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Mount Audubon Trail - Winter
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Keisha, our Alaskan Malamute, hadn't been out for a good hike in a couple weeks, so Sunday, October 11th, 2009, Suzy and I put her in the jeep and headed for the Indians Peaks Wilderness Area, south of Rocky Mountain National Park. We half expected the road to the trailheads to be closed for the season, so it wasn't until we pulled into the parking lot that we made our decision to hike the Mount Audubon Trail. Working up the trail, it wasn't long before we started warming up, so when we stopped to remove our outer jackets, I took this shot looking out at the ridges southwest of us.

View looking southwest from the Indian Peaks, Mount Audubon Trail

Approaching timberline, we stopped to take a few more photos. The Colorado Front Range had a low cloud cover that extended well up into the foothills.

View looking northeast from timberline on the Indian Peaks, Mount Audubon trail

As I took shots with the telephoto lens, I was reminded of scenes from the movie " The Day After Tomorrow".

Telephoto shot of low clouds covering the Colorado Front Range foothills

It was extremely fun taking all these shots, but with lack of movement, wind chill becomes quite obvious, so we either had to pull out our heavier coats or move on.

Yet another shot of low clouds covering the Colorado Front Range foothills

The mountains were beautiful with this early season snow cover. What seemed cool to me though, was looking east down at the Front Range cloud cover, and then west up at the clouds rolling in over the higher peaks.

View southwest from above timberline on the Indian Peaks, Mount Audubon Trail

This was the view looking southeast towards Denver. I tried to imagine what the view would have been like from the upper floors, had any of the buildings in the downtown area been able to penetrate the clouds.

Looking southeast from above timberline on the Indian Peaks, Mount Audubon Trail

Keisha, over 9 years old now, amazes me in these conditions. As it gets colder and the snow deeper, more and more puppy surfaces in her. She looked spring loaded and full of life jumping in and out of the deep snowdrifts along the trail. This is what she loves. According to my GPS, the elevation where I took this shot of Suzy with Keisha was 12,060 feet. From here though, it was obvious that Mount Audubon was in the upper cloud layer, so there would be no view from the summit; and as we ascended, the wind was getting increasingly harder to ignore, so with this being our highpoint, we turned back.

Suzy and Keisha smiling for a picture at 12,000 feet on the Indian Peaks, Mount Audubon Trail

Before getting back below timberline, and losing, much of the view, I had to stop and get one more cloud shot with the telephoto lens. Oh, what a beautiful day!

Telephoto shot looking southeast of peak penetrating clouds covering the Colorado Front Range foothills

Indian Peaks Wilderness Area Topo Map

Indian Peaks Wilderness @ SummintPost.org

Area Guide Books

Gerry Roach
Colorado's Indian Peaks: Classic Hikes and Climbs

Bob D'Antonio
Hiking Colorado's Indian Peaks Wilderness

Click for Nederland, Colorado Forecast