Colorado Plateau Photo Odyssey 16: Quick Excursion into the San Juans

San Juan Mts SP13-211

After spending an afternoon at Mesa Verde, the next day I travelled to Durango and up Route 550 into the very heart of the San Juans:

Screen shot 2013-08-09 at 8.03.55 PM

I had driven the same route a year and a half previously, in late September of 2011. It is interesting to contrast the effect of the seasons on the landscape of the San Juans. In autumn, they were lush with golden aspen, shining in the sun. In mid-spring we were confronted by a somewhat harsher landscape: no foliage on the aspens, while most of the snow (except on the highest peaks) having melted away. Consider the following comparisons, with the spring shot followed by the autumn shot:

San Juan Mts SP13 Pano 1

San Juan Mts AU11-Panorama 6

San Juan Mts SP13-190

San Juan Mts AU11-96

San Juan Mts SP13-202

San Juan Mts AU11-147

San Juan Mts SP13-271

San Juan Mts AU11-198

Quite a difference in scenery. Another difference worth noting: in autumn, there were a lot more cars on Route 550. It was pretty sparse on the roads on a spring afternoon in early May. So most people prefer the autumn scenery! More spring shots:

San Juan Mts SP13-234

San Juan Mts SP13-238

San Juan Mts SP13-177

San Juan Mts SP13-302

San Juan Mts SP13-346

San Juan Mts SP13-342

And finally, a couple shots of old mining structures:

San Juan Mts SP13-194

San Juan Mts SP13-296