Photo Journal & Trip Reports (Colorado)

Photo journals and trip reports from some of my outdoor photography adventures, starting with the most recent.

Into the Black Canyon, Colorado
September-October 2020

With sheer walls towering over 2,000 vertical feet above the Gunnison River, there's no easy way to visit the bottom of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison; every possible hiking route is a steep, rugged scramble...

A Sunset and a Lion - San Juan Mountains, Colorado
October 2020

By mid-October all the aspen leaves have fallen and the color is gone from the mountains. Nevertheless, on Thursday afternoon last week, with clear air and a sky full of high clouds I decided spontaneously to go for a big hike to watch the sunset from the top of a 13,500 foot peak high above the town of Telluride...

Autumn Gold Rush in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado
September-October 2020

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...

At Home in the San Juans, Colorado
September 2020

In mid-September just a few days after getting back home to Ridgway, Colorado after my big trek around Glacier Peak in the Washington Cascades, I packed my backpack once more and headed up into the Sneffels Range for a quick overnight backpack trip...

Around Capitol and Snowmass - Elk Mountains, Colorado
August 2020

At the beginning of August we ventured into the beautiful Elk Mountains near Aspen, Colorado, for a 5-day backpack trek in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness circumnavigating Capitol Peak and Snowmass Mountain...

Columbines and Comets - San Juan Mountains, Colorado
July 2020

In mid July I ventured up to a 13,000-foot ridge to photograph Comet NEOWISE above the Sneffels Range, in the San Juan Mountains above Ouray, Colorado. Here are some photos from that evening, along with some additional photos from later in July...

Through the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, Colorado
July 2020

This last week, in mid-July, we ventured out into the Sawatch Range for a 4-day, 25-mile, one-way shuttle trek through the southern bulk of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness west of Buena Vista, Colorado...

Across the San Miguel Range, Colorado
July 2020

Over the 4th of July weekend, Claudia and I headed out into the Lizard Head Wilderness near Telluride, Colorado, for an adventurous 3-day backpack trek across the San Miguel Range. A week ago I did a solo backpack trip there near Lizard Head Peak, which got me thinking about a longer one-way shuttle trek route directly across and over the bulk of the range, starting from Lizard Head Pass on the southeast end of the range and ending at Woods Lake on the northeast side...

Hanging Around in the Lizard Head Wilderness, Colorado
June 2020

Last week I went out on a solo 3-day backpack trip into the Lizard Head Wilderness, which encompasses the San Miguel Range of the San Juan Mountains near Telluride, Colorado. With the below average snowpack this last spring, the alpine summer is slightly ahead of schedule and already by late June the wildflowers are starting to pop out on the high tundra...

Macey & Horn Lakes, Sangre de Cristos, Colorado
June 2020

In mid-June we drove over to the Sangre de Cristo Range in south-central Colorado for four days of backpacking in some new (to us) valleys along the eastern side of the range. As usual in June, there was less snow in the Sangres compared to most other Colorado mountain ranges, and it was great to get out for our first real multi-day alpine lake type of backpack trip this summer...

Gladstone High Camp - San Juans, Colorado
June 2020

Situated in the center of the San Miguel Range near Telluride, Colorado, Gladstone Peak (13,913 ft.) is overshadowed by its two popular neighboring fourteeners Wilson Peak and Mount Wilson. But Gladstone is an awesome peak with a dramatic pyramid shape, and in my opinion one of the more photogenic mountains of the San Juans...

Early Summer in the San Juans, Colorado
June 2020

Here in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado there's still snow lingering in the high peaks, as usual in June, so lately I've been doing a bunch of short backpack trips in the sub-alpine regions at or below treeline...

Spring in the San Juans, Colorado
May 2020

May is always a glorious month in the mountains of Colorado, when the freshly budded aspen forests have a brilliant green glow and snow has mostly melted off the trails but still lingers in the high peaks...

San Sophia High Camp - San Juans, Colorado
May 2020

It's pretty rare to be able to camp up high in Colorado. In the summer the threat of thunderstorms above treeline is too terrifying, and in the winter it's just too damn cold. But in mid-May I had a perfect window of opportunity to hike up and camp at 13,200 feet up on a high ridgeline here in the Sneffels Range of the San Juan Mountains in Colorado...

Rock, Rust, and Lichen - Ouray, Colorado
May 2020

Rock textures photographed while hiking in the mountains around Ouray, Colorado.

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...

Winter in the San Juans, Colorado
2019/2020

Here is a collection (in chronological order) of my favorite photos taken during the 2019/20 winter here in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado.

From December through March, this was one of the best backcountry splitboarding seasons in memory here in the San Juans...

Autumn in the San Juans, Colorado
October 2019

The fall colors in the San Juan Mountains have been beautiful this season, though the persistent clear blue skies have put somewhat of a damper on the photographic potential. But it's always glorious to walk through colorful aspen groves regardless of the weather, and we did have a few short windows of more interesting skies and light to enjoy...

Roaming the Uncompaghre Wilderness, Colorado
August 2019

During the first two weeks of August I revisited several of my favorite backpacking treks in the Uncompahgre Wilderness in the northern San Juan Mountains of Colorado, for a total of 8 days of hiking through a good portion of the wilderness...

High Above Ouray, Colorado
August 2019

Last night I camped up on a high ridgeline in the San Juan Mountains about 4,000 feet above Ouray, Colorado, and enjoyed a fantastic sunset and sunrise from my airy perch.

Summer Green in the San Juans, Colorado
July 2019

After the enormous winter of 2018-2019 in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, by the end of July the snowpack has finally melted off enough to call it summertime in the alpine now. Last weekend we hiked a very pleasant three-day shuttle route through the vibrant green mountains west of Silverton...

Late Early Summer in the San Juans, Colorado
June-July 2019

Last year in the spring of 2018 I was talking about how that winter's meager snowpack had caused summer to arrive a full month early in May, and I was able to trek from Ouray to Telluride in mid-May when normally that would be a mid-June type of thing to do...

Through and Around the Great Sand Dunes, Colorado
June 2019

Eager to go backpacking while the mountains are still filled with snow, in early June we returned to the Great Sand Dunes in southern Colorado to trek for three days all the way through the dunefield then back around them...

Spring Skiing in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado
April-June 2019

If you've followed my blog for a while, you may wonder if I've given up on snowboarding since I haven't posted hardly any ski/snowboard photos this winter. Well, while I haven't been posting much, I have been out on the snow a lot this season, especially this spring!

2018-2019 was a winter to remember in Colorado, with roughly 160% of average snowpack by late winter...