Handies Peak and Colorado Colors

Two weeks ago, Sarah and I took a road trip which involved almost seven mountain passes, one 14er, and a whole lot of autumn colors. We traveled from Denver to Gunnison to Handies Peak to Glenwood to Denver, with high hopes of catching a sight of a few golden aspen leaves. We were a little worried when we got to the top of Kenosha Pass and saw lots of leafless-aspen trees, but we continued on through the darkness to arrive at Steve and Sarah’s place in Gunnison.

Sarah getting started

The next day, Steve, Sarah B and I drove to Lake City and up Cinnamon Pass road to climb Handies Peak. Despite a late start, we made our way to the summit fairly easily, enjoying the fantastic weather and taking lots of pictures of Sarah in her red sweater, which contrasted so well with the yellow alpine tundra and traces of snow on north-facing aspects (Steve would agree, as you can see from his photos).

Sarah higher up
Steve on Edge

We found ourselves on a mild summit in no time, where Steve and I cracked some PBRs, seeing how that was the only source of nourishment. Sarah, on the other hand, decided to wait until we got back to the car to get her caloric intake.

Summit of Handies

After a night of fun with Steve and both Sarahs, Sarah and I headed up to Crested Butte the next day, where we found a farmers’ market in full swing before we started up Kebler Pass. The lack of colors on the Crested Butte side was certainly worrisome, because we had yet to see a massive color explosion. Coming down from the summit of Kebler, however, we got what we wanted.

A color explosion! on Kebler Pass

We pulled over several times to take photos and also just to enjoy the beautiful views, in particular when we walked into the aspens for a quick walk.

Sarah’s red sweater once again making for some good photography
A beautiful time of year

The final stop on Kebler Pass was this overlook, which was probably the most beautiful view on the entire trip (the drive down the east side of McClure Pass, however, was pretty darn good too).

Final view from Kebler Pass

From here, we met up with a frantic father of mine, caught up with John and my parents over fine Mexican food, and headed back to the city. It was a great weekend to provide me with some relaxation before the busy month of October.


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