Welcome to the Colorado backcountry

The vast acreage of wilderness and backcountry beauty in Colorado make it one of the more popular locations for camping, backpacking, and day-hiking.

In addition to a eight National Parks and Monuments, Colorado boasts an equal number of Wilderness Areas, millions of acres of National Forest and BLM land, and over three dozen state parks.

From mountains to deserts, and grasslands to canyons, one could spend a lifetime hiking the trails of Colorado and not cover all of them.

winter river valley snowshoeing

I'm sorry for not having posted in a long while.  It's not because I've avoided the outdoors, nor did I leave my camera at home, but forgot I should be sharing photos and stories with you.

Most weekends from November through January, when I wasn't shoveling I was snowshoeing.  I kept the trail packed up until the big snowfall that so far has been the last big snowfall.

winter expands the wilderness

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McKee Pond and the Raggeds
Though the official boundaries remain unchanged, the practical boundaries of the wilderness areas expand in the winter, as the areas accessible by vehicle contract.  Even venturing out by foot -- snowshoeing is one of my favorite winter activities -- you don't have to go far to feel like you're far out there, and you don't have to go far to get in trouble, either.

an explosion of autumn mountain color

Heavy spring rains created a fungus that caused many aspens to drop their leaves early this year, but there were enough of those that didn't to create some spectacular landscapes.  These were taken not in the wilderness (which is filled with hunters now), but in the Crystal River valley, between Redstone and Marble, Colorado.

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McKee Pond, near Marble

click on this pond panorama to see it better