After a long week of bouncing between Omaha and Phoenix, I was able to hit the trails again on Saturday and Sunday. At this time of year most of the photo opportunities on the lower mountain are long gone, as just about all of the flowers have bit the dust.
But just above the 9,000 foot level the aspens were turning out in full color, while those at the 10,000 foot level have lost almost all of their leaves.
This is the section of the trail that I’ve written about before, about hiking among the debris. I confess, I love these few weeks of blue sky and shades of green and yellow.
What’s really amazing is how the movement of the sun has caused major portions of the upper trail to be shadowed from now until the middle of spring. It’s also at these levels that the rock begins to chill and begins to affect the temperature of the valley.
Once I came upon the upper reaches of the boulder fields the trees were simply magnificent. Next you can see the rock fall over which I generally scramble, even though there is a trail that winds its way through a series of switchbacks.
This next shot was taken just a day later with a little different lighting.
This series of rocks is just below the part of the trail where it levels off and heads on an easterly direction over to the tram. Once I got to the saddle and started onto the flat section I decided that my time on the trail was not that important and that it was time to just chill out on a section of the mountain that we call table rock.
The table top rock formation is about 200 to 300 feet off of the main trail and involves a scramble down and then back up again to get on the flat part of the rock. I went out there and just sat in the sunshine basking in the fall colors. From there I shot the panorama that covers the view directly north and then to the east.
You can see the full sized panorama here. The trail across the slope lies across the middle of the image. One has to climb up over the rock wall in the foreground to get back onto the trail from the table rock.
Finally, the in the last half mile of the trail the aspen have just about lost all of their leaves with some patches of yellow left along the trail.