Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Aspen Colors From Abajo Peak

Fall colors nearing their peak on the lower slopes of the Abajo Mountains, September 25.
The Abajo Mountains are a small mountain range near Monticello and Blanding in southeast Utah.

It's a small mountain range because in geologic terms it's a laccolith -- a spot in the Earth's crust where magma was forced to the surface without breaking the surface. No lava flow. More like a group of skin blisters that hardened in place.

The tallest peak is Abajo Peak, 11,330 feet in elevation at its summit. It's often called Blue Mountain by the locals, or even "the Mountain". It's public land, on the Manti-La Sal National Forest.

The aspen colors have been nearing their peak in the high country of Utah and Colorado. So on a sunny Sunday morning I drove up to the summit of Abajo Peak for a look around from above.

And in this photograph you can see how much elevation affects vegetation, in this case aspen forests. Notice how the aspen stands (clones, actually) at the upper elevations are at their peak fall color, while the lower slopes are still mostly green, just beginning to turn colors.

Photo location: Abajo Peak, Manti-La Sal National Forest, San Juan County, southeast Utah.

© Copyright 2016 Stephen J. Krieg