Trip Reports (Colorado)

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

Snowy Ice Lakes, Colorado
October 2018

With fresh snow in the San Juan Mountains and dreams of winter I couldn't resist heading up high for a quick early season winter camp at Ice Lakes Basin near Silverton. I got a little more than I bargained for with two feet of fresh powder and knee-deep postholing through a snowstorm up there! In the morning I was treated to some fiery light for a few moments at sunrise, for a different kind of autumn color...

8 Days in the Weminuche, San Juans, Colorado
August 2018

In mid-August Claudia and I backpacked for eight days into the Needle Mountains in the Weminuche Wilderness of the San Juan Mountains in Colorado. This was I think the sixth or seventh time I've done a week-long trek in this particular range, but I was still able to find some new routes to take and new places to camp and photograph along with some old favorites...

Grenadier Range, San Juans, Colorado
July 2018

In late July we went on a 6-day backpack trek in and around the rugged Grenadier Range in the Weminuche Wilderness of the central San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Along the way we scrambled up several 13ers, hiked over numerous high passes, and visited some gorgeous remote alpine lakes...

Hiking from Ouray to Telluride Around the Sneffels Range, Colorado
May 2018

The towns of Ouray and Telluride in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado are only 10 miles apart as the crow flies, but are separated by the rugged Sneffels Range. In the summertime it's possible to hike, run, bike, or even drive 17 miles over 13,114 ft...

Autumn Aspens on Kebler Pass, Colorado
October 2017

Kebler Pass is easily my favorite place to enjoy the aspens in Colorado, with the largest continuous mature aspen fields in the state and perhaps the world. This October was one of the stranger autumns transitions I've seen in Colorado; the aspens up on Kebler went from mostly green to peak gold in just a couple days, and a few days after that the color faded away...

Highlights from 2 Months of Backpacking in Colorado
August/September 2017

For all of August and September 2017, my wife and I lived out of our truck and tent while traveling around and backpacking in our great state of Colorado. We did over a dozen backpacking trips in various mountain ranges throughout the state, including the Flat Tops, Gore Range, Sawatch Range, San Juans, Sangre de Cristos, and Indian Peaks...

Autumn Backpacking in Northern Colorado
September 2017

In mid-to-late September we went on a bunch of short backpacking and camping trips in various central/north mountain ranges of Colorado, including the Sawatch Range, Gore Range, Indian Peaks, and Rocky Mountain National Park...

Crestone Needle & Humboldt, Sangre de Cristos, Colorado
September 2017

In late August/early September, we spent five days camped at South Colony Lakes in the Sangre de Cristo range in Colorado. Surrounded by three 14ers, including the rugged Crestone Needle towering directly overhead, this basin is supremely awesome -- one of the classic gems of Colorado...

Sunflowers in the Great Sand Dunes, Colorado
August 2017

While backpacking to South Zapata Lake for a night, we got a good view of the Great Sand Dunes and I could see vast fields of sunflowers all around and in the dunes. I took a mental note of where the largest sunflower fields were and the next day we hiked into the dunes towards these areas...

Quick Tour through the San Juans, Colorado
August 2017

In mid August we found ourselves drawn back to the San Juans like moths to a flame. We spent a few nights car camping up above Red Mountain Pass, drove eastward over four old mining road passes, then did a backpack trip intp Cataract Gulch near the 14er Sunshine Peak...

Hanging Around Huron Peak, Colorado
August 2017

In mid-August we backpacked around the headwaters of the South Fork Clear Creek near Huron Peak in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness and Sawatch Range of Colorado. The last time I hiked in this area was back in 2008, but this time we hiked the long way in here from the south from Taylor Park and Texas Creek, via the Continental Divide Trail and a high pass above Lake Ann...

Exploring the Holy Cross Wilderness, Colorado
August 2017

In early August we set out into the Holy Cross Wilderness (in the Sawatch Range of Colorado generally between Vail and Leadville) for a 3-night backpack trek. We spent our first night at the super popular Missouri Lakes then explored an off trail route over a high ridgeline to a remote and pristine lake where we spent the second day and night...

Mount Powell, Gore Range, Colorado
August 2017

In early August we backpacked into the rugged north end of the Gore Range and Eagles Nest Wilderness for three nights. We hiked the Upper Piney River Trail for while, branched off on a faint boot trail then camped the first night in the high basin below Mount Powell and Kneeknocker Pass...

Autumn Colors in Crested Butte, Colorado
September/October 2015

In September 2015 we made the move from Ouray to Crested Butte, and have been enjoying hiking the trails and savoring the golden autumn colors around here.  Here's some photos!

Wetterhorn Ski Mission, San Juans, Colorado
April 2015

Wetterhorn Peak stands above its surrounding basins like an ancient crumbling volcano. Rising to 14,015 feet, the pyramidal fourteener is not only one of the most photogenic mountains in Colorado, but its steep eastern face holds a classic ski descent that I’ve been wanting to snowboard for years...

Conundrum Hot Springs, Elk Mountains, Colorado
September 2014

There are few things in life finer than soaking in natural hot springs, especially when those hot springs are situated at treeline in an alpine basin surrounded by high peaks and valley vistas! Such is the case at Conundrum Hot Springs, a remote but popular wild hot springs in the Elk Mountains between the towns of Aspen and Crested Butte in Colorado...

Wildflower Trek, San Juan Mountains, Colorado
July 2014

Earlier this week Claudia and I backpacked for 5 days in the mountains west of Silverton, Colorado, following an improvised route that took us through numerous high alpine basins filled with endless fields of wildflowers...

Mt. Lindsey & Lily Lake, Sangre de Cristos, Colorado
June 2014

With our San Juans still covered in quite a bit of snow up high, earlier this week we drove east for 3 nights of backpacking in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains where the snow is mostly gone and summer backpacking season is well underway...

Great Sand Dunes Trek, Colorado
June 2014

The Great Sand Dunes in southern Colorado are perhaps the most unique landscape in the Rockies, with 700-foot tall sand dunes nestled at the foot of 13,000-foot mountains. Winds that blow across the vast San Luis Valley carry sand grains which become trapped by the towering Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and the streams that flow out of the mountains keep the sand in one place, resulting in the tallest dunes of North America...

2013-14 Winter in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Winter 2013-14

A collection of my favorite photos from the winter season of 2013-2014 in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

Winter Camping above Ouray, Colorado
February 2014

I headed out yesterday for a night of winter camping up on the “lower” Bridge of Heaven overlooking the town of Ouray, Colorado. I've winter camped up here once before five years previously, but this time I found a ridiculous spot to pitch my tent, right on the point of a precipitous rock outcropping! This airy perch provided a spectacular scene for tent photos, as well as an island of dry rock amongst the snow to cook and relax in ease...

Powderfest at the Fowler/Hilliard Hut, Colorado
January 2014

It had been snowing for nearly three weeks straight in the northern mountains of Colorado. With the northwest storm flow forecasted to dump a few more heavy punches before finally clearing out, last week I checked the 10th Mtn...

Winter Camping at Blue Lakes, Colorado
October 2013

Hungry for an adventure, on Tuesday I hiked up to Blue Lakes in the Sneffels Range to camp out in the snow. Late autumn can be a good time for winter camping – kind of like “diet” winter camping since there’s less snow to deal with and usually less avalanche danger (*depending, of course)...

Wetterhorn Peak, Colorado
June 2013

Unlike other mountain ranges in Colorado, the San Juan Mountains have a volcanic history. Around 35 million years ago this region was home to several dozen stratovolcanoes, similar to those in the present day Pacific Northwest...