Silver Creek Basin and Treasure Mountain
Silver Creek Basin and Treasure Mountain, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, Colorado
The Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is home to many of the most colorful wildflower fields it has been my privilege to photograph. One of the lesser-known wildflower paradises is Silver Creek Basin near Marble, on the west side of the range. I’ve spent five or six days photographing in the basin over the last several years, mostly working on the huge fields of Indian paintbrush that often bloom profusely below Silver Creek Pass.
In 2007, I started my annual wildflower pilgrimage near Aspen, on the north side of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. It proved to be a dry year, and when my efforts to find wildflowers there proved fruitless, my photo buddy and I drove around to the west side of the range and headed up the Lead King Basin jeep road to Silver Creek Basin. The dry conditions seemed to have muted the usual paintbrush display, but we did discover some beautiful fields of columbine intermixed with king’s crown – an unusual combination, made even more enticing because the king’s crown, normally a dark, dull maroon, had bloomed this year as a deep, rich red. Of all the images I’ve produced in Silver Creek Basin, this one is my favorite.