Denver Area Photo Locations – Clement Park

March 09, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

This is the next in my series of PFB Images blog posts about Denver area outdoor photography locations.  This month, I’m featuring Clement Park.  The park is located west of Littleton off Bowles Avenue in Jefferson County.  From Santa Fe Drive (US 85), take Bowles Avenue west about 2.5 miles to the park entrance opposite W Long Drive.  From C-470, take Bowles Avenue east about 3.7 miles to the park entrance.  The park is free except during special events and is open from 5 am to 11 pm daily.  See the park’s website for details.

Clement Park consists of about 200 acres, including the 60-acre Johnston Reservoir, Grant Amphitheater, picnic areas, athletic fields, and the Columbine Memorial.  From the main entrance on Bowles Avenue, Johnston Reservoir is to the right (west), and the rest of the park spreads to the east. There is a 1.4-mile paved trail that circles the reservoir near the water’s edge.  Other trails serve the athletic fields and the eastern portions of the park.  The lake trail sees heavy bicycle use and many dog walkers, so step off the trail to take pictures where possible.  The reservoir provides habitat for many birds and small mammals that have adapted to suburban life. Ducks and geese can be seen daily at the reservoir, and herons and egrets make random visits to the lake.  Sea gulls, red-winged blackbirds and other smaller birds are common.  There are two prairie dog communities southeast and southwest of the reservoir that draw the occasional coyote and raptor to the park.

The majority of the photographic opportunities are around the reservoir.  Waterfowl photography (such as these ducks) is relatively easy, as many of the birds have acclimated to humans. The three piers along the east side of the lake allow you get out over the water, closer to the waterfowl.  Wildlife photography is best in the early morning, particularly around the cove at the reservoir's southeast corner.  From a landscape photography perspective, the lake provides for interesting sunset reflections from the lawn east of the reservoir.  Pick your location carefully to manage lights from the development across the lake. Unfortunately, the sail structures on the piers were taken down for renovation and have not been replaced.  Various other locations in the park can yield decent photographs depending on weather and lighting, including the amphitheater and the small creeks that flow through the park.

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