Wednesday, September 30, 2009

High Color: Alpine Tundra in Autumn

This little photo essay is the result of trips to Summit Lake, at the base of Mt. Evans, on September 9th and 18th, 2009. Fall was well underway, and no less spectacular than the aspens at lower elevations. It is now winter there at 12,800 ft (3,900 m). The Mt. Evans road is closed for the season, and you can no longer drive even as far as Summit Lake.

Above is the main trail from the parking lot to the Chicago Lakes Overlook. Next summer it will be replaced by a new trail on a better alignment, thanks to a grant from the State Trails program. The deep red color is provided by the leaves of Alpine Avens, Acomastylis (formerly Geum) rossii, a common tundra wildflower in the Rose Family.

This old social trail was revegetated just last summer, at least up to the point where bare gravel is showing. Somewhat to my surprise, placing chunks of tundra turf in the old trail bed has been very successful in obliterating this old scar.


Dave Coulter said...

Looks like an awesome spot!

Becca said...

What a beautiful blog you have.