Canyons Close to Home, Southwest Colorado - April 2020

Yearning for some closer-to-home adventure this spring, we ventured out for a few quick overnight backpack trips to explore some canyon and desert areas along the Dolores and Gunnison Rivers, both major river drainages of the San Juan Mountains where we live in southwest Colorado.

Colorado, Gateway, The Palisade Wilderness Study Area, photo

Sunset light on rugged canyon country in The Palisade Wilderness Study Area in western Colorado near the town of Gateway.

Colorado, Dolores River, Gateway, stateline, Utah, photo

Morning light shines on sandstone cliffs above the Dolores River as it flows across the stateline from Colorado into Utah, where it will eventually join the Colorado River northeast of Moab.

Colorado, Dolores River, La Sal Mountains, Utah, Dolores River Canyon Wilderness Study Area, photo

Sunrise over La Sal Mountains in Utah, as seen from above the Dolores River Canyon Wilderness Study Area in western Colorado.

Colorado, Dolores River,  Dolores River Canyon Wilderness Study Area, Bedrock, panorama, photo

Panoramic view overlooking the Dolores River Canyon Wilderness Study Area near Bedrock, Colorado.

Colorado, Dolores River, Dolores River Canyon Wilderness Study Area, Bedrock, photo

Sunrise light above the Dolores River, within the Dolores River Canyon Wilderness Study Area.

Colorado, Gunnison Gorge, Gunnison River, lizard, photo

Collard Lizard above the Gunnison Gorge.

Colorado, Gunnison Gorge, Gunnison River, photo

Sunrise light reflects in a calm stretch of the Gunnison River. If you look closely you can see a family of geese swimming across the pool.

Colorado, moon, moonset, photo

Moonset over canyonlands of southwest Colorado.

Colorado, Dolores River, panorama, Dolores River Canyon Wilderness Study Area, photo

Overlooking some gooseneck river bends in the Dolores River Canyon Wilderness Study Area.

Colorado, Dolores River, pinyon, sunset, Dolores River Canyon Wilderness Study Area, photo

A pinyon pine illuminated by sunset light high on the canyon rim above the Dolores River, with La Sal Mountains off in the distance.