Tag Archives: Colorado Rockies

Loveland Pass, Colorado – Top of The Continental Divide

As I stated last week, my wife and I were in Colorado for the first week of July. We were there to support our daughter by taking care of our granddaughter during the day for mom. Our daughter is in charge of shooting a multi episode show with her production company filming crew. Most of the filming was in and around an old historic mining town and it entailed long days for them. She and her husband had just gotten back from Europe and she didn’t want another week of missing her daughter. We gladly said we’d be more than happy to help out and it gave us the opportunity to show our granddaughter our old stomping grounds. We moved from the Denver area 30 years ago this fall to San Diego, so we welcomed the opportunity to spend some time in an area we love.

This weeks post is number 2 of 3 from Colorado. Last week was focused on the Lake Dillon area just west of the continental divide, with this week being Loveland Pass which goes over the continental divide. Heading west from Denver when we arrived, we followed Interstate 70 winding through the front range going to the Eisenhower Tunnel (under the continental divide) coming out to the valley with Lake Dillon as featured last week. This week finds us heading back to the Denver area, but going over Loveland Pass which is the pass above the Eisenhower Tunnel. We thought it would be something our granddaughter would enjoy as it is so different than anything she has experienced (our granddaughter is still talking about the mountain she went to the top of when she was in Colorado).

Loveland Pass 1

The highway winds its way up the western slope of the Continental Divide, climbing in altitude and bringing you above tree-line as you approach the pass. Tree-line in this part of the Rockies is approximately 11,500ft /3,500m.

Loveland Pass 2

As we wind our way near the pass, we have just climbed above the tree-line when i stopped to take this picture…please note the blue sky and puffy white clouds as I look west back towards the area we came from.  I point this out as you will see dark storm clouds as my shots rotate to the east towards Denver (again typical afternoon thunderstorms for this time of year).

Loveland Pass 3

We arrive at Loveland Pass elevation 11,990ft / 3,655m to a crowd of folks enjoying the serenity and beauty of the 360 degree panorama. This capture is looking generally north. Please note the hiking trail as both sides of the highway have them leading to trails accessing the summits of nearby mountain peaks.

Loveland Pass 4

Looking slightly northwest as you see one of the trails wind its way across the top of the peaks.

Loveland Pass 5

This shot shows the parking lot and the hiking trail from the last picture. I added it because (and I get it’s hard to see) if you look at the ridge-line of the peak to the left of the obvious group of people going up the trail, you will see a few heads of hikers that are traversing this summit heading to the very top point.

Loveland Pass 6

This is the part of the Continental Divide that the Eisenhower Tunnel goes through………

Loveland Pass 7

This is the trail on the other side of the highway where I was taking pictures from. See the difference in the sky? This is looking southwest towards Colorado Springs along the base of the Rockies south of Denver….looks like they are getting some rain.

Loveland Pass 8

This is a capture of the west side of the pass and the highway we will be taking down to rejoin Interstate 70 heading into Denver. This is looking towards Denver and it looks like they are getting some rain also.

Loveland pass 9

As we wind our way back towards tree line, I took this shot of the Loveland Ski area. It starts down by the Eisenhower tunnel and has ski slopes carved into the thick forest at lower elevations and also has runs above tree-line. Since it’s quick and easy to access from Denver, we spent many a day off skiing here.

Next week I’m going to post a blog highlighting downtown Denver. For most of the week we were staying in the mountains just west of Denver proper, but we did spend the last two days in downtown proper. Denver has a very dynamic downtown and has done an incredible job creating a true living/working core to this great city (ok, I’m biased…but it really is cool).

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Colorado High Country – Just West of The Continental Divide by Lake Dillon

Last week my wife and I were in Colorado. I thought that over the next few weeks I would share some of the captures I acquired while we were there. This week I wanted to share pictures in the Lake Dillon area (officially called Dillon Reservoir, but I have always referred to it as Lake Dillon).

We were actually there to support our daughter by taking care of our granddaughter during the day for mom. Our daughter is in charge of shooting a pilot show with her filming crew for their production company. Most of the filming was in and around an old historic mining town and it entailed long days for them. She and her husband had just gotten back from Europe and didn’t want another week of missing her daughter. We gladly said we’d be more than happy to help out and it gave us the opportunity to show our granddaughter our old stomping grounds. We moved from the Denver area 30 years ago this fall to San Diego, so we welcomed the opportunity to spend some time in an area we love.

I’m going to share captures in the order of our trip with this being the first area followed by a group of captures from the top of Loveland Pass ending with downtown Denver.

Denver sits on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains with the city spreading north and south along the front range. Interstate 70 runs through the city coming from the east (Kansas and beyond). Taking it west, you immediately start climbing in altitude as you enter the extreme western suburbs. In the front range just west of Denver are a series of 14,000 ft peaks running north and south….this range is part of the continental divide for North America. As Interstate 70 winds its way through the foothills, it approaches the continental divide. Just under the continental divide is the Eisenhower Tunnel (approximately 1.5 miles/3km in length), bringing you out to a stunning valley on the western side where Lake Dillon is located. The area near Lake Dillon is also home to two major ski destinations…Keystone and the town of Breckinridge. So without further ado, I share 8 captures from this beautiful valley in the Colorado high country.

The place we stayed is up on a bluff with a spectacular view across the valley near the towns of Silverthorne and Dillon.

Lake Dillon Area 1

Lake Dillon Area 2

Lake Dillon Area 3

Interstate 70 is the line at the bottom of the cut in the rock heading west after leveling out in the valley coming down from the tunnel.

Lake Dillon Area 4

Lake Dillon Area 5

All of these shots were taken from the hotel property where we were staying. We really had a great panoramic view of the valley and all of the surrounding mountain ranges (a true 360 of mountains).

Lake Dillon Area 6

This is the boat dock area on the lake. On a side note the week we were in Colorado (early July) was a week of the infamous afternoon thunderstorms that are normal in the mountains and along the front range in Denver. You can see some of them building in the prior two captures and in the next one.

Lake Dillon Area 7

Lake Dillon Area 8

The lake captures were taken on our way back towards Denver taking the highway up to Loveland Pass over the continental divide instead of taking the tunnel back under it. I’m sharing a shoot I did on top of the pass next week.

I have to say our granddaughter was in awe with all of the snow capped mountains.

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