Curved Aspens

Near Ophir, CO


The first time I saw an image of these trees I thought it was fake, but after visiting these trees I can assure you they are 100% real. These unique trees, which seem like they are from a fantasy world, are actually set in a small aspen grove just past a little community of Ophir, CO (southwest of Telluride). I have no idea what caused these small group of aspens to curve the way they did, but it is a great place to visit and add this image to your portfolio.

Trail Difficulty (2.5 out of 5)

I would rate the difficulty of this trail as a 2.5 on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being most difficult). The walk to the Curved Aspens from the dirt road is an easy 50 yds. track. However, the road to this location is a bit bumpy and out of the way.

GPS Coordinates & Elevation

37°51'30.09"N 107°48'40.93"W

10,107 Ft. Elevation

Google Maps Birds-Eye-View

Click on image to enlarge


CLICK HERE to get driving directions to Curved Aspens  

Directions are from Telluride, the closest town.

From Telluride, drive west on CO145 for approximately 3 miles until you see the exit for

CO145 going to Ophir. Turn left (south) on CO145 and drive 7.3 miles and take a left on Ophir D65.

Mark your odometer - from here, drive 2.8 miles through the little community of Ophir staying on D65. After passing though Ophir, drive on 630 RD for .7 of a mile. You will see the curved aspens are down a little hill on the right about 30 yds. from the road.

Best Time of Day to Shoot

The best time to shoot this location is either on a cloudy day or in the late afternoon as you are facing east.

Best Time of Year to Shoot

You can shoot the Curved Aspens all year (but I am pretty sure this dirt road is closed in the winter). I like shooting here in the Fall as the background is colorful.

What Lens(es) Do You Need

This location provides a lot of photographic compositions and you could use anything form 24mm – 75mm. This shot was taken with a 35mm lens.


There are no permits required in the area.

Direction of the Shot

The shot is east at @ 105°

Special Nuances of Shot

This is mainly a straight forward shot. There are only about 9 trees that curve, so you can get different perspectives by moving back and forth and side by side. Just take your time and see if you can come up with a composition that works for you. The direction of the sun and the colors of the surrounding trees and underbrush will provide different views.

Special Equipment Needed

No need for any special photography equipment other than a tripod.

Number of Other Photographers to Expect

This spot is off of the beaten path so it would be unlikely to see many others at this location. With that in mind, the spot only has room for 1 or at most 2 photographers at a time.


Current Weather

Historical Weather

The weather in Colorado is normally mild in the summer and cold (lows in the 20’s) in the spring and fall. This location is over 10,000 ft. in elevation, so the weather is going to be colder than in Telluride are surrounding area.

Cell Service

I have Verizon and there is no cell service from this location. Cell service is available as you drive back toward Telluride.

Overnight Lodging/Camping

There is a campsite (Sunshine Campground) not far from Ophir on the road back to Telluride and there is an abundance of lodging in Telluride.

Camping - click on the campground below for directions

Sunshine Campground – located off of CO145 on the way back to Telluride

Lodging - click on the lodging below for a TripAdvisor review

New Sheridan Hotel
231 West Colorado Avenue, Telluride, CO

Hotel Columbia
301 West San Juan Ave, Telluride, CO

Nearby Restaurants

The closest town is Telluride – which is both a wealthy rancher and ski/tourist town with a good variety of restaurants (for both locals and tourist). I enjoy sitting at Smugglers Brewpub after a long day of hiking and shooting.

Nearby Restaurants - click on the restaurant below for yelp review

627 W Pacific Ave, Telluride, CO

Smugglers Brewpub
225 S Pine St, Telluride, CO

Laundry Mat

As far as I know the only Laundry mat in Telluride is “The Laundromat” at 162 Society Dr.

Other Photography Opportunities Around

Click on an image below to move to that location

Airport Options

There is a small regional airport in Telluride with limited commercial flights. The closest regional airports are Montrose (MTJ) 67 miles and Grand Junction (GJT) 130 miles away Montrose and Grand Junction are nice regional that services: American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines.

Area Guides and Workshops


Other Resources

The Photographer's Ephemeris is a very valuable tool for landscape photographers to determining the direction of the sunrise/sunset & moonrise and moonset from any place on earth on any day (past and future). Click here to take you to The Photographer's Ephemeris for this location. 

Telluride, Colorado