Photo Journal & Trip Reports (July)

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

Summer Stories from the San Juans
July/August/September 2021  |  San Juan Mountains, Colorado

As summer fades to autumn, I thought I'd share some new photos and stories from the last three months of backpacking in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Including and continuing from my last blog post ("Monsoon Explorations in the Weminuche"), my backpacking adventures this summer have been mainly focused on exploring hidden nooks and crannies of these mountains and finding unique perspectives to photograph...

Monsoon Explorations in the Weminuche
June/July 2021  |  San Juan Mountains, Colorado

In late June a record-breaking heat wave settled in over the southwestern United States. With a week of 95º heat in Ridgway and smoky skies from a huge wildfire in the nearby La Sal Mountains in southeast Utah, it was shaping up to be another dry and smoky summer here in the San Juan Mountains...

Columbines and Comets
July 2020  |  San Juan Mountains, Colorado

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
July 2020  |  Sawatch Range, Colorado

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
July 2020  |  San Juan Mountains, Colorado

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...

Summer Green in the San Juans
July 2019  |  San Juan Mountains, Colorado

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...

Mosquito Warfare in the High Uintas
July 2019  |  High Uintas Wilderness, Utah

In late July we backpacked into the High Uintas Wilderness in Utah, to a couple high basins at the head of the Stillwater Fork of the Bear River. These lakes form the headwaters of the Bear River which flows north out of the Uintas, through Wyoming and Idaho, then back around south into Utah and the Great Salt Lake, making it the largest river in the North America that doesn't eventually reach the ocean...

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

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 the Grenadier Range
July 2018  |  San Juan Mountains, Colorado

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...

Over the Dachstein
July 2017  |  Austria

The final destination of our three-week northern limestone Alps tour was the Dachstein mountain range of Austria. Starting from near the Südwandhütte, above the lovely village of Ramsau on the south side of the range, we hiked for three days around and over the Dachstein to the famous village of Hallstatt on the north side, via the Hofpürglhütte, Adamek-Hütte, and Simony Hütte...

Trek Around Watzmann
July 2017  |  Berchtesgaden, Germany

Berchtesgaden is a famous Bavarian mountain resort town in southeast Germany. If you look at a map of Germany, the Berchtesgaden area is the little protrusion at the bottom that’s almost totally surrounded by Austria...

Wilder Kaiser
July 2017  |  Austria

After our trek in the Karwendel we took a bus and train to the town of Kufstein, stocked up on some snacks, and started hiking into the Kaisergebirge, a small but incredibly rugged mountain range that rivals just about anything in the Dolomites as far as sheer jaggedness goes...

Hut Trekking through the Karwendel
July 2017  |  Austria

Over the course of 5 days in early July, we hiked from west to east below the jagged spine of the Karwendel range just north of Innsbruck, Austria - from the villages of Scharnitz to Pertisau, via the Karwendelhaus, Falkenhütte, Eng Alm, and Lamsenjochhaus...

An Evening at Lake Blanche
July 2017  |  Wasatch Range, Utah

In early June we did a quick overnight backpack hike from Big Cottonwood Canyon to Lake Blanche and Sundial Peak, in the Twin Peaks Wilderness of the Wasatch Range in Utah. Though the wind was relentless during our stay, we had fun exploring this lovely basin and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset and moonrise above the lake...

Dayhiking in Banff National Park
July 2016  |  Canadian Rockies

Towards the end of July after our fantastic trek in the Height of the Rockies Provincial Park we ventured on to Banff, in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. The Canadian Rockies are undoubtedly some of the most impressive mountains on the planet, like a mix of the rugged spires of the Dolomites and the wilds of Alaska or Montana...

Backpacking in the Height of the Rockies
July 2016  |  Canadian Rockies

In July we drove over the border into British Columbia, Canada and headed east towards the Height of the Rockies Provincial Park in eastern BC. The trek I had in mind is a somewhat obscure one involving several hours of driving along dirt forestry roads to access a seldom traveled trail which eventually fades into a convoluted off-trail routefinding adventure, finally arriving at a spectacular series of high lakes in a rugged glaciated basin...

