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The Boulder Flatirons
The Flatirons are the city of Boulder's iconic rock formations that lie on the east side of Green Mountain. There are five flatirons, so named one through five that have a maximum elevation of 8,138'. The Flatirons are a part of the Fountain Formatiion of sedimentary rocks formed 280 million years ago. The flowers in the foreground are Foothills Arnica (Arnica fulgens). Photo by Anthony Massaro.
Purgatoire River, Comanche National Grasslands
Purgatoire River, known locally as the Purgatory River (Purgatoire means purgatory in French), was named by French trappers to commemorate Spanish explorers killed in a Native American attack. The river is located in southeast Colorado and flows through the Comanche National Grasslands in Otero County to its confluence with the Arkansas River at John Martin Reservoir. The cactus in the foreground is Tree Cholla (Cylindropuntia imbricata). Photo by Sue Keiffer
Lake Ann, Chaffee County
Near Buena Vista in central Colorado is Lake Ann nestled in a small cirque at 13,000 feet in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness of the San Isabel National Forest. Famed for its aquamarine color, the lake is accessed by the 6.6 mile long Lake Ann Trail. The trailhead is accessed by a 4WD road for high clearance vehicles only. The trail offers spectacular views of the "Three Apostles" and 14,003' Mt. Huron. Photo by Irene Schonle.
Mathews Winters Park, Jefferson County
Mathews Winters Park is located right on the edge of the Denver metropolitan area next to the intersection of I-70 and C-470. Owned and operated by Jefferson Open Space in Jefferson County, the park contains 2,461 acres and 12.2 miles of trails which provide access to the City of Denver Red Rocks Park, the 1860s settlement, now ghost town, of Mount Vernon and the Dakota Hogback. You will see lots of foothills native plants here like the Boulder Raspberry (Rubus delicosus) in the foreground of this photo. Photo by Terry Bezouska. Boulder-Raspberry-(Rubus-delicosus)-at-
The Maroon Bells
The Maroon Bells are arguably the most famous and photographed peaks in Colorado. The twin peaks, Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak, both 14ers, are located up Maroon Creek Road off Highway 82, 10 miles west of Aspen and 16 miles from Snowmass Colorado. The maroon stripes were formed by the weathering of hematite, an iron bearing material. Maroon Lake occupies the basin at the foot of the mountains. There are several hiking trails that are so heavily used that reservations are required. Photo by Anna Foderaro.
The Snowy Mountains
The Snowy Mountains are not actually in Colorado, they are in Wyoming. But they are so spectacular and so close to our northern border, that we can't resist including them in our landscape gallery. The range, located in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest runs east and west for 29 miles. The range is accessed by the Snowy Mountain Scenic Byway which climbs from 8,000 - 10,847' elevation along these gorgeous rocky mountains with beautiful lakes at their foot. Several excellent trails are found along the byway around the lakes and up into the mountains. Photo by Loraine Yeatts.
The La Plata Mountains
Michael Remke took this photo in the La Plata Mountains, a small subrange of the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado, about 12 miles northwest of Durango. The La Plata Range contain 18 peaks over 12,000', the tallest being Hesperus Mountain at 13,237'. La Plata means "silver" in Spanish and the mountains were heavily mined for silver, gold, lead and copper in the past.
Wheeler Geologic Area
Wheeler Geologic Area in the La Garita Mountains of Mineral County contains eroded pinnacles of volcanic ash what were formed 25 million years ago by eruptions from the La Garita Caldera. The area is located about 10 miles east of the old mining town of Creede. Wheeler is accessible by a 7-mile trail or a very rough 14-mile road, best used by ATVs. Photo by Linda Boley.
San Juan Mountains
This photo was taken by Tom Lebsack from near the top of the Governor Basin OHV road southwest of Ouray. The peaks are, from the left, Stony Mountain (closest), Mt. Sneffels in the far background, Teakettle Mountain and Potosi Mountain in the shadow. The flowers are mostly Rosy Paintbrush. The Governor Basin Road is a 15.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ridgway, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate.
Prairie at West Bijou Ranch
West Bijou Ranch (at the time, in 2003, it was part of the Plains Conversation Center; now its a national natural landmark property managed by the Savory Institute on the eastern edges of Arapahoe and Elbert counties. This 7,500 acre ranch, dominated by shortgrass prairie, is home to a majestic herd of bison, and archeological and cultural assets, such as the famous K-T Boundary. (the K-T Boundary is the transition between the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods of geologic time characterized by a mass extinction of many forms of life, the boundary is only found in certain rocks exposed by erosion. Photo by Skot Latona