Landscape Photography
of James L. Snyder

Golden Aspens, West Elk Mountains
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Golden Aspens, West Elk Mountains
Linhof Master Technika 2000 camera, 210mm Rodenstock Sironar-N f/5.6 lens, polarizer, Fujicolor Pro 160S film, 3 exposures, 221 megapixels
All Images ©Copyright 2010 James L. Snyder. All Rights Reserved

Golden Aspens, West Elk Mountains

Kebler Pass Road (Gunnison County Road 12), Somerset, CO, 9/25/2011

On a crystal clear early autumn day, I explored Gunnison National Forest and the West Elk Mountains of Colorado on my way to the town of Crested Butte. Here is the view south from Gunnison County Road 12 at an elevation of 7,825 feet above sea level, looking out over Snowshoe Mesa behind a row of golden quaking aspen trees (Populus tremuloides). We're directly above Schaefer Creek and Grouse Spring Creek. This scene attracted me because of its colorful trees and shrubs, all backlit by strong afternoon sunlight. Backlighting really brings out the colors in autumn foliage! In the distance at left is West Beckwith Peak, which has an elevation of 12,185 feet. At right is Mount Gunnison, elevation 12,719 feet. The county, the national forest, and Mount Gunnison are named after John Williams Gunnison (November 11, 1812 - October 26, 1853), who was an American military officer and explorer. The mountain at left is named after Lieutenant (later Brigadier General) Edward Griffin Beckwith (June 25, 1818 - June 22, 1881), one of the most significant explorers of the Great Basin. On May 3, 1853, Captain Gunnison, a member of the Corps of Topographic Engineers, received orders from President Franklin Pierce to take charge of an expedition to survey the best and safest route for a transcontinental railroad between the 38th and 39th parallels. Lieutenant Beckwith was assistant commander. The surveying party left St. Louis, Missouri in June 1853 and arrived by mid October in Utah Territory. There they began the search for a possible route, surveying areas across the Rocky Mountains.

Golden Aspens, West Elk Mountains

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