Western Colorado is known for warm summers and bitterly cold winters. In the mountains, the temperature range can be more than 100º F, with lows around -30º in the depths of winter. Nowhere is the change more evident than in the magnificent waterfalls that can be found where high country rivers encounter cliffs and canyons. I've chosen four examples - some well-known and some not - to demonstrate the transformation that takes place each year.
In the first example, a huge waterfall that amazes onlookers with both its beauty and accompanying roar falls almost silent as ice encases all but the vertical walls of rock.
Smaller falls are more easily silenced, but if you listen closely you can hear the river flowing under ice and snow.
Some waterfalls are very hard to reach in winter, and as a result very few people get to see them. In this case, it involved an 8 hour round trip on skis.
Other falls lie hidden in the forest, away from trails and roads, but are no less spectacular at any time of the year.
Rocky Mountain winters are particularly harsh. Aside from the cold temperatures, deep snow calls for skis and snowshoes when exploring wilderness. Even so, the need for any additional effort and equipment is made worthwhile by stunning views like these.
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