant from the state capital.

 

Red Rocks:

First up is Red Rocks Park, which contains the popular Red Rocks Amphitheatre. This ancient natural amphitheatre of giant red sandstone rock was turned into a music venue in the early 1900s. Acts such as the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, the Carpenters, and U2 have performed there. Originally a Ute tribe camping ground, the site was first named ‘Garden of the Angels’ when it was rediscovered by a US army expedition in 1820.

Nature Photos Colour - Nr Morrison, Colorado, US. ‘Red Rocks Park.’ The rock shapes in the area are known as 'Fountain Formations.' These stunning formations can also be found in other local areas, such as the 'Garden of the Gods,' ‘Red Rock Canyon,' and the ‘Flatirons' in Boulder. sketchbookexplorer.com @davidasutton @sketchbookexplorer Facebook.com/davidanthonysutton #redrocksparkcolorado #colorado #redrocksamphitheatre #unitedstates #USA #travel #travelblog #photography #nature #wildwest
Nature Photos Colour – Nr Morrison, Colorado, US. ‘Red Rocks Park.’ The rock shapes in the area are known as ‘Fountain Formations.’ These stunning formations can also be found in other local areas, such as the ‘Garden of the Gods,’ ‘Red Rock Canyon,’ and the ‘Flatirons’ in Boulder.
Nature Photos B&W - Nr Morrison, Colorado, US. ‘Red Rocks Park.’ The rock formations are over 200 million years old. sketchbookexplorer.com @davidasutton @sketchbookexplorer Facebook.com/davidanthonysutton #redrocksparkcolorado #colorado #redrocksamphitheatre #unitedstates #USA #travel #travelblog #photography #nature #wildwest
Nature Photos B&W – Nr Morrison, Colorado, US. ‘Red Rocks Park.’ The rock formations are over 200 million years old.
Nature Photo Art - Nr Morrison, Colorado, US. ‘Red Rocks Park.’ View from the top entrance to the Red Rocks Amphitheater. sketchbookexplorer.com @davidasutton @sketchbookexplorer Facebook.com/davidanthonysutton #redrocksparkcolorado #colorado #redrocksamphitheatre #unitedstates #USA #travel #travelblog #art #sketching #nature #wildwest
Nature Photo Art – Nr Morrison, Colorado, US. ‘Red Rocks Park.’ View from the top entrance to the Red Rocks Amphitheater.
Nature Art - Nr Morrison, Colorado, US. ‘Red Rocks Park.’ Sketched while sheltering under a tree from the hot summer sun. sketchbookexplorer.com @davidasutton @sketchbookexplorer Facebook.com/davidanthonysutton #redrocksparkcolorado #colorado #redrocksamphitheatre #unitedstates #USA #travel #travelblog #art #sketching #nature #wildwest
Nature Art – Nr Morrison, Colorado, US. ‘Red Rocks Park.’ Sketched while sheltering under a tree from the hot summer sun.

 

Garden of the God’s:

Found in Colorado Springs, the red rock formation, now called ‘The Garden of the Gods,’ was known and visited by many tribes, including Ute, Cheyenne, Apache, Comanche, and Pawnee.

Nature Photos Colour - Colorado Springs, Colorado, US. ‘Garden of the Gods.’ Ute petroglyphs have been found in the area, and it is said the place had a spiritual significance for the Ute tribe. sketchbookexplorer.com @davidasutton @sketchbookexplorer Facebook.com/davidanthonysutton #gardenofthegods #colorado #coloradosprings #unitedstates #USA #travel #travelblog #photography #nature #wildwest
Nature Photos Colour – Colorado Springs, Colorado, US. ‘Garden of the Gods.’ Ute petroglyphs have been found in the area, and it is said the place had a spiritual significance for the Ute tribe.
Nature Photos B&W - Colorado Springs, Colorado, US. ‘Garden of the Gods.’ The area is popular with cyclists and hikers, and has 21 miles of trails. sketchbookexplorer.com @davidasutton @sketchbookexplorer Facebook.com/davidanthonysutton #gardenofthegods #colorado #coloradosprings #unitedstates #USA #travel #travelblog #photography #nature #wildwest
Nature Photos B&W – Colorado Springs, Colorado, US. ‘Garden of the Gods.’ The area is popular with cyclists and hikers, and has 21 miles of trails.
Nature Photo Art - Colorado Springs, Colorado, US. ‘Garden of the Gods.’ Trying to find shelter from the sun, to sketch, was tough, but in the end I managed to jam my art stool under a small tree, for a little shade. sketchbookexplorer.com @davidasutton @sketchbookexplorer Facebook.com/davidanthonysutton #gardenofthegods #colorado #coloradosprings #unitedstates #USA #travel #travelblog #art #sketching #nature #wildwest
Nature Photo Art – Colorado Springs, Colorado, US. ‘Garden of the Gods.’ Trying to find shelter from the sun, to sketch, was tough, but in the end I managed to jam my art stool under a small tree, for a little shade.
Nature Art - Colorado Springs, Colorado, US. ‘Garden of the Gods.’ Americans can be very friendly polite, and many passers by were eager to see what I was sketching. Such a stunning location to sit and draw. sketchbookexplorer.com @davidasutton @sketchbookexplorer Facebook.com/davidanthonysutton #gardenofthegods #colorado #coloradosprings #unitedstates #USA #travel #travelblog #art #sketching #nature #wildwest
Nature Art – Colorado Springs, Colorado, US. ‘Garden of the Gods.’ Americans can be very friendly and polite, and many passers by were eager to see what I was sketching. Such a stunning location to sit and draw.

