Trip Reports: June 2010 - Mt. Evans - Colorado

Yesterday I made a quick half day trip up to Mt. Evans to do some shooting. As always there was plenty to keep my trigger finger busy. The numerous wildfires that are burning in Colorado right now made for some less than ideal skies, but it was still a great day. 
, photo

This is the view of Mt. Evans from Echo lake. Situated at around 10,500 ft above sea level, Echo Lake gives you a great view of, my final destination. 

, photo

The first major point of interest on the road up the mountin is the Mt. Goliath Natural Area. This is where you will fine Mt. Evan's bristlecone pines. These hardy trees, which are some of the oldest living things on the planet serve as a boundary between the sub alpine forest and the alpine tundra. Although other bristlecones in the country are much older than the trees seen here ( some bristlecones are as old as 5,000 years) The Mt. Evans trees are around 1,600 years old. Pretty amazing to think about what the world must have been like when these trees first started growing. 

, photo

The twisted ancient trees look out over the Colorado plains to the east. 

, photo

Mt. Evans Bristlecone pine forest. 

, photo

This is my favorite of the bristlecone trees. For many years I've stopped to photograph it. Although it doesn't appear to be the oldest tree on the mountain, I feel it has the most character. 

, photo

Long legs. 

, photo

Once you clear the trees and are up onto the alpine tundra you get a great view of Echo Lake. (this is the same lake as my first photo of the trip report)

, photo

Almost July but there is still a decent amount of snow in places. 

, photo

The road starts to switchback on its way to the summit. 

Prints Available

, photo

Sitting at 12,830 ft, Summit Lake is still partially frozen. The lake sits in a cirque formed by the peaks of Mt. Evans and Mt. Spalding. The rocky cliffs rise up to the summits of both mountains. 

, photo

A birds eye view of Denver. Unfortunately, Denver is a pretty smoggy city, but with the wildfire smoke hanging in the air, visibility was really bad. 

, photo

One of my favorite animals to photograph, the American Pika, sits atop a rock in the warm sun. Pikas have been hit hard by global warming. They are very sensitive to changes in temperature and cannot survive in temperatures as high as 80 degrees. As a result their populations are quickly dwindling. 

, photo

A beautiful night to be on a mountain. 

, photo

Longs Peak, Rocky Mountain National Parks most famous fourteener, is seen rising in the distance. 

, photo

A yellow bellied marmot rushes back to his burrow with a mouth full of grass. 

, photo

I finally found what I was looking for. A mountain goat nanny with a tiny little kid. 

, photo

The little mountain goat kids are so much fun to watch. So full of energy and curiosity. 

, photo

The baby mountain goat surveys his high altitude surroundings.

, photo

Even a baby mountain goat needs his rest. 

, photo

A nanny mountain goat and her kid bed down for the evening as the last rays of the day slip behind the mountain. 

*** This image is available as a limited edition fine art print ***

, photo

A nanny mountain goat and her kid look of towards the sunset.

, photo

Rambunctious little creatures...

, photo
, photo

Mountain goat kids wresting.

, photo

It was great fun to watch these two play around.

, photo

Two nannies and a kid. 

, photo

Kids at play. 

, photo

Light starts to fade over the rockies. 

, photo

A lone goat stands on the tundra at last light. 

, photo

A very beautiful night indeed. 

, photo

The shadow of Mt. Evans is cast across the eastern plains. 

, photo

 Mt. Bierstadt (14,060 ft.) Looms large over Lake Abyss, as seen from near the summit of Mt. Evans (14,264 ft.) Two more prominent "fourteeners", Greys Peak (14,270 ft.) and Torreys Peak (14,267 ft.) are seen in the distance, still bathed in the warm glow of sunset.

*** This image is available as a limited edition fine art print ***

, photo

Back to my favorite tree for a little night photography. 

, photo

Last shot of the day... The moon shines through the limbs. 

Thanks for viewing my latest trip report. Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter for any new info from natezeman.com