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American Basin, Animas Forks + Wildflower Photo Adventure

07/25/2019 @ 6:00 am - 07/28/2019 @ 6:00 pm





American Basin, Animas Forks Ghost Town, and the San Juan Mountains

Please note that this workshop involves camping. If you don’t have your own tent, we will provide it. This year APT is also providing BREAKFAST and DINNER!!

Round trip transportation from Colorado Springs is also included.

Important Note: The $150.00 ticket price is just to reserve your spot. The full price of the workshop is $795.00. The $645.00 balance will be billed separately.


Grand vistas, sunrise and sunsets, Colorado wildflowers, 4-wheel drive roads and back country camping, what more could a photographer ask for?

We have expanded our 4-wheel drive routes where we will be camping for three nights under the night sky, along the Alpine Loop and other off-road camp sites.

We will begin our route at the grand American Basin where we will be able to capture images of plentiful Colorado wildflowers among crystal clear waterfalls against crag mountain peaks. In the following days, we will traverse over mountain passes into Colorado’s back country and visit the past at Animas Forks Ghost Town.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. We will also climb to the top of the Alpine Loop where we will find pristine alpine lakes surrounded by beds of glorious wildflowers.

We will also be teaching classes throughout this workshop. Learn how to capture sunrise images with emotion and depth. Learn how to use ND filters to bring out the poetry in a waterfall and learn how to capture beautiful HDR images that jump off the canvas.


• DSLR camera will be required for this workshop

• Day-pack-style camera bag

• Sturdy/lite tripod

• Remote shutter release

• Extra camera batteries (these tend to discharge faster at higher/colder climates)

• Extra storage cards (there will be lots to shoot, so bring plenty!)

• Wide-angle and telephoto lenses. A macro lens is also highly recommended

• Neutral Density filters (highly recommended)


Please note that ANY type of weather can be encountered during this time of year at these elevations and locations, including rain, snow, and wind. Dressing in layers is the best solution since it could be warm during the days, but below freezing at night. Make sure you also have sturdy hiking shoes, and hiking poles are also recommended. Please check back here often since things may be added to this list as we get closer to the workshop dates.

APT can provide your tent, sleeping bag and mat. If you chose to bring your own camping gear, this is what you’ll need:

• Sleeping bag (Please bring your own sleeping bag, a 15 to 25 deg bag is recommended – I’d rather be too hot than too cold – an extra blanket may be useful)

• A sleeping pad is highly recommended, as we will be sleeping on hard, rocky, mountain ground (Please don’t bring a cot or large items as we are limited to the space in our vehicles)

• A small tent (please DO NOT bring a large family-size tent as campsite space could be limited). – If you don’t have your own tent, we have a couple extras for you to use, but they will be in short supply.

• Sturdy and comfortable hiking shoes/boots with appropriate socks (I love wool or smart wool socks as they help reduce moisture and they dry quicker when airing out to dry)

• A hat and sunglasses. The sun is very stark and unforgiving at these altitudes.

• Sun Block (see above)

• Cold weather jacket (for night time temperatures) and/or light jacket/windbreaker (for day time use)

• Gloves

• A towel or two

• Insect repellent

• Hiking poles (some trails may be a little rocky)

• Food and snacks (trail mix, nuts, energy bars, protein!, protein!, protein!). Please bring enough to cover you for the 2 days we won’t see any services. Day one and day four we’ll have the opportunity for stopping at stores

• Water (although we will be providing the water, you will need the containers to carry at least 2 quarts with you while hiking)

• Any medications you need

• Plastic garbage bags (for dirty clothes)

• Wildflower guidebooks (for identification)


• APT will provide coffee, breakfast and dinner at the campground.

• Please bring your own food for lunch and snacks. We will be traveling to locations ideal for sunsets and may not return until after dark

• Please bring snacks to eat for each day

• We will have coolers to store snacks, please label your items with your name


• All transportation from and back to Colorado Springs, Colorado

• Coffee, Breakfast and Dinner

• Tent (unless you prefer to bring your own)

• Water (including hot water for your dehydrated meals)

• Toilet paper

• Camp stoves

• Lanterns

• Ice Chests

• Cooking utensils and cups

• First aid kits

• Fun, friendship, and a love of photography!

Important, please read!

Please note you will be required to sign a liability waiver. All instructors are first-aid trained.


  1. Alison

    A couple of questions…
    1) Would we be moving camp every night or set up camp once and stay put for the 3 nights?
    2) Are you providing breakfast and dinner that we can prepare ourselves or cooking/preparing those meals for us?
    3) Are you bringing any way to provide access to electricity to recharge batteries? (like a generator)
    4) Are the roads/trails you plan to go on hardcore 4WD trails? Or would a full sized truck with a camper be able to make the trek?

    • Dave Soldano


      1. We will camp one night at one location and two nights at the second

      2. Dave M will prepare a breakfast and dinner meal for the group each day.

      If you have special dietary needs, you will have to supply your own food. We may be able to help with preparation.

      3. We will not bring a generator. Each vehicle has an inverter you can use to charge batteries as we drive.

      4. We are providing transportation for this workshop. Individual vehicles are not being allowed for insurance and logistical reasons.

        • becma27

          Hi, I’m interested, but have a couple questions. I’m coming from Albuquerque, can I meet up with you guys somewhere at one of the cities nearby the workshop location? Also, is there a backup plan or refund policy if there are no wildflowers then? That area has gotten an unusually high amount of snow this winter, could throw off the usual wildflower schedule.


          • Dave Soldano

            Lake City, Colorado would be the best place to meet us if you’re coming up from New Mexico. That would be very easy because we always stop there.

            Wildflowers are predicted to be spectacular this year. Larger amounts of snow usually mean more wildflowers. The timing of our workshop is based on Lars experience, which is considerable. Mother nature is always in charge and we always adapt to the conditions. If we call off or reschedule the workshop based on weather, we obviously give refunds. But we can’t guarantee the amount of wildflowers blooming during our time there.

            American Basin is very special, especially in July.

      • lcunico

        Thanks Dave, I can’t wait! Also, can you teach focus stacking on this trip please?

  2. olin

    Hey Dave, how much hiking is involved? I am having a hip replacement later this year and getting by on cortisone for now and am able to walk without pain. The Dec GoG sunrise was tough without the cortisone but I survived. Will we be going longer and steeper than that?

    • Dave Soldano

      We don’t have any “hikes” planned. There isn’t any location that requires a hike similar to GoG to get some great shots. There are a lot of great compositions very close to the parking areas along easy trails. There are places where someone can choose to hike further in and get deeper into the scene, but that will be a personal choice.

  3. hcroze1

    Can I reserve a tent please. 😊

    I’m looking forward to this!

  4. Alison

    Hi Dave –

    Can I reserve a tent as well? As long as it’s not a one person tent that is! 🙂


    • Dave Soldano

      Shouldn’t be a problem Alison. I just sent an email asking about equipment that people need. Please look it over and respond to that.

  5. Alison

    Also, is there a particular wildflower book you’d recommend?

  6. sks

    Where do I find the waiver form to send in for the workshop? Thanks.

  7. lcunico

    Where can I find the liability waiver form for this workshop? Thank you

  8. Varanrat Torok

    Hi, I registered and paid for the workshop but haven’t received any communication regarding the trip and it is TOMORROW! Lol! Please kindly contact me! Help!

        • KenC

          I just forwarded emails that you should have received this week and last week. Please check your email and/or junk folders. If you have not received them, please let me know ASAP.

          • Varanrat Torok

            Got them, There were in the spam folder, sorry! I should have checked it there….funny enough the email to remind me to pay came through my primary folder lol!

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David Soldano
Lars Leber
Ken Childress
David Maynor


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American Photo Treks LLC - Authorized Permittee of the National Park Service.