Colorado Wildflowers – mid July 2014

July 15, 2014

Colorado wildflowers are finally starting to bloom with the advent of warmer summer air and melting snows. I was recently down in the San Juans for a few days, including Crested Butte and Lake City, then up in the Snowmass/Aspen/Maroon Bells area for some work. While there, I was able to photograph the Colorado landscape with some of the wildflowers that are showing.

Just outside of Lake City, there is a nice location about 20 miles down a dirt road called American Basin. The road leading to this area gets progressively worse as you near the end, and eventually you’ll need 4WD for the horrid road conditions as well as the stream crossings. But once you arrive, you’ll be glad you did. A meadow with a snow-fed stream flows down from the high Rocky Mountains. About this time of year the meadow fills with colorful wildflowers, including the columbine, daisies, paintbrush, bluebells, as well as many others.

While was I was here to hike a few of Colorado’s 14ers, I did spend an evening at American Basin. I had photographed the area around sunset, but had just about given up on the sky turning nice shades of orange and pink and was actually walking back to my car when everything changed. The clouds came streaming over the mountains and everything began to glow. Here is one image of Columbine from that location:

Sun sets at American Basin in this Colorado wildflower image.

Columbine in American Basin add color to this Colorado Wildflower Landscape image.

After a day of climbing, I traveled up to the Crested Butte Area. There is a dirt road and town in that area called Gothic Road (and the town of Gothic). Past the town is a great hike to West Maroon Pass which leads from Crested Butte down into Aspen. The wildflowers along this path were just beginning to show, and I’m sure they will be spectacular in a few weeks. Still, the Columbine were out and I had to pause to photograph these wildflowers as the sun peaked over Mount Bellevue:

Colorado wildflowers fill the meadown along the West Maroon Pass trail near Crested Butte, Colorado.

Columbine greet the sun on a perfect morning near Crested Butte in this Colorado wildflower landscape image.

After that, I was back in one of my favorite areas, the Maroon Bells Wilderness area. The Columbine along the trail from Crater Lake to Maroon Lake are starting to show. This Colorado image comes from sunrise there as the sun began to light up the Maroon Peaks.

The Maroon Bells light up with the first light of day. Colorado wildflowers such as the columbine rest in its shadow.

Colorado’s State Wildflower, the Columbine, awakens to the morning as the sun lights up the Maroon Bells in this Colorado image.

In the next few weeks, I plan on returning to The Ouray area, including Yankee Boy Basin and the Ice Lakes, specifically for the wildflowers.

In the meantime, here are a few website galleries to view if you are interested:

Colorado Wildflowers
Colorado Landscapes and Images
Colorado Images
Maroon Bells Images

Also, I post current images on my photography facebook page.

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