Crystal Lake

Last Dollar Road

Yellow Rose Area

Governor's Basin

Silver Basin


Silverton Abstracts

Red Mountains up Corkscrew Gulch

Gray Copper Gulch Area

California Pass

Photography workshop in Ouray, Colorado

July 2012

In mid July 2012, Kathy and I went to Ouray, Colorado to take a photography workshop run by the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. The workshop was called "Colorado Mountains and Wildflowers". The write-up on the workshop mentioned that Ouray was almost 8,000 feet above sea level and that we would enjoy "back country excursions in a 4-wheel drive jeep". It did not mention that we would spend several hours every day above 12,000 feet. If Kathy had known this, she probably would not have gone on the trip. But she did great and really enjoyed being in the high mountain meadows every day.

The first morning we drove up to Crystal Lake (photo below). It was a great location for our first shoot. And we didn't have to leave the hotel until 7:30 AM - our latest start of the week. Here are some more pictures from Crystal Lake.

Crystal Lake Reflections

That evening we drove out past Ralph Lauren's place to "Last Dollar Road". Kathy shot the panorama below there. Here are some more pictures from Last Dollar Road.

Last Dollar Road Panorama

- - - - - - - - - - -

The next morning we headed out at 6:30 AM for our first 4-wheel drive adventure. At first we were on "normal" gravel roads. But then we turned off onto steep, narow trails with ruts and boulders. We headed up to the Camp Bird, Imogene Basin and Yellow Rose mine areas that are between 11,000 and 12,000 feet. We photographed waterfalls, flowers (see below), mountains and mountain meadows. Here are some more pictures from those areas.

Flower near Yellow Rose

- - - - - - - - - - -

The next morning we again headed out at 6:30 AM for our second off-road adventure. We drove up to Governor's Basin, a stark high mountain meadow with wonderful flowers (the picture below). Here are some more pictures from that area.

Governor's Basin

At 4:00 PM that same day we headed back up to another mountain meadow - Silver Basin. In addition to flowers and mountain vistas, Silver Basin had a lake with reflections. It also had a lone red figure fot Kathy to photograph - see below. Here are some more pictures from Silver Basin.

Silver Basin - Man with Red Jacket

- - - - - - - - - - -

The next afternoon we drove down to Silverton, a town even smaller than Ouray. Once you get off the main street, the streets are not paved. But it is a quaint little town. We wandered the streets and took pictures of anything interesting. Kathy took the panorama below on our drive back to Ouray. Here are some pictures from Silverton. And here are some abstracts that we took in Silverton. The first one is mine; the rest are Kathy's.

Red Mountains on the Silverton Highway

- - - - - - - - - - -

The next day was our longest day. The jeep excursion started at about 6:00 AM, went to several locations, and didn't return until after 5:00 PM. At one point we got up to 13,000 feet.

First we headed up Corkscrew Gulch to the top of a red mountain at about 11,500 feet. We stayed there for a couple of hours. Here are some of the pictures.

Red Mountain up Corkscrew Gulch

Next we headed up over a high pass and down into a basin with ponds that reflected the red mountains. Not many people visit this remote area of Gray Copper Gulch. We ate our lunch here on the side of a grassy hill. Here are some of the pictures.

Gray Copper Gulch Area

After lunch we headed up and drove past Lake Como and then we went up to California Pass. We all walked up to the top of the hill where we were above 13,000 feet. Here are some of the pictures.

Later we stopped at Animus Forks, an abandoned mine and ghost town. Finally in late afternoon we drove down to Silverton and then back to Ouray on the highway. The next day we had critiques and prepared to head home. It had been a very full week, but it had been fun and rewarding.

C. Brandon Jones
email: Brandon "at"
updated January 30, 2013