Photography in Westcliffe, Colorado

Westcliffe Photography, do you even outdoors Colorado? If you visit small mountain towns such as Westcliffe, Colorado, then you definitely do. Westcliffe is located approximately 60 miles west of Pueblo, and is apart of Custer County, Colorado. It’s a small mountain town that sits at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

But this isn’t a place to find information on the elevation, population, etc of the town. All that can be found else where. This is about Westcliffe, and neighboring towns, outdoors photography.

My family owns a vacation rental cabin in Rosita, a Colorado ghost town right outside of Westcliffe. This means I visit the place at least a couple times a year or more, being that it’s only a 3 hour drive from Downtown Denver. Pending traffic of course. So I have been here many times, and want to share some of my best photographs taken here.

This is a video of me driving into Silver Cliffe, which is also part of Custer County and neighbors Westcliffe. When entering the towns from Highway CO-96, the views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are breath taking. This was taken late August 2017

Landscape Photography from Westcliffe, Colorado

Lake Deweese Reservoir

Deweese Reservoir offers camping, fishing, vacation rentals, and photographic opportunities. Guess which one I’m after. Located north of CO-96, part of Custer County. Every time I visit Custer County, I try and make a point to get here for sunrise. It’s a great place to take sunrise photographs of a lake, especially since it’s the only big lake near Westcliffe. It’s also a hot birding spot. I am definitely going to camp here in the near future. But for now I’ll just make the drive when I’m staying in Westcliffe.

Sunrise at Lake Deweese, Westcliffe, Colorado, lake reflection, June 2016

Mist coming off of Lake Deweese in Early June. Sunrise.

If your looking for information on hunting, boating, and camping at the Deweese Reservoir you won’t find that here. You’ll find that information here. This is the place to view photographs of Lake Deweese Reservoir.

Colorful, picture of rocks and grass, Lake Deweese, early June, sunrise, westfliffe, Colorado

Colorful composition of rocks and grass at Lake Deweese, Westcliffe, Colorado.

Although I’ve made the drive many times to the lake I always get lost. I also love getting lost and looking for photographic opportunities, which is what happened when deciding if I should take the right or left path….

Two direction dirt road, trees and mountains. Photographed by Lake Deweese, Westcliffe, Colorado.

Two direction dirt road, trees and mountains. Photographed by Lake Deweese, Westcliffe, Colorado.

Roads Less Traveled

I like to photograph roads. Especially roads in high elevation in small mountain towns. These are all photographs of roads without stop lights, some of them are not even paved. In Rosita, most of them are not paved. When you get out of Westcliffe into it’s south east old mining towns Querida and Rosita, there’s lots of dirt roads.

dirt road in Rosita, Colorado ghost town, Sangre de Cristo Mountains in background, Winter Time, December 31st 2015

dirt road in Rosita, Colorado, Sangre de Cristo Mountains in background, Winter Time

To get to our cabin in Rosita, you need to take Rosita Road. It’s a beautiful and scenic road, and makes going into town, or going to the gas station, a drive I actually look forward to doing.

Rosita Road, Rosita, Colorado ghost town, Sangre de Cristo Mountains, winter time, snow and clouds, ice caps.

Rosita road on the way to Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Taken December 31st 2015.


Sunset Sangre de Cristo Mountains from Rosita Road, outside of Westcliffe, Colorado.

Sun setting behind the Sangre de Cristo mountain range, Rosita Road, Rosita, Colorado Ghost Town. Taken June 2016.

Colorado Ghost Town, Rosita, summer time, June 5th 2016. Dirt Roads, cabins, open green land with ice capped mountains and blue sky background

Not a stop light, or shop in sight in this Colorado Ghost Town called Rosita. Lots of open land, lots of cabins. Once a prosperous mining town in Colorado, now just a place of history, turned into a semi-rural community.

Bird Photography in Westcliffe, Colorado

The Sangre de Cristo Mountain range is awesome, the Wet mountains are great. The main reason I love visiting the Westcliffe area is because of the birds. Golden eagles are frequent. Raptors are everywhere. Migrants swing for a quick stay by Deweese lake. It’s a quiet place with lots of bird photography opportunities. It doesn’t have a big birding community so don’t judge the sightings off of eBird.

