I’ve got a bit of updating to do now that we are back from hiking in Europe. However, first chance I got I headed on up to do the summit this Saturday. Granted, it took me quite a while to get going, but I was determined to make it on up, especially since there was no possibility of rain.
I took my time primarily because I was looking for some misplaced materials but also because I knew that the morning would be quite chilly. The only problem with that thinking was that by 1:00 in the afternoon, the summit in the sun was quite warm.
The trail was dry, bone dry and there was just about no sign of any color anywhere, at least not in the way of wildflowers. I think that we didn’t get a drop of rain the entire time we were gone, plus I know that we have had none in the last week.
But after crossing over about 9,000 feet I came out on the view of the upper slopes and could see that some of the aspen had broken out into glorious gold.
I love hiking this time of year, especially in the western Rockies. In the right light (back-light) the aspen often look like they have been plugged into a Christmas tree and light up their surroundings.
Since I took the high ridge route up, I was unable to see the color in the lower groves, but I am pretty sure that they will be in peak form in the next week or two.
This stretch of aspen that line the boulder field about 9,500 feet have not yet changed colors, even though they are surrounded in spots by those that have.
This is the same slope that I photographed back in March, only from this angle you can see the aspens on the north side of the boulders. The spring image shows the ones that are on the south looking down from several hundred up the boulder field.
Turning to the north, and looking at the summit ridge, you can see that the trees at 10,000 feet and above have indeed reached almost the peak of their color.
I know that section of trees very well for part of the upper trail overlooks that section of the mountain.
At the maximum that grove may last two weeks before most of the leaves are gone.
Once I reached the level path to the tram at 10,000 feet I encountered several different patches of trail with trees in full color.
Although we don’t get the blazing reds and bright oranges of the northwest, we also don’t get all their rain, so I suppose I’ll trade the reds for the rain.
The colors don’t last long here, especially at the top of the mountain. Enjoy them while you can.