Autumn Gold Rush in the San Juans

September-October 2020  |  San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Walking through a grove of autumn aspens must be one of the most beautiful experiences that nature has to offer. Sunlight illuminates the golden leaves like a brilliant stained glass window in a cathedral of nature, like stepping into a colorful pointillist painting of Vincent van Gogh or Gustav Klimt.

In late September and early October this year here in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado, I've spent many days hiking and basking in the glory of the aspens, including a couple evenings when I strung up my hammock between the aspen boles, listening to the rustle of the leaves in the breeze and the prehistoric sounds of rutting elk all around.

A deer calmly and curiously observes the photographer on an autumn day in the San Juan Mountains.

Curious Deer

A deer calmly and curiously observes the photographer on an autumn day in the San Juan Mountains.

Golden aspens surround the town of Telluride in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado in late September.

Telluride Gold Rush

Golden aspens surround the town of Telluride in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado in late September.

Full moon rises at sunset over Ingram Peak as seen from the town of Telluride.

Moonglow Over Telluride

Full moon rises at sunset over Ingram Peak as seen from the town of Telluride.

A panoramic view of golden aspens above the valley of Telluride on a crisp, clear autumn day at the end of September. Mountain...

Blue and Gold Panorama

A panoramic view of golden aspens above the valley of Telluride on a crisp, clear autumn day at the end of September. Mountain Village is visible across the valley.

Sunlight shines through towering golden aspens in the San Juan Mountains.

Golden Giants

Sunlight shines through towering golden aspens in the San Juan Mountains.

Relaxing in the hammock amongst golden aspens and a view of the Telluride valley.

Aspen Hammock

Relaxing in the hammock amongst golden aspens and a view of the Telluride valley.

An old aspenglyph carved on an aspen bole.

Aspenman

An old aspenglyph carved on an aspen bole.

Sunset light illuminates autumn aspens above the valley of Telluride.

Autumn Kaleidoscope

Sunset light illuminates autumn aspens above the valley of Telluride.

An idyllic aspen scene in the Cimarrons.

Autumn Eden

An idyllic aspen scene in the Cimarrons.

A stand of golden aspen reflect in a small lake after sunset.

Aspen Twilight Reflection

A stand of golden aspen reflect in a small lake after sunset.

Golden aspen leaves flutter to the ground on a breezy day at the tail end of autumn in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

Raining Gold

Golden aspen leaves flutter to the ground on a breezy day at the tail end of autumn in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

Cimarrons, Colorado, San Juan Mountains, aspens, autumn, fall, October, Sony A7Riv, large prints, 2020

Leaf Stream

Colorado, San Juan Mountains, macro, autumn, fall, October, Sony A7Riv, large prints, 2020

Aspen Veins 1

Cimarrons, Colorado, San Juan Mountains, aspens, macro, autumn, fall, October, Sony A7Riv, large prints, 2020

Aspen Veins 2

Cimarrons, Colorado, San Juan Mountains, aspens, macro, autumn, fall, October, Sony A7Riv, large prints, 2020

Aspen Veins 3

Cimarrons, Colorado, San Juan Mountains, aspens, macro, autumn, fall, October, Sony A7Riv, large prints, 2020

Aspen Veins 4

Cimarrons, Colorado, San Juan Mountains, aspens, macro, autumn, fall, October, Sony A7Riv, large prints, 2020

Aspen Veins 5

A view of Chimney Rock and Courthouse Mountain through a grove of aspens.

Courthouse Aspen Window

A view of Chimney Rock and Courthouse Mountain through a grove of aspens.

Sunset light on the Sneffels Range, October.

Purple Mountains

Sunset light on the Sneffels Range, October.

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