Trip Reports: Capitol Peak, Colorado - September 2010

In late September I spent four days doing various hikes around Capitol Peak, a rugged fourteener in the Elk Mountains of Colorado.

Capitol Peak, Elk Mountains, Colorado, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, photo

Capitol Peak Alpenglow

Sunset alpenglow on Capitol Peak, 14,130 ft., as seen from Avalanche Pass.

Snowmass Mountain, Elk Mountains, Colorado, sunset, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, photo

Snowmass Alpenglow

Snowmass Mountain, 14,092 ft., as seen from Avalanche Pass at sunset. 

Meadow Mountain, Maroon Bells, Elk Mountains, Colorado, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, photo

Meadow Mountain Sunset

Poofy clouds and sunset light in the Elk Mountains.  Meadow Mountain is at the center, with the Maroon Bells behind. 

Beaver Lake, Marble, Colorado, rainbow, photo

Beaver Lake Rainbow

A double rainbow reflects in Beaver Lake, near the town of Marble, on a rainy September morning. 

Capitol Peak, Elk Mountains, Colorado, sunset, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, photo

Golden Capitol Peak

Golden sunset light shines on the north face of Capitol Peak, 14,130 ft.

Capitol Lake, snowy, Elk Mountains, Colorado, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, photo

Snowy Capitol Lake

Capitol Lake and the first snows of autumn.  Capitol Peak's summit is still shrouded in clouds. 

rugged, Capitol Lake, Elk Mountains, Colorado, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, photo

Snowy Spire

A rugged spire near Capitol Lake, covered in the first snows of autumn. 

Maroon Bells, sunset, fourteeners, Elk Mountains, Colorado, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, photo

Maroon Bells Sunset Light

Sunset light and distant cloud shadows paint the Maroon Bells fourteeners in the Elk Mountains. 

Capitol Peak, sunset, Elk Mountains, Colorado, K2, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, photo

Capitol Peak Sunset

A spectacular sunset behind Capitol Peak (14,130 ft.) as seen from the summit of K2 (which is actually more of just a subpeak [13,664 ft.] on a huge ridgeline of Capitol). 

Elk Mountains, Colorado, Pyramid Peak, Maroon Bells, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, photo

Dusk Over the Elks

Dusk earthshadow colors over the Elk Range, near Aspen, Colorado, as seen from the summit of K2.  Pyramid Peak is on the left, Maroon Bells on the right. 

Maroon Bells, Elk Mountains, Colorado, fourteeners, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, photo

Maroon Dusk

Earthshadow colors behind the Maroon Bells, the most famous fourteeners of the Elk Mountains.  North Maroon Peak (14,014 ft.) on the left, Maroon Peak (14,156 ft.) on the right. 

Snowmass Mountain, Elk Mountains, Colorado, dusk, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, photo

Snowmass Dusk

Dusk light on Snowmass Mountain, 14,092 ft. 

Pierre Lakes, Elk Mountains, Colorado, K2, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, photo

Pierre Lakes Basin

Ultra wide view of Pierre Lakes, as seen from the summit of K2 at dusk after the first snowfall of autumn.  Snowmass Mountain is the most prominent mountain towards the right.

Capitol Peak, Elk Mountains, Colorado, moonlight, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, photo

Capitol Peak Moonlight

Full moon light illuminates Capitol Peak, about an hour after sunset. 

Capitol Peak, aspens, Capitol Creek, Elk Mountains, Colorado, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, photo

Capitol Creek Aspens

Capitol Peak towers above the yellow aspens of Capitol Creek on a gorgeous bluebird September day.

Capitol Peak, Elk Mountains, Colorado, autumn, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, photo

Capitol Peak Autumn

Capitol Peak towers above golden aspens.