Lodgepole pines are distinguished by long straight trunks (suitable for teepe lodgepoles ), needles in two's, and rather dark flakey bark. The bark almost looks burnt on many trees. Lodgepoles form dense uniform stands in many areas of Colorado. The trees like ridges and flats with rocky soils. Dense nearly uniform groups of Lodgepoles occur at subalpine elevations above the "mixed conifer" zone of Ponderosa Pines, Limber Pines, and Colorado Blue Spruces and below a higher zone dominated by Engelmann Spruce. Examples of dense stands are around Turquoise Lake near Leadville, Colorado and on ridges above Taylor Creek east of Almont, Colorado.

Three subspecies of contorta occur(confiers.org). Photos here are of a more southern population of latifolia, characterized by straight turnks. Subspecies contorta occurs toward the Pacific Coast.