Monthly Archives: September 2015

Fall Colors 2015
Color Sunday | Sunday, September 27, 2015

A beautiful expanse of fall colors from Skyway Point on the Grand Mesa.

Since I had only spent the day in the San Juan Mountains on Saturday, Diane and I decided to drive up onto the Grand Mesa for a few hours to check out the fall colors up there on Sunday afternoon. We took the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway via Plateau Creek to the Land O Lakes Trail where we stopped and went on the short hike to the overlook.

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Fall Colors 2015 | Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Red Mountains reflected in Crystal Lake shortly after sunrise.

As usual, I spent the last weekend in September on my annual fall colors trip to photograph the changing of the seasons in the high country of Colorado. Instead of going away for the whole weekend, this time I just headed out on a day trip to the San Juan Mountains. From reports I had seen online, plus my trip last weekend, it appeared that the Red Mountain Pass area was changing colors nicely at this time, so that’s where I decided to go. Unfortunately, Diane wasn’t feeling well this weekend, so she ended up staying home today.

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Saturday & Sunday, September 19-20, 2015

Redcliff at sunset in the West Fork of the Cimarron River.

On my quest to hike and explore more of the Uncompahgre Wilderness I decided to climb a pair of thirteeners in The Cimarrons along the high ridge that towers between the West Fork and the Middle Fork of the Cimarron River. The peaks along this ridge are prominent landmarks on the horizon every time I drive south into the San Juan Mountains and it was time to finally get a closer look.

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Saturday & Sunday, September 12-13, 2015

Sunset on San Luis Peak in the La Garita Mountains.

Since Diane needed to stay home this weekend to get some school work done, I was on my own and decided to climb my sixth and final new fourteener of the year. After looking over my maps I settled on hiking to the summit of San Luis Peak (14,014) in the La Garita Mountains near Creede. Instead of taking the standard route up Stewart Creek from the northeast, I chose to follow the Continental Divide Trail north of Creede to the south ridge. Not only is this route a little shorter, I also thought the views along the Continental Divide would be better. Plus, I had never really stopped in Creede before and thought this would be a good opportunity to check out the area.

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Labor Day Weekend | Saturday – Monday, September 5-7, 2015

An incredible Labor Day sunrise below Uncompahgre Peak.

This year for the long Labor Day weekend I wanted to go on another backpacking trip into the Uncompahgre Wilderness of Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, but I also wanted to go somewhere that was unlikely to be crowded since this is probably one of the busiest camping weekends of the year. After some research I selected the Big Blue Creek drainage as our destination. Not only was there very little information about this area online and in guides, which hopefully meant it wouldn’t be very crowded, but I was also hoping to photograph the north face of Uncompahgre Peak (14,309) at sunrise since I hadn’t seen too many photos of this massive mountain from that side. I had originally thought about connecting the Fall Creek and Failes Creek trails to create a big loop hike but changed that idea so that I would be able to spend two mornings photographing Uncompahgre Peak to help improve my chances of catching a great sunrise. This strategy paid off well as you can see from the opening photo above.

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