Land of the Dead Tree

Land of the Dead Tree

Off we went
On an ordinary hike
Heard the woeful coo of a mourning dove.

High on the ridge
The sound resonated in our hearts
And raised us up nine thousand feet above.

To the Land of the Dead Tree

Our journey began at the Old Cabin Crossing, a neglected remnant of days gone by. We continued on a lonely path through mysterious Dark Forest all the way up to Windy Saddle. From there we traversed prickly Cactus Pass and climbed onto Flattop Rocks.

Racing daybreak, we dashed under Sunshine Arch into a high mountain meadow. There it was... The Land of the Dead Tree. Just in time, golden grasses were flickering in the morning light. Blue Volcanoes appeared hazily in the east and Bergen Peak was a stoic sentinel to the south.

The Western White Mountains of the Great Divide were a spectacle. We soaked in the sun but on the shortest day of the year, rays began to vanish. As the afternoon faded into evening, we had to say goodbye. Because as you probably already know, all good things must come to an end.

Old Cabin Crossing

Mysterious Black Forest

Flattop Rocks

A high mountain meadow

Golden grasses

Blue Volcanoes

Stoic Bergen Peak

The Western White Mountains


  1. Thanks for this picturesque narrative of hiking these special sites. As a boy I spent a summer or two in aspen and this post brings back pleasant memories of nature connections. You have given me a bit of vicarious nature connection which would not otherwise be available at this time. Thanks again and all the best in the new year!

    1. You're welcome and thank you. I enjoy living in Evergreen - hiking, photographing and drawing the landscape and wildlife of this area. The narratives are kind of a digital journal expressing my impressions. I'm glad you liked it.

  2. I love your posts on the beautiful sights and hikes you have in Colorado. This is very beautiful and I hope someday we are able to take a leisurely trip out west to explore. Thanks for sharing Dan!

    1. Thanks Judi, it's always fun to get out on the trails. It's interesting when we go on the hikes how the kids come up with creative names for certain landmarks during our trek. I was hoping to emphasize that in this post. It makes a simple walk seem like an exotic expedition into "The Land of the Lost".


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