Fall Colors in the Elk Mountains


Jan 17, 2012
Fall Colors 2014
Saturday & Sunday, September 27-28, 2014

Mount Sopris Alpenglow
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Since we had seen some early fall colors in the San Juan Mountains last weekend, we decided to head over into the Elk Mountains this time to check on the fall colors there for my annual Fall Colors weekend. I planned to visit a few locations I have been to before and then try out a few new ones. We left early Saturday and took a late morning drive along Kebler Pass and over Ohio Pass before turning around and heading back out the same way. We then drove over McClure Pass and found a campsite along Prince Creek near Carbondale before continuing up along Capitol Creek to catch the sunset over Capitol Peak (14,130 feet). While there was a little nice evening light when we first arrived, a storm cloud moved in from the west and blocked any light for the rest of the evening. When the sun was down we drove back to camp in the dark. I was expecting it to start raining overnight based on the weather forecasts, but was happy to wake up for sunrise to dry conditions. We caught the sunrise from a nearby location with a beautiful view over Mount Sopris before returning back to camp and taking down our tent. Just after loading everything back into the Jeep it finally started to rain- it was perfect timing! We took another drive back up to McClure Pass and stopped for a few photos along the way before returning to Carbondale for an early lunch at White House Pizza. After lunch we had an uneventful drive home in the rain.

View of West Beckwith Peak (12,191 feet) from Kebler Pass Road. The trees below were still mostly green.

West Beckwith
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A little fun with my camera in a golden aspen grove along Kebler Pass Road.

Fall Color Explosion
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

View over the pine trees from Ohio Pass Road.

Ohio Pass View
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Red-tipped aspen trees below the Anthracite Range.

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A side road off of Ohio Pass that we explored.

Ohio Creek Trail
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Fall Drive
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

East Beckwith Mountain (12,438 feet) was looking pretty good on our drive back.

East Beckwith
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Many shades of color along Kebler Pass Road.

Kebler Color
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There were nice views from McClure Pass.

McClure View
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Aspen View
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We stopped by Dinkle Lake before finding a campsite along Prince Creek.

Dinkle Lake
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Dinkle Colors
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Home for the night.

Prince Creek Camp
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The road above Capitol Creek.

Yellow Road
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A beautiful view up Capitol Creek towards Capitol Peak in the middle. To the left of Capitol is Mount Daly (13,300 feet).

Capitol Peak Evening
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Color Gradient
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Capitol Peak
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A distant rain storm illuminated by evening light.

Light Rain
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Rain and spot-lighting along Capitol Creek.

Capitol Creek Rain
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We spent Sunday morning watching the sun light up Mount Sopris as it came up behind us. It was a beautiful sunrise and I took quite a few photos since the light was constantly changing.

Mount Sopris Dawn
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Mount Sopris Morning
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Sopris Glow
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Looking over Prince Creek Road.

Prince Creek Road
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Touched by Light
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Mount Sopris Sunrise
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Sopris Spotlight
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

West Sporis Light
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A few other views of the surrounding area.

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Light Hills
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Across the Valley
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A different view of Mount Sopris from the highway in the rain when we drove back up to McClure Pass.

Sopris in the Rain
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We stopped to check out the Coke Ovens in Redstone.

Coke Ovens
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Redstone Coke Ovens
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

It was a perfect morning to photograph Hayes Creek Falls.

Hayes Creek Falls
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Clouds and light on the distant peaks.

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Chair Mountain in the rain as we neared McClure Pass again.

Chair Mountain
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Colorful aspen in the clouds near McClure Pass.

Color in the Clouds
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

McClure Aspen
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

>> Fall Colors in the Elk Mountains Photo Gallery
>> The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

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Love them all (the pics), the but last one with the aspen in the fog is breathtaking!
Great pics Randy! It's been fun seeing your shots from that weekend since I was in the area as well. I think the colors there ruined me. Haha! The colors I've seen here so far this fall are pretty pale by comparison to what I saw in the Elks.
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