 

Red Rock Canyon:

Located near the Garden of the gods, this canyon boasts some similar geological beauty to its neighbour, but on a smaller scale. What helps this popular hiking park stand out, is its colourful lake set against the red sandstone.

Nature Photo Colour - Colorado Springs, Colorado, US. ‘Red Rock Canyon.’ The reclaimed quarries make for an epic landscape. sketchbookexplorer.com @davidasutton @sketchbookexplorer Facebook.com/davidanthonysutton #redrockcanyon #colorado #coloradosprings #unitedstates #USA #travel #travelblog #photography #nature #wildwest
Nature Photo Colour – Colorado Springs, Colorado, US. ‘Red Rock Canyon.’ The reclaimed quarries make for an epic landscape.

 

Mount Evans:

Standing over 14000 ft, Mount Evans is a landmark in Denver’s Rocky Mountain backdrop. It’s name actually has a dark history, being named after John Evans -a 19th century governor of Colorado, who infamously was involved in the ‘Sand Creek Massacre’ of Cheyenne and Arapaho people. The peak boasts magnificent views, and a few resident goats.

Nature Photos B&W - Clear Creek County, Colorado, US. ‘Mount Evans.’ The summit can be reach entirely by a road, that slowly snakes up the mountain. sketchbookexplorer.com @davidasutton @sketchbookexplorer Facebook.com/davidanthonysutton #mountevans #clearcreekcounty #colorado #unitedstates #USA #travel #travelblog #photography #nature #wildwest
Nature Photos B&W – Clear Creek County, Colorado, US. ‘Mount Evans.’ The summit can be reach entirely by a road, that slowly snakes up the mountain.

 

Boulder:

The university city of Boulder can be found snuggled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It has boutique arty sense about it, and feels a lot more contained and cozy than other nearby US cities. It was once home to the chief of the Arapaho tribe, and more recently Stephen King wrote ‘The Shinning’ while briefly residing there.

Urban Photo Art - Boulder City, Boulder, Colorado, US. ‘Pearl Street.’ I wanted to find a spot that captured how close the city sits to the edge of the Rockies. sketchbookexplorer.com @davidasutton @sketchbookexplorer Facebook.com/davidanthonysutton #boulder #colorado #bouldercity #unitedstates #USA #travel #travelblog #art #sketching #wildwest
Urban Photo Art – Boulder City, Boulder, Colorado, US. ‘Pearl Street.’ I wanted to find a spot that captured how close the city sits to the edge of the Rockies.
Photo Art - Boulder City, Boulder, Colorado, US. ‘Pearl Street.’ At the extreme end of Pearl Street (Boulder’s famous shopping and restaurant street) I discovered this old building filled with character. sketchbookexplorer.com @davidasutton @sketchbookexplorer Facebook.com/davidanthonysutton #boulder #colorado #bouldercity #unitedstates #USA #travel #travelblog #art #sketching #nature #wildwest
Photo Art – Boulder City, Boulder, Colorado, US. ‘Pearl Street.’ At the extreme end of Pearl Street (Boulder’s famous shopping and restaurant street) I discovered this old building filled with character.

With that last sketch, my time exploring the old Wild West around Denver came to an end. I left Colorado, not only impressed by the amazing wilderness, and vast landscapes, but also by the warmth and polite kindness of its people.