Sunrise as seen from Peak to Peak Highway

When you think of memorable sunrise spots, your mind might conjure up island paradises, the coasts of Maine or the beaches of southern Florida.  With their unobstructed views of the ocean, they make a beautiful setting to watch the sun rise.  The mountains of Colorado are more well known for their beautiful sunsets, where the setting sun casts a red orange glow on the towering peaks, a phenomonon know as Alpenglow.

But as I was driving over the other morning to Winter Park, I was reminded of the ideal setting the mountains are to watch a sunrise Colorado style.  The Central City Parkway climbs out of town and onto a ridge top, where the road winds and dips, with not only view of the mountains, but also of the As plains to the east.  As the darkness wore off, and the day gradually brightened, the sky turned all shades of pink, purple, orange and red.  The mountains being so high, provides the perfect spot to gaze upon the rising sun over the plains,  It was so simply breathtaking that I found I had to pull over, even momentarily to take it all in.

One of the most spectacular sunrises I have witnessed during the time we have lived here in Nederland was one day in early September when Bryon and I set out to climb Longs Peak.  The Peak to Peak Highway is a scenic byway that connects Idaho Springs to the town of Estes Park.  It’s a spectacular drive mainly because the road traverses along the Indian Peaks Wilderness, providing ample views of mountain peaks, wildlife and alpine forests.  This particular meeting, the sky was clear and as I gazed east, the sky gradually brightened until it seemed it was on fire with brilliant shades of orange as far as the eye could see.

I’m not normally much of a morning person, finding more energy as the day wears on.  But on those rare occasions that I have managed to roust myself from bed in the wee hours of darkness, I have been rewarded richly by the beauty of the rising sun from my perch in the mountains high above.