Alpine Lakes Wilderness Trek
July 2016  |  Washington Cascades

In mid July after having done two backpack trips on the Olympic Peninsula, we were excited to do some more in the Cascades; however, most of the treks we had researched in the central and northern Cascades were still snowbound on the higher passes and lakes...

High Divide Loop, Olympic Peninsula
July 2016  |  Washington

Mount Olympus is the king of the Olympus Peninsula in Washington; laden with thick glaciers, the 7,980 foot peak soars above the surrounding rainforest valleys. Some of the finest views to be had of this remote mountain are from the High Divide trail which follows a high ridge opposite the Hoh River valley — that is, when the notorious Olympic Peninsula rain stops long enough to see it...

The Cursed Mountains - a trek through the Prokletije
July 2015  |  Montenegro and Albania

Forming a natural border between Montenegro and Albania is a jagged spine of mountains called the Prokletije in Montenegran and the Bjeshkët e Namuna in Albanian. Both names translate to “cursed mountains”, likely due to their foreboding vertical spires, deep winter snows, and inhospitable ruggedness...

Rafting the Tara River
July 2015  |  Montenegro

One of the highlights of a trip in Montenegro which is already full of highlights has been rafting down the Tara River. With its crystal clear turquoise spring-fed waters, the Tara is easily the most beautiful river I’ve ever seen...

Durmitor Loop Trek
July 2015  |  Montenegro

Durmitor National Park is certainly the most famous and beloved mountain range in Montenegro. The mountains here aren’t the biggest or baddest ever, but they have an undeniably wonderful and unique character, like a combination of the rugged might of the Alps with the wild solitude of the Colorado Rockies...

Maglič & Trnovacko Jezero
July 2015  |  Bosnia and Montenegro

For the first mountain adventure of our Bosnia/Montenegro trip, Claudia and I went backpacking for two nights at Trnovacko Lake along the border of Bosnia and Montenegro. The lake itself is located on the Montenegro side of the border, but is only accessible via Sutjeska National Park on the Bosnian side...

Wildflower Wonderland
July 2014  |  San Juan Mountains, Colorado

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...

Lechtal Alps
July 2013  |  Austria

Our latest adventure in the Alps was an 8-day trek through the Lechtal Alps in Austria, the neighboring range just south of the Allgäuer Alps of our previous trek. In fact on many days of our trek we could look across the valley and see the peaks and ridges which we had just hiked and climbed over the previous week...

Allgäuer Alps
July 2013  |  Germany

We are relaxing in the lovely Bavarian town of Oberstdorf in southern Germany after having trekked for the last 7 days through the Allgäuer Alps, a fantastic mountain range which runs along the border of Germany and Austria...

Belly/Mokowanis Backpack, Glacier National Park
July 2012  |  Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park had an above-average winter snowpack this year, so unfortunately most of the high treks we wanted to do were still closed in mid July – but we managed to figure out a nice 5-day backpacking route anyways...

Cracker Lake
July 2012  |  Glacier National Park, Montana

Our first backpack trip in Glacier National Park was a one-nighter to Cracker Lake, in the Many Glacier area. This is easily one of the most spectacular mountain cirques I’ve ever had the pleasure of camping in, with a 3-4,000 foot sheer vertical wall encircling the milky turquoise glacial lake and green grass meadow slopes...

Maroon Bells Four Pass Loop
July 2011  |  Elk Mountains, Colorado

In late July we spent 6 days backpacking around the famous Maroon Bells in the Elk Mountains of Colorado. The photos pretty much tell the story so I won’t say too much else except that it was another great trek in Colorado!

Wetterhorn / Uncompahgre Loop Trek
July 2011  |  San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Last week Claudia and I went on a 5-day backpacking loop in the Uncompahgre Wilderness in the San Juan Mountains east of Ouray. Our route circumnavigated the fourteeners Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre Peaks and took us through a paradise of expansive green tundra, wildflowers, and peaks...

Sunrise on Wetterhorn Peak
July 2010  |  San Juan Mountains, Colorado

On Sunday I hiked into Wetterhorn Basin, in the Uncompahgre Wilderness east of Ridgway, Colorado. With all the stormy monsoon weather and fantastic sunsets we’ve been having in the San Juans lately, I had hopes of catching another great sunset in the mountains...