Lupine and the Sneffels Range

Lupine and the  Sneffels Range, Mt. Sneffels Wilderness, Colorado

Lupine and the Sneffels Range, Mt. Sneffels Wilderness, Colorado

I had just spent six days in the Needle Mountains, shooting photos at sunrise and sunset from the summit of 14,000-foot peaks, and I was ready for a few "relaxing" days when I could get up at 4:30 am instead of midnight. After all, I needed to be rested before I tackled my next Sunrise from the Summit project, a sunrise shoot from Capitol Peak, reputedly the hardest Fourteener in Colorado. It was late June, and I decided to spend some time looking for lupine in bloom along the north flanks of the Sneffels Range near Ridgway.

I had photographed there extensively in the fall, so I knew the terrain. Now it was just a question of finding good flowers, since I had never worked there in the summer. I started my scouting by driving county roads 5, 7, and 9, then continued scouting by hiking the trails that I knew offered the best views. My search was rewarded when I found this lush stand of lupine along the Dallas Trail. I returned twice at sunrise and twice at sunset. This sunset image, with its dramatic clouds and golden light, shot during my first effort, proved to be my favorite.