7 Day Needle/Grenadier Trek

This last week we went on a 7-day backpacking trek through the Needle Mountains and Grenadier Range, the most rugged portions of the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado. Here are some snapshots from the trip. See my gallery of photos from the trip here.

hiking in the Needle Mountains, Colorado

The route we took passes through four rugged valleys and over three high passes. This is a strenuous wilderness route, seldom travelled, with slight unmarked trails for only about half the way. The rest of the way requires good map reading, terrain intuition, some bushwhacking, and lots of trial and error. This is the third time I’ve done a long high route in the Needle Mountains, and every time I get a bit lost at some point(s)!

photographing Knife Point

Here I am with the camera.


hiking in the Needle Mountains, Colorado

More off-trail hiking, with the ever-present dramatic backdrop.

hiking by an alpine lake, colorado

Hiking by an unnamed alpine lake.

hiking in the Needle Mountains, Colorado

Here comes Claudia!

jumping into alpine lake

Never pass up an opportunity for some high alpine cliff jumping! Here I am dropping out of the sky.

hiking through a rock field

Can you spot Claudia? Lots of scrambling through rock fields too..

in sleeping bag on summit of Peak 3

Claudia stays warm as we watched and photographed the sunrise from the summit of Peak Three in the Grenadiers.

>> SEE MY GALLERY OF PHOTOS FROM THE TREK HERE! <<

6 thoughts on “7 Day Needle/Grenadier Trek

  1. Awesome series Jack, you keep getting better. Love the Sunset light beams and Sunrise alpenglow light on Storm King Peak. You really excel at those high up photo shoots.

  2. I’m so glad you’re back in the San Juans! Who else would go to such out-of-the-way places and take such stunning, glowing, shockingly beautiful pictures? The light is incredibly impressive in these. Sounds like a great trip. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Severely under commented trip! God…those pictures are amazing. You are getting better at photography Jack! Ruby lake images are amazing.. but your tilt/shift image you posted the other day was also crazy beautiful. I think ‘Sunset light beams into Noname valley in the Needle Mountains.’ has special light and it is really unique…

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