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Stormy San Juan Mountains

Saturday & Sunday, July 27-28, 2013

On Saturday morning I met up with a few friends from the Salt Lake City area that were on their way through town. They would be spending the following week in the San Juan Mountains and I was joining them for the weekend. We had breakfast in Grand Junction together and then made the drive south to Silverton. As soon as we reached Ouray it started to rain, and would continue to rain for much of the weekend until I was on my way home again Sunday evening. When we reached their rental house in Silverton they took some time to unpack and relax, but I headed up to Stony Pass for a little while just before sunset to see if there were any wildflowers still around.

When I was on the other side of Stony Pass the sunlight slipped through a small opening in the clouds and created this rainbow behind me. It was like I drove right under it. The rainbow didn’t last more than a couple of minutes, so I’m glad I was ready to capture it.

Under the Rainbow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Driving back up to Stony Pass on a stormy evening.

Stony Pass by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I stopped to photograph this small cascade along the road until it started raining again.

Small Cascade by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Looking back down the road I had just driven up.

Stony Pass Road by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I spotted this scene in the clouds as I descended back down towards Silverton and knew it would make a nice black and white image.

Eerie by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

On Saturday morning I drove up to Clear Lake with Ryan to try and catch sunrise. Unfortunately the sky was still very cloudy which blocked any possibility of a colorful sky.

Since there was no color in the sky, I decided to try a black and white image from here.

Clear Lake by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There were still a few nice patches of wildflowers to be found on the hillsides if you looked around.

Clear Lake Wildflowers by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After taking a few photos of the wildflowers the sky opened up and it started to rain pretty good again, so we drove back down to Silverton and had some breakfast. Afterwards, we drove back over Red Mountain Pass to Ouray so we could check out the wildflowers in Yankee Boy Basin.

A nice view from the upper reaches of Yankee Boy Basin.

Yankee Boy by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After visiting Yankee Boy Basin we drove up into Governor Basin in search of wildflowers.

In the Clouds by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I love watching the clouds play hide and seek with the surrounding mountains on days like this.

Rising Clouds by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The best display of wildflowers we found all weekend were up in Governor Basin, and this was probably one of the best patches we found up there. Potosi Peak dominates the background shrouded in clouds.

Governor Basin Wildflowers by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

While driving back down to Ouray, I had to stop my Jeep in the middle of the road and take this photo of the clouds hiding in the ridges.

Cloudy Ridge by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

>> Stormy San Juan Mountains Photo Gallery


  1. Monica
    Monica August 23, 2013

    Absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for posting these pictures.

    • Randy Langstraat
      Randy Langstraat August 23, 2013

      Thanks Monica!

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