Trip Reports (San Juan Mountains)

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

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.

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...

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...

Hiking Whitehouse Mountain, Colorado
June 2013

In mid-June we did a quick backpack trip and climbed up Whitehouse Mountain in the Sneffels Range of the San Juan Mountains in Colorado.

An Evening with Sneffels, Colorado
June 2013

On Saturday we ventured into the Sneffels Range in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado for a quick overnighter backpack trip. Taking advantage of a clear weather forecast, we camped all the way up at 12,900 feet on a high sub-peak of Sneffels...

2012-2013 Winter in Ouray, Colorado
Winter 2012-2013

A selection of skiing, landscape, and town photos in and around Ouray in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado during the 2012-2013 winter season.

Colorado Fall Colors
September 2012

Photos of aspens and autumn color, mostly in the San Juan Mountains.  This fall was a very colorful one, with the aspens showing off much oranger and redder colors than usual.

Autumn on Stony Pass, San Juans, Colorado
September 2012

Desiring a leisurely change of pace after our recent tiring backpacking treks, Claudia and I decided to go car camping this weekend up on Stony Pass in the San Juan Mountains east of Silverton, Colorado...

The Lime Loop, San Juans, Colorado
September 2012

Over Labor Day weekend some friends joined us for a strenuous 3-day loop trek in the Weminuche Wilderness, south of the area we hiked through last week. Our route took us over a high ridgeline with spectacular views of the Needle Mountains on the other side of the valley...

The Wild Heart of the San Juans, Colorado
August 2012

Last week we went on another 7-day trek through the high peaks of the Weminuche Wilderness in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado. During our backpacking trip we were treated not only to spectacular mountain vistas, but to some pretty cool wildlife encounters too!

Supermoon on Sneffels, Colorado
May 2012

I’ve been itching for an adventure lately, so early this morning I hiked up Mt. Sneffels in the moonlight again! I left Ouray at 1:30am (ouch!) and started hiking into Yankee Boy Basin at 2:30am. The “supermoon” – aka, the full moon at its closest orbit to Earth – was incredibly bright, and I had no troubles finding my way without headlamp...

Weminuche High Loop, Colorado
August 2011

In late August we did a 7-day loop trek in and around the Needle Mountains, the rugged heart of the Weminuche Wilderness in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. This was the fourth time I've done a week-long backpack trip in these mountains, and as usual we had some crazy weather during our trip, including lots of lightning, thunder, and several stunning sunrises and sunsets...

Wetterhorn / Uncompahgre Loop Trek, Colorado
July 2011

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...

Epic Spring Ski Season in Western Colorado
May/June 2011

With record-breaking snowfalls in April, continuing well in May, the spring ski season in the San Juans was a memorable one.  May surprised us with several long snow storms that brought mid-winter-esque powder days and smiles all around! Here is a collection of my favorite ski photos from May and June...

Colorado Fall Colors
September/October 2010

Photos of colorful aspens in the San Juans and Elk Mountains of Colorado, during the autumn of 2010.

Ouray/Uncompahgre Loop, Colorado
August 2010

This last weekend we repeated one of my favorite backpacking routes - a loop hike starting from the Bear Creek trailhead near Ouray, up through the rolling tundra of the Uncompahgre Wilderness, then back down into the town of Ouray via the Bridge of Heaven...

Sunset Atop Mt. Sneffels, Colorado
August 2010

After climbing the southwest ridge route of Mt. Sneffels on an afternoon when the clouds weren't too threatening, we stayed up on the summit to watch and photograph the sunset.  We then descended the normal route in the dark with headlamps and walked back to my truck where cold beers awaited...

Weminuche Wilderness Trek, Colorado
August 2010

During the second of week of this August 2010, Claudia and I went backpacking for 7 days in the Weminuche Wilderness, duplicating the same route that I did solo back in September 2007. 

We had all kinds of crazy weather during the trek, ranging from torrential monsoons to perfect bluebird days...

Blue Lakes, San Juans, Colorado
August 2010

Photos from three days of summer camping at Blue Lakes, in the Sneffels Range of the San Juan Mountains, Colorado.