As we proceeded to the top of Ophir we realized just how much the landscapes would change in these conditions. Mountains have micro climates and micro ecosystems that are unique unto themselves and because of this change dramatically with elevation. It's a term known as "Attitudinal Zonation".
0 - 2,500 Ft. | Hot Earth
It's here that all of your common fruits grow, bananas, sugarcane, apples, oranges, ect.
2,500 - 6,000 Ft. | Temperate Earth
This is where things start to change drastically, only a few vegetables and lots of evergreens, small plants grow here.
6,000 - 12,000 Ft. | Cold Earth
This is where the greatest change occurs. Where this altitude changes starts is somewhat debated. Ouray is located at about 7,700 ft. which was the start of our trail, and still many small plants and large evergreens where growing. However it's within this line that large trees can no longer grow.
12,000 - Above | Snow line
Here is where the snow stays solid year round. You'll also find mountain animals like sheep and goats grazing on small plants located at the bottom of the zone. On a trail later on in the trip, a gentleman asked me to pull off the grass from CPS (Colorado Park Service) (A tire was ever so slightly on the grass, I promise) However; he proceeded to tell us that grass at that elevation can take up to 100 years to grow 6" long and it was important it remain pristine. Something I couldn't argue with.
Christian shot this before we reached the summit. It's gives you a great idea of what the terrain looks like at these extreme elevations.
christian leigh photographyflowersbluepurplerocksrockyterrainmountain flowersTwo Who Wander, from
Reaching the Highest State - Colorado by Jeep