CO – San Juan Skyway, An Autumn Tapestry of Aspen Color (Sept/Oct 2022)

I was still undecided about my next destination until I saw some photos showcasing fall foliage in the Silverton area. That was all I needed to set my direction of travel. It was fun traveling through the same areas over a few weeks so I could enjoy the transition of the season. Most of these photos were taken on roadside jaunts following Highway 550 (including the Million Dollar section) between Durango and Ridgway, Highway 62 between Ridgeway and Placerville, Highway 145 between Placerville and Cortez, and finally Highway 160 between Cortez and Durango. It seemed only appropriate to begin my leaf peeping journey on the first day of autumn, 9/22/22.

Silverton dressed in yellow.

Anvil Mountain at Silverton.

Idarado Houses near Red Mountain Pass.

Million Dollar Highway Views.

Ironton (09/25/22)

Crystal Lake (09/25/22)

North of Durango (09/30/22)

Molas Pass (09/30/22).

Snowden Mountain (09/30/22). I planned to hike from Andrews Lake to Crater Lake or up into Snowden Mountain the next day.

On October 1st, I woke to a view of a snow covered Grand Turk and Sultan Mountain.

My intended hike near Snowden Mountain was no longer looking inviting.

The mountains above Molas Lake also wore white. I had no doubt this would be a day for photography and not hiking.

This was the first yummy scene I encountered as I drove north on 550 from Molas Pass.

I was excited to see the orange hidden among the fog and snow. I’d always wanted to see this combination.

The magic continued and often I forgot to take notes of my location or the peak.

I found snowline at Red Mountain Pass.

I was giddy about the amount of snow accumulation.

I joined the masses stopping at every pullover for more snaps.

The season hadn’t advanced quite enough for the reds and oranges to join the tapestry.

Crystal Lake was my turnaround this day.

By the time I was back at Molas Pass the snow had melted on Snowden Mountain and I thought maybe I’d be able to hike the area the next day.

Or not! I found myself at snowline the next morning (10/02/22).

My curiosity had me back up at Molas Pass early.

I was hopeful the clouds would lift and I’d be gifted another magical day.

By the time I got to Silverton it was looking and feeling a bit chilly.

Good thing I was prepared with both 4WD and chains. The roads were slushy and the snow plows had been through a couple of times.

What a wonderful autumn scene. Snow, fog and a tapestry of colors.

I had to be extra careful using the pullouts since some were slushy, or mucky, or had clumpy icy snow. Walking along the shoulder was a bit more treacherous as well as many drivers weren’t as attentive as maybe they should be.

Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

I was happy to finally get a decent shot of this old building.

The flat light made it difficult to capture good photos.

These mountains continue to steal my heart.

Talk about a canvas transformed.

This is happy Jan!

On October 3rd I continued my travels south along Highway 145 enjoying the fresh snow accented by moody skies with hopeful signs of blue.

I found amazing reflection at Trout Lake.

It’s all about the leaves.

Links to hikes I took while driving the San Juan Skyway:

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