|Pass Lakes, Colorado|
The ascent begins in the foothills and gradually transforms into an alpine environment where only the strong can survive. Ultimately, the wide open wilderness emerges from a dense woodland called Arapaho National Forest.
High on the Continental Divide, a trio of cobalt-colored lakes dot the tundra landscape. The shimmering, blue jewels are set in a spectacular, flower-filled basin just below the summit of Loveland Pass.
Taking place above tree line, a ring of purple peaks towers over the scenic cirque. Fixed boulders have cascaded onto the plain in a random arrangement, forming a nice foreground for a picture of Colorado perfection.
As beautiful as anywhere in the state, the convenient locale sits smack in the middle between bustling ski resorts. A persistent jaunt will lead you away from the pack and into a paradise of mountainous proportions.
After spending such a glorious day so close to the sun, it's hard to imagine that in a couple of months this place will be buried under deep snow. It's still summer in the lowlands but up here the cool air and swept grasses indicate that a drastic change is blowing in the wind.
|Arapahoe National Forest|
|Cobalt lakes dot the tundra landscape|
|A flower-filled basin|
|Just below Loveland Pass|
|A scenic cirque|
|A cascade of boulders|
|A beautiful locale|