Photo Journal & Trip Reports (San juan mountains)

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

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...

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.

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...

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...

Starlight on Sneffels, Colorado
June 2019

The winter of 2018-2019 in the San Juan Mountains has been one for the records books, with about 600% of average snowpack at the start of June. With all this beautiful snow in the mountains this spring, lately I've been having some hairbrained photo mission ideas - one of which was to hike up Mt...

A Snowy Sunrise in the San Juans, Colorado
May 2019

The exceptionally snowy winter in the San Juans keeps on going into May and our snowpack is currently 187% of average for this time of year! As I've been out splitboarding lately, I've been admiring all the peaks draped in thick snowpack, and thinking about how they'd look with colorful sunrise light...

Mount Hayden Backcountry Lodge, San Juans, Colorado
February 2019

This weekend we had a wonderful stay at Eric Johnson's Mount Hayden Backcountry Lodge. Located in Richmond Basin in a remote corner of the San Juan Mountains between Ouray and Telluride, the lodge is surrounded by a powder playground of skiable terrain...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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.