A Photo Journal of America's Rocky Mountain State
Article Date: January, 2015
Colorado is a land of high places. There are 53 mountains in this state that rise over 14,000' in altitude. Excellent skiing
is abundant from Vail to Denver's front range. The Colorado River begins its journey in the headwaters at Rocky Mountain National Park and winds its
way through the Colorado Rockies on the way to the Gulf of Baja California. Colorado's history is flavored with many tales from the mining area when
gold was taken out of these hills in large quantities. When the mines played out the towns that sprung up around them overnight faded away just as
fast as their occupants moved on to greener pastures. The ore from these mines was hauled out over some extremely rugged terrain by wagons. These
trails, which precariously cling to the sides of mountain sides have now been taken over by Jeeps and are popular tourist attractions for those who
are looking to explore these mines and ghost towns. But not all mountain roads are wagon trails. A paved road to the top of Mount Evans is the highest
paved road in North America, climbing to the summit of Mount Evans at 14,260'.
The eastern portion of the state is flat ranch land, similar to Kansas. Once you get to Denver, the mile high city, the
westbound traveler will be faced with a wall of mountains. The road follows the valley along with the Colorado River and heads westbound, climbing
the steep passes at Vail before descending into a desert-like environment as you continue west to Utah's canyonlands. In the southwest corner of the
state the San Juan Mountains are found. Among these steep mountains are where Telluride, Silverton, and Ouray are located. A great deal of mining was
done in this area and it's one of the Meccas for Jeep owners in this country.
Rocky Mountain National Park is located right outside Estes Park, Colorado. An easy 1 hour drive north of Denver, this park
is filled with scenic mountain vistas and wildlife. Elk herds are abundant in this area and also filter down into Estes Park's fringe areas. The
clang of Bighorn Sheep can be heard echoing through the valleys and if you're lucky, Beaver will be out and about rather than sleeping in their dens.
This photo journal only deals with a portion of Colorado. There is much more than shown here but hopefully these images may give
you a feel for what it's like.
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