In July 2006 we went on a family vacation to southwest Colorado, visting Victorian-era
mining towns and hiking in the San Juan mountains.  Here are some pictures from that trip.

Our first stop was Telluride, a busy ski resort in winter but quieter in summer. Here are Fran and Alex sampling ice-cream on the main street.

Fran at Bear Creek Falls, a short hike from Telluride.

Martin on the Bear Creek trail.   The town of Telluride is at the bottom of the valley in the distance.

Fran and Alex on the Bear Creek Trail.

Fran and Alex at Bridalveil Falls, another waterfall close to Telluride.

From Telluride we drive south to Mesa Verde National Park.  Here are Fran and Alex by the side of the road with Wilson Peak (14,017') behind them.

Alex at Mesa Verde National Park.  Mesa Verde is the site of native American cliff-dwellings dating back to the 13th century AD.

Fran, Alex and Rick on a guided tour of Balcony House, one of the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde.

Cliff House, another of the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde.

A close-up view of some of the structures at Cliff House, Mesa Verde. (These were partially restored in the 1930's.)

After Mesa Verde we headed to the town of Durango.  This is the Stater Hotel, a Victorian-era hotel in Durango.  (We stayed in a nearby motel – not as stylish, but with bigger rooms.)

Durango is the terminus of the Durango & Silverton railway, a 19th century steam-powered railway that's now run as a tourist attraction.

Fran and Alex at the train station in Durango.

Fran, Alex and Rick boarding the train.

The train heading up the Animas river valley on the way to Silverton.  (The river's original name is the Rio de los Animas Perdidas en Purgatorio – the River of Souls Lost in Purgatory.)

Another view of the train heading up the Animas river valley to Silverton.  The journey takes about three hours either way.

All four of us on the main street in Silverton.  The town still looks much the same as it did 125 years ago, except that there are now cars on the street.

Rick trying to escape from the Silverton jail.

  We took the train back to Durango and the next day drove to  Ouray, making a detour en route to drive up the Ophir pass.  Here's Martin at the top of the pass.

The town of Ouray.  Martin's been here before to go ice-climbing – see this page.

Looking up the valley from Ouray.  This photo was taken from the same spot as the previous one.

Alex at Box Canyon Falls, just outside Ouray.

Near Ouray is Mount Sneffels, at 14,150' the highest peak in the San Juans.  Martin did the scramble to the summit while Fran and Alex went hiking in the valley below.

Lower Blue Lake as seen from the trail up Mount Sneffels.  This is where Fran and Alex hiked to.

Upper Blue Lake as seen from the trail up Mount Sneffels.

Looking down the SW ridge of Mount Sneffels.  Martin's climb followed this ridge.

Martin on the summit of Mt. Sneffels (photo courtesy of a couple of climbers who had come up the other side).

Looking east from Mt. Sneffels down to Yankee Boy Basin.  Most people do the climb from this side.

Looking back at Mt. Sneffels from the Blue Lake trail.

Martin and Fran back at the motel in Ouray, relaxing in the hot-tub after the day's exertions.

Fran and Alex in the hot-tub.

Martin, Fran and Alex outside our motel in Ouray,

On our drive back to Denver we stopped to see the views at Black Canyon of the Gunnison.  This is the Painted Wall, a cliff that's 2,000' high.

The view from Pulpit Rock, Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

Martin, Fran and Alex at the Black Canyon, and the end of our trip.