|"Indian Peaks Winter" Colored Pencil|
The Indian Peaks are buried under deep snow on a cold, December morning. The evergreens appear black during the winter as they contrast starkly against the fresh, white snow. Navajo, Apache and Shoshoni Peaks take on a golden hue that compliments the bright, blue sky. It's the perfect time to be snowshoeing through the pristine basin, one of my favorite places in Colorado.
Recent glacial action has sculpted the young mountains unveiling serrated ridges and an intimidating shark's teeth profile. The place was sacred to the Paleo-Indian people who traversed the high alpine passes thousands of years ago. Not long ago, the Arapaho tribe would migrate up from the eastern plains during the warmer months to hunt and fish in the bountiful area.
To honor those early inhabitants, many of the peaks are named after western, Native American tribes. Seven summits are over 13,000 feet and more than 50 turquoise lakes dot the landscape. They are dazzling remnants of North America's southernmost permanent glaciers. Each summer the profusion of wildflowers attracts a multitude of visitors. The sweet fragrance is intoxicating but I still prefer the unique beauty of a snow-covered landscape.