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Trees around Telluride - just photos

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:32 pm
by Matt Markworth

I spent some time in and around Telluride last August and just wanted to share some photos, not that photos can do the trees/scenery/town any justice. Great, great spot nestled in the San Juan Mountains (thanks to Bob Leverett for introducing me to them!).

I got dropped off in town and got picked up 16 days later. It was liberating to be on foot for that long without a car, and I found some good spots in the surrounding national forest for backpacking/camping.

The year before I had a car and got to some lower elevations where there are some nice blue spruce. Those measurements can be found here:

Douglas-fir doing its best bristlecone pine impression:
Douglas-fir lightning strike scar:
Nice Engelmann spruce at 11,790':
Nice Engelmann spruce grove a little farther down:
Engelmann spruce roots:
Aspen helping to bring down an old miners cabin:
Aspen pretty high above the canyon:
Cool subalpine fir bark, this pattern is more broken than is typical for the area:
T 8.jpg
The view of Telluride from 13,230', the town is middle left in the photo, Ajax Peak is one of the iconic peaks seen from town and it's middle right in the photo:
Looking down Colorado Ave. before sundown:
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Re: Trees around Telluride - just photos

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:17 pm
by dbhguru

We are in your debt over these excellent photos. They bring back so many delightful memories. I look forward to returning to southwestern Colorado.


Re: Trees around Telluride - just photos

Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:53 am
by Matt Markworth

I was back in Colorado in late September/early October of this year. It was the fifth year in a row starting with the NTS Old-Growth Conference in 2014 - fond memories.

This was the second time driving it. It's amazing the variety of landscapes. Last time I came down from Wyoming, but this time entered through Kansas, over to Colorado Springs, Highway 50 (awesome) over to Montrose, down to Telluride, up to Aspen, Highway 82 out of Aspen, then up to Denver and back out through Kansas.

Hermosa Creek was still closed, understandably so, due to the fire. Sounds like Dutch Creek got hit hard, with likely losses of the big Doug fir there and possibly the big blue spruce there. I think the tallest blue spruce probably survived, and I doubt anyone has been over to the big blue spruce on Clear Creek. Based on the mosaic pattern of the fire, my guess would be about half of the known height superlatives were lost, but who knows without ground-truthing.

View from Monarch Pass (Highway 50), there are larger swaths of dead spruce compared to what I've seen in the San Juans:
Road leading into Telluride:
Aspens starting to turn in Telluride:
Jeep switchback road up to Bridal Veil Falls, through aspens and Engelmann spruce:
Various scenes from the abandoned mining camp Tomboy:

Re: Trees around Telluride - just photos

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:48 pm
by dbhguru

Thanks for sharing. Many good memories. Colorado's San Juans are one of those very special places that draw us back. It is too bad that the drought conditions may change the character of those great mountains and beautiful forests.


Re: Trees around Telluride - just photos

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:37 pm
by ElijahW

What a beautiful place. It’s been six or seven years since was in southern Colorado, but I still remember driving over Monarch Pass and the crazy colors of the rock formations along the Gunnison. Thanks for the photos,


Re: Trees around Telluride - just photos

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:09 am
by Larry Tucei
Matt- Great photos showing the beauty of Southwestern Colorado. Can't wait to get back out there. Larry

Re: Trees around Telluride - just photos

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:52 am
by Don
Many things of note in your pleasing array of Colorado countryside!
The one I'll limit myself to comment on is the lightning-struck Douglas fir...I'm guessing wildly that the dbh is somewhere around 30". If that's so, the bark characteristics are those of a rather old Doug fir, by the relative width of furrows and 'ribs'...the adversity added to the apparent site dryness (another WAG) by the rather prominent scar from the lightning strike might have slowed the tree's growth some during it's "repair". Don't know about the rest of the tree, but it sure has character!