Before I went camping in the snowed-over Great Sand Dunes National Park, on the way out of the tiny town of Del Norte, in Southern Colorado, this is the view of the Rio Grande (Feb 27, 2015).
Flashback to road trip Denver-San Francisco in early October 2014, this was the view from the same location, second week of October 2014:
Along that journey, some more photos:
I got a little distracted by all the natural beauty and ‘Elephant Rocks’ will have to be explored another time. Amazing how diverse this valley is. This is a corner I had never checked out before. I did glimpse some of the Elephants Rocks (in the foreground), though:
Supposedly, so I heard, they were deposited there by a huge distant volcanic explosion and then eroded over the millennia.
I noticed a sign suggesting there’s an arch. In the San Luis Valley? A natural rock arch? Here? (See some photos of Arches National Park in Utah from that aforementioned road trip.) Good I had four-wheel drive… The winding deep-snow dirt road went on for quite a ways. Very cool:
Been coming to this valley for over a decade. I had no idea about this.
Looking the other way, from under the arch. In the far distance on the right you can see the San Luis Valley flat and, further beyond, the Northern Sangre de Cristo mountain range: