Shot in the Dark

As the sun dives toward the mountains west of Denver, the critters emerge from their shady hiding places at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge and pose for pictures. Well, they don’t pose, exactly, but there are certainly plenty of deer, coyotes, bison, prairie dogs, hawks and owls around to keep a nature photographer happy.

The Twilight Photo Tour is one of several free nature or photography-related tours that this 12,000-acre former chemical weapons plant puts on each season. A volunteer guide leads a van of shutterbugs to various stopping points around the arsenal, including areas off limits to the general public. “Most of the time, it’s just people wanting to learn about photography or to try out their new camera,” says visitor services manager Sherry James. “Sometimes they just want a better shot of some natural scenery.” And with an abundance of wildlife and great views, those shots aren’t hard to come by.

The tour lasts from 5 to 8 p.m. and begins at the visitor center, 5650 Havana Street, about a mile north of the intersection of 56th Avenue and Havana in Commerce City. Participation is limited to a dozen people, so reservations are recommended — but if you miss this one, the arsenal has several other tours coming up soon. For details, log on to or call 303-289-0930.
Tue., June 23, 5-8 p.m., 2009


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