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Astrophotography in Rosita Colorado. Shot across the Rosita street outside of my vacation cabin rental on a cold winter night.

Astrophotography in Rosita Colorado. Shot across the Rosita street outside of my vacation cabin rental on a cold winter night.

Located just south of Westcliffe, Colorado is the small ghost town of Rosita. My first trip to our vacation cabin rental out here I was looking forward to looking up at all the stars, as it’s a valley town and blocks out pretty much all the light pollution from nearby cities, which aren’t really near by at all.

Being a photographer I have never had the opportunity to really try and capture the night sky, and I only had one night to do it. The conditions were not ideal with the cold weather at just 2 degrees, and also there was some slight cloud cover, but overall there were a countless number of stars to be seen with the naked eye.

Astrophotography and star gazing in Rosita Colorado. Taken from my vacation cabin rental.

Astrophotography and star gazing in Rosita Colorado. Taken from my vacation cabin rental.

Obviously photos like these aren’t a simple as just pointing the camera at the sky and pressing the shutter button. I am still a beginner to astrophotography but here’s how I made the images I’m sharing in this post. Camera body Nikon d610 with 35-70mm 2.8 lens, set at 35mm. Sturdy tripod and ball head, manual focus to infinity, mirror lock up, remote release, ISO 800-1600, my shutter speed ranged from 10 sec. to 15 sec., any longer and star trails would start to form, and last but not least my aperture was set to 5.6, only because it’s a sharp aperture for the lens I was using.

So if you are interested in seeing some of the best star gazing opportunities then this small town won’t disappoint. Nearby towns Westcliffe and Silvercliff are now designated Colorado’s first International Dark Sky Community by the International Dark Sky Association. This basically means that there are regulations for the city lighting, to prevent light pollution in the sky, pretty cool and should attract star gazers from all around the United states. If you’ve been to the Wet Mountain Valley and had an opportunity to take some amazing star photos please share them in the comments section.

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The town of Rosita became founded in 1872 by those that were scouting out the hottest new silver mining spots in Colorado. The town was growing and prosperous for a couple years until the mines ran out of silver, and neighboring towns were still going strong and getting an established population. The town of Rosita is now known as a ghost town – but still has a great small community with local inns and restaurants in the nearby town of Westcliffe.

The ghost town of Rosita is located in Custer County, squeezed in between the Sangre de Cristo Range and Wet Mountains, makes for a great get-away vacation in a beautiful place still kept secret, to get your mountain cabin rental for a vacation that you will never forget.

While it was once a prosperous and striving community with over 2,000 residents, once the silver started running out so did the residents.

Fun Facts:

  • Saddle the Wind, an old 1958 western movie, was filmed in the town of Rosita
  • The town of Rosita, Colorado, the elevation is 8809 feet (2685 m), located at 38°05′50″N 105°20′10″W
  • The population in Rosita is less than 100 people
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