A Photographer's Guide to
Colorado's National Parks and Monuments

A new Photography Guide book by Bob and Cindy Maynard 

Colorado Plateau Publishing - 156 pages, 125 images - Full Color 6 x 9 guidebook with laminated cover

Bob Maynard, an award-winning photographer, founded Colorado Plateau Photo Tours in 2009 and has been guiding and instructing photographers ever since. He has been exploring the Colorado Rockies and the desert southwest since 1969.

Cindy Maynard is an experienced naturalist with extensive experience teaching and writing about the natural world. She is a regular contributor to Images Magazine, published by Boulder County.

Few states in the continental United States offer the range of geography and topography that Colorado does. The variety of scenic locations draws millions of annual visitors, most hoping to document their visit in photographs.

This guide offers aid to photographers who wish to do their own exploring rather than engage the help of a guide. It provides all the information photographers need to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right lens. Each chapter introduces the special features unique to each location, providing in-depth and reader-friendly details on geology, history, and more, to enhance your understanding and add to your sense of wonder.

Along with this vital information, photographer Bob Maynard and naturalist Cindy Maynard share their extensive personal experience, entertaining anecdotes, and a selection of Bob’s photographs.

This guide can help you turn your next visit to Colorado
into an adventure in learning.


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Featured Colorado National Parks & Monuments

Rocky Mountain National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Chimney Rock National Monument

Hovenweep National Monument

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument

Mesa Verde National Park

Yucca House National Monument

Dinosaur National Monument

Colorado National Monument


Book Excerpts


From the Dinosaur National Monument Chapter:

Mile Point 8.7     Picasso’s Face: there are cottonwood trees on the right and left side of the road. Stop there and look to the right. (Imagine the view before you as the face of a clock. Picasso’s face is at the point where two o’clock would be.) 

Lens Suggestion: I used a 70–300. Shoot it like this or zoom out to include trees on both sides.
GPS coordinates: N40 30.671 W108 59.429

Picasso's Face


From the Rocky Mountain National Park Chapter:

Mile Point 20.3     Medicine Bow Curve is on the right. This is not a particularly photogenic spot unless you know some of its secrets. It is a good place to find coyotes. Why are they here? This barren-appearing spot is the summer home of a colony of ptarmigan, a fairly rare bird famous for changing color. In winter, they are snow white, blending into the white snow that is a constant in their habitat just below the tree line where they feed on the tender buds of willows and burrow into the snow for shelter. In summer, they move above the tree line into this rocky area and molt to blend in with the rocks in which they live. Different colonies will be different colors, depending on the coloration of the rocks they live in. It takes a sharp eye to spot them. I’ve been within five of one before spotting it. The distant views here of the Medicine Bow Mountains in Wyoming are generally too hazy to render good images...................

Ptarmigan in summer plumage


From the Mesa Verde Chapter:

Photographing Mesa Verde National Park

One day a year, usually on the first Saturday in December, the National Park Service lights up Spruce House Ruin with Coleman lanterns. They also line the path from the museum to the site with more than three hundred luminarias. Ideally, park rangers can get all the luminarias lit before some start to burn out. It’s tricky to accomplish this task, but it makes for an unforgettable shot. Mesa Verde poses some challenges and restrictions for photographers.

Visitors are not permitted to wander off trails. The three most spectacular sites can be accessed only by ranger-led group tours. You need to keep in mind which sites are morning shots versus afternoon shots to schedule your tours accordingly. It’s best to shoot the ruins while they are in the shade................

Long House

Long House is a spectacular community. Try to position yourself in the waiting area for the group tour so you are the first person in the group to give you a better chance of getting a shot without the rest of your group in the picture.




Iconic photos ... have you ever wondered how the pros do it? Bob Maynard has laid it all out for you in his text. I’ve been privileged to accompany Bob on his Colorado Plateau Photo Tours trips. He knows just how to ensure that you get the iconic images you want. You go home with great photos to add to your own portfolio collection. Having done photography for many years, I have often wondered where the wonderful places described in this book are, how to compose the shots, and the best times for shooting. If you are like me, my copy of A Photographer's Guide to Colorado's National Parks and Monuments will have sticky notes all over it to mark the must-see spots. This is one book you probably will not lend out; it will be at your side all the time, right next to your camera.

Gary Clendening, photographer


Wow - this book is so much more than a photography guide! I have participated in a few Colorado Plateau Photo Tours trips, and nobody works harder than Bob Maynard. When the national parks closed during the government shutdown, Bob spent time researching and suggesting other options so I would not need to cancel my trip. He went out of his way to drive several hours back to Colorado so I could photograph the fall foliage. Bob is truly dedicated to his craft and tries to ensure that you walk away with great shots and an amazing experience. Bob has an incredible eye for detail and works with you to help you to see the shots. My photographic skills have greatly improved from working with Bob Maynard. I look to him as my mentor in the photography world.

Deane Nigro, photographer


Cindy Maynard paints a picture of these wonderful places. Her descriptive words set into motion in my imagination the long history, geology, and natural settings she portrays. This book brings to life the ancient and present-day mysteries of Colorado’s national parks.

Janet Chu, educator and author/coauthor of Butterflies of the Colorado Front Range


Far too often, visits to our national parks and monuments consist of driving around, pulling off at a few turnouts, and taking short nature walks. This beautiful, engaging book opens our eyes to the unique characteristics and origins of protected forests, dunes, grasslands, and marshes, gently guiding us ever deeper into the landscape. Spectacular photos and directions to photo destinations lead us to one wondrous place after another.

 Stephen Jones, author/coauthor of The North American Prairie, The Last Prairie,
and Butterflies of the Colorado Front Range