If you’re driving around in the Rocky Mountains on a warm day when the snow is melting fast, you will probably come across a random waterfall or 2 in your travels.  I was lucky enough to find this one on a recent trip up Guanella Pass Scenic Byway, a 24-mile stretch of bumpy dirt road running from the small town of Grant on 285 to Georgetown off I70.  At an elevation reaching 11,669-feet, the pass takes you between Mount Evans and Mount Bierstadt, two of Colorado’s Fourteeners (peaks that climb to 14,000 feet).

Feeling the need to be in the mountains again, I charged the batteries on the camera, loaded up the Jeep and headed off with only a rough idea of where I was going.  We’ve had some unseasonably warm weather the past couple of weeks, and the forecast is for that to go away very soon, replaced once again by snow and ice, so I knew if I wanted to get away, now was the time to do it.

Guanella Pass offered up gorgeous views and the odd mix of 55 degree weather while surrounded by snow capped peaks, half-frozen creeks, and a quiet you can only get in the wild.  On a wicked curve climbing up, I caught site of this waterfall out of the corner of my eye and had to stop:

Click for a larger image

There were still frozen areas but the water was rushing right through, or at times, below the frozen bits, which made for a wonderful image.  The only sound here was the rushing of that water and the occasional calling of a bird or two.

Here’s a close up view of one area that shows the snow and ice still clinging to the rock:

Click for a larger view

Sadly, I wasn’t actually able to cross the entire pass from Grant to Georgetown.  Ten or so miles in, I came across a sign warning that from that point on, there was no plowing, shoveling or snowmelt efforts on the pass during winter.  About a mile later, I hit an area where the road was terrible, covered in snow, hard ice and melt, making for a dangerous combination I didn’t feel like trying to navigate.

Still, I have a lot of photos from the area that I’ll be sharing over the next few weeks.


1 Comment

  • Paul (@princejvstin) Posted March 16, 2012 10:28 am

    Pretty little cascades you took there, Patrick.

    This reminds me of the upper reaches of the North Shore on the fateful trip that got me stopped by US customs a couple of years back. There was lots of ice and snow still on the rocks and area around the waterfalls…

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