San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Sneffels Range Sunset
Ridgway, Colorado
Sunshine Sunrise
San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Sunset Above Ouray
Ouray, Colorado
Wetterhorn Sunset Moonrise
Uncompahgre Wilderness, Colorado
Rainbow Over Ridgway
Ridgway, Colorado
Pleasant Valley Sunrise
San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Emerald Fireweed
Mount Sneffels Wilderness, Colorado
Paintbrush Evening
San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Trinity Peak Sunrise
Weminuche Wilderness, Colorado
Storm King Morning
Weminuche Wilderness, Colorado
Knife Reflection
Weminuche Wilderness, Colorado
Colorful Twilights
San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Paintbrush Sunlight
San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Spring Snow on Corbett
San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Sage and Sneffels
San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Fireworks Over Ouray
Ouray, Colorado
Mears Peak Rainbow
San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Wetterhorn Breaking Storm
Uncompahgre Wilderness, Colorado
Twilight Sunset
San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Sunrise on Engineer Mountain
San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Paintbrush Valley
San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Potosi Peak & Lupine
San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Uncompahgre Sunrise Light
Uncompahgre Wilderness, Colorado
Uncompahgre Colors
Uncompahgre Wilderness, Colorado
Dragon Dusk
Uncompahgre Wilderness, Colorado
Ouray Sunset Panorama
Ouray, Colorado
Sneffels Spring Aspens
San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Sunset Light in the Cimarrons
San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Twin Peaks Sunset
Ouray, Colorado
Lizard Head Sunrise
Lizard Head Wilderness, Colorado
Lizard Head Stream
Lizard Head Wilderness, Colorado
El Diente Rainbow
Lizard Head Wilderness, Colorado
Pleasant Valley Winter Sunset
San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Geology of the San Juan Mountains

San Juans map

Around 30 million years ago, this was an area of huge volcanos and calderas. Some of the largest eruptions in the known history of the Earth covered the region in thick lava and ash flows. The lava, ash, and intrusive igneous rock in between were subsequently uplifted, almost completely covered in icefields during the Ice Age, then carved by glaciers into the mountains that we see today. This volcanic history gives the San Juans their unique and rugged characteristics that distinguish them from most other mountain ranges in the Colorado Rockies.

The broader San Juan Mountains consist of numerous sub-ranges including the remarkable Sneffels Range, Grenadier Range, Needle Mountains, San Miguel Range, and more. Large portions of these mountains are protected within the Weminuche Wilderness and Uncompaghre Wilderness areas, among others.

Although I've only posted about 150 photos from the San Juans in this gallery, I have over 900 photos from the San Juans in the search archives if you want to see more! You can also read lots of trip reports from the San Juans here.