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Million Dollar Highway Fall Colors

Fall Colors 2022 | Friday – Saturday, September 30 – October 1, 2022

Normally, I would have left from work on Friday afternoon and headed west into Utah to spend the entire week exploring new canyons of the Colorado Plateau, but this year there was a concert on Sunday evening that delayed the start of my trip by a couple days, so I thought I would try to get up into the high country near Silverton one last time until next summer. Unfortunately, the weather would have other plans for me this weekend and I would end up just taking some photos of the fall colors along the Million Dollar Highway on Saturday morning instead.

The fall colors were looking nice along Red Mountain Creek as I headed up Red Mountain Pass on Friday evening.

Red Mountain Creek Colors

Before making my way through Silverton to find a place to camp, I decided to continue up to Molas Pass to check out the colors up there.

Molas Pass Evening

Molas Pass View

After returning to Silverton I followed the Animas River up to Cunningham Gulch and found a spot to camp along the creek. I originally was planning to spend the night higher near Stony Pass, but the weather forecast was calling for a couple inches of snow overnight and I didn’t want to get stuck up there if the forecast was correct, so I stayed lower near a good road. It did end up raining most of the night and I was able to see that it was indeed snow higher up when it started to get light out in the morning. I drove back towards Silverton to check the weather again and it wasn’t looking good for a hike, so I decided to skip hiking this morning and just photograph the fall colors along the Million Dollar Highway as I started to drive back home instead.

A peak emerging from the clouds near Arrastra Gulch at dawn.

Peak in the Clouds

There were still some low clouds to drive through as I headed up to Red Mountain Pass.

Color in the Clouds

A touch of color along Mill Creek.

Mill Creek

There was a little blue sky on the north side of the pass, and the sun even made a brief appearance.

Fresh Snow

The fall colors around Ironton Park were looking great this morning!

Slope of Color

Colorful Mountainside

Morning in the Mountains

Mountain View

San Juan Triangle Fall Colors

Ironton Park Colors

There were a lot of people around Crystal Lake, but I still stopped for a quick photo.

Crystal Lake Color

Cliff & Color

Looking back to Red Mountain.

Red Mountain

Fall Colors

>> Million Dollar Highway Fall Colors Photo Gallery

One Comment

  1. Jim H
    Jim H October 2, 2022

    Gorgeous contrast with the snow. We caught the color in Telluride last week.

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