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10 Photos of Colorado's Grand Summer Landscapes

Summers in Colorado's high alpine region are undeniably spectacular. From sweeping vistas of lush green mountainsides blanketed with alpine wildflowers, to majestic craggy mountain peaks looming over azure blue lakes. The diversity of epic landscapes here is truly staggering and worth every breathless step in the high elevations.

By: Adrien Patanè + Save to a List


Colorado is certainly known for its epic display of alpine wildflowers, with Crested Butte considered the epicenter of floral beauty. Yet much closer, lesser known locales, including Butler Gulch and my personal favorite Herman Gulch are just under an hour's drive from Denver and they put on a staggering display of color and diversity. Just be sure to arrive early to catch the great light and avoid the crowds.

Sweeping vistas dotted with wildflowers in Butler Gulch

Butler Gulch's upper bowl covered in wildflowers

Brightly colored Indian Paintbrush blanket the upper slopes of Herman Gulch

Alpine Lakes and Mountain Passes

Thanks to abundant snowmelt, staggeringly beautiful lakes form in the sub-alpine regions. Surrounded by verdant green grasses and brightly colored flowers, some truly amazing scenes can be found - camping overnight can ensure solitude, prime access for sunrise locations and still waters for perfect reflections.

A colorful sunrise from the upper reaches of Herman Gulch

Lake reflections in the Gore Range with Uneva Pass on the horizon

Epic views of 12,380ft Uneva Pass

One of Southern Colorado's crown jewels absolutely has to be the Ice and Island Lakes trail in the San Juan Mountains. Time it right and this epic adventure will take you through vast fields of shoulder height alpine blooms, across sparkling creeks and past misty waterfalls to azure blue lakes flanked by 13,000ft peaks and moody clouds.

Stunning views every which way you look.

Price of passage is a 3,000ft elevation gain over 5 miles to a summit of 12,500ft

Turquoise waters of Island Lake

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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