I can come to my families cabin in Rosita and get great bird photographic opportunities in my backyard. 5 miles away is a secret Golden Eagles nest. Horn Creek Trail is extremely active with birds even in the afternoon, which is a time I’m usually never thinking about doing photography.

Western Tanager, Westcliffe, Horn Creek Trail, Colorado, July 1st 2017

Western Tanager, Piranga ludoviciana, Family: Cardinalidae, Photographed on Horn Creek Trail, Colorado, on July 1st 2017

As a bird photographer struggling to photograph new birds, I’ve found a lot of ‘lifers’ here that I’ve seemed to always fail at getting in other parts of Colorado.

Green-tailed Towhee, Pipilo chlorurus, emberizidae, in Rosita, Colorado, bird photography

Green-tailed Towhee perched on tree branch. Photographed in back yard of a cabin out in Rosita. A small ghost town near Westcliffe, Colorado. Taken July 2nd, 2017.

Female Cassin's Finch, Haemorhous cassinii, Westcliffe Colorado

Female Cassin’s finch, in a tree. Backyard of our cabin in Rosita.

Pygmy Nuthatch, Sitta pygmaea. Westfliffe, Colorado, birding

Pygmy Nuthatch hanging out by nest in a tree hole. Secret spot somewhere in Rosita Colorado. Summertime Colorado

Resident Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) of Rosita, Westcliffe, Colorado.

A Golden Eagle in flight. Pretty sure he’s a resident of Rosita and neighboring areas.

Broad-tailed hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus) at feeder. Backyard cabin Rosita Colorado

Hummingbirds can be seen and heard all around Westcliffe in the summertime. This hummingbird comes to our feeder at the cabin frequently, as well as many others.

Nature Photography in Westcliffe, Colorado

Some extremely common wildlife I see around the city of Westcliffe are deer, tons of deer. I’ve also came across huge herds of Prawnhorn as well a number of times. If you want to vacation or a weekend getaway in a mountain town cabin, and wake up to deer in your back yard, this is the place to do so. I stay at cabin in Rosita, and I’ve stayed there about 8 times, and every single morning it’s pretty much a guarantee to see deer walking through. They are a extremely common sight, especially early in the morning.

Young girl watching deer from a cabin porch, backyard, Rosita, Colorado. Winter Time.

Wildlife viewing in and around the towns of Westcliffe can be very good. Every morning at our cabin in Rosita, it’s pretty much a sure thing to see deer right out from our porch. Winter time.

Driving the roads of Rosita and neighboring ghost-towns will be an adventure itself. Back country mountain roads lead to great nature and sight seeing. Just a typical wildlife sighting here in Rosita, winter time.

Herd of white-tailed deer. Rosita, Colorado, mountains, winter, snow.

Just a normal wildlife sighting driving the roads of Rosita, Colorado. Herd of white-tailed deer seen from a car. Sangre de Cristo Mountains in background.


Starscapes and Timelapse Photography in Westcliffe, Colorado

Time-lapse Photography and starscapes are definitely my weak points in photography. Westcliffe and neighboring towns are a great place to improve on these two particular skills. Even if you just want to see the stars pop, this is a great place for star gazing.

Starscape in Westcliffe, Colorado. Stars, night time, sky.

Starry nights in Westcliffe Colorado. One of the best places in Colorado to view the stars.

Pet Photography – Westcliffe, Colorado

If you want professional pet photography services around Westcliffe Colorado, there’s not many pet photographers I know of that can offer that. But I can. Just contact me and I would love to photograph your pets. I don’t live in Westcliffe, but visit the place often and I’m usually looking for a good excuse to go there. Photographing your pet would be a great excuse for me to come back to Westcliffe for a weekend.

Here’s the family dogs running around an acre of land at our cabin in Rosita. Golden Doodle and Shepherd/Boxer mix.

Dog Photography, backyard of a cabin in Rosita, Colorado, outside of Westcliffe

Two dogs playing outside of a cabin in the town of Rosita, Colorado, just outside of Westcliffe

Outdoor domestic cat, pet photography, westcliffe, rosita, Colorado

The neighbors cat, I think, just hanging outside on a post in the town of Rosita, Colorado.

As I visit Westcliffe Colorado at least a few times a year, I will continue to update this post with great images. If you wish to get away and rent a cabin near Westcliffe, my families cabin rental in Rosita Colorado may be available.

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