Autumn at The Castles Gunnison, Colorado

Well, my friends, I bring to you another series of fall in the West Elk Wilderness of Colorado. The Castles are extraordinary and nearly otherworldly volcanic rock formations. They stand as natures statues and tower over a valley of earths wonders, most prominently, the grove of quaking Aspens (especially during falls peak). The snow-capped mountains, vividly colored trees, soft light on the horizon and rigidness of the ancient rocks provided much more than a picturesque landscape. There was a profound stillness that invoked self-reflection and an infinite depth of wonder.

My Kind Of Castles

The Castles during fall, near Gunnison. Colorado Aspens at fall underneath The Castles, near Gunnison, Colorado Victoria Lise 2017Golden Aspens beneath The Castles, near Crested Butte, Colorado. Victoria Lise 2017Fall in the West Elk Wilderness Colorado. Victoria Lise 2017

The last light on The Castles during fall, near Crested Butte, Colorado. Victoria Lise 2017

For the curious mind like my own, I found a little info on how The Castles formed and what they are largely made up of on

“The predominant rock type of the West Elks is the West Elk Breccia… A breccia is an amalgamation of fragments of andesite scattered within a matrix of welded tuff. It forms from extremely violent volcanic eruptions that shred the surrounding bedrock and deposit bits of it along with layers of white-hot ash. The ash then welds itself together producing a somewhat durable rock that erodes to produce a myriad of sculpted forms.  The volcanics that produced the West Elks occurred about 34 million years ago (about the same time the San Juans were blowing themselves apart). “

So interesting right?! #themoreyouknow

Snow on the Castles and fall foliage below. Colorado. Victoria Lise 2017Fall colors in the West Elk Wilderness, Colorado. Victoria Lise 2017 Cattle graze beneath The Castles during fall, near Gunnison, Colorado. Victoria Lise 2017

These photographs were captured during evenings light on a relatively clear October day. It was no exaggeration when I said the captures of this season would have to be layed out over multiple posts. However, the leaves have now fallen and the high snow is here to stay but our temps in town have been similar to those of late may. 60’s and sunny which means extended adventure time on what I call ‘dry land’.

I hope you enjoyed this series of captures!

As always, thank you for joining me here ♥

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  1. Those autumn colours, wow!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They were truly remarkable this season! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your kind insights!! x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful! Fall is incredible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jake! It truly is. I am learning to appreciate it more as I get older and really relish in the intimate moments with each season. Hope all is well!!


  3. Debi walls

    Love love the scenes you capture great work ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! I appreciate you saying so immensely!! xo


  4. YAWZAAA!!! Amazing photographic talent Tori

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so incredibly much, Diner!! I am so appreciative of your support! xo


  5. NICE! I have seen these formations from a distance and would like to find a way to get closer. Where did you shoot this from?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Denise! You can access them from Ohio pass from either Gunnison or Crested Butte. In gunnison you would head toward Crested Butte making a left hand turn just after the restaurant Garlic Mikes which will then take you from Crested Butte and from Crested Butte you take Kebler pass from town following Ohio pass when it splits just before Irwin. There are plenty of hiking trails off of Ohio pass leading even closer to the castles.

      Liked by 1 person

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