The San Juan Mountains have more square miles of alpine tundra than anywhere in the lower 48. And with such a short growing season (approximately 180 days), this delicate ecozone makes a most impressive effort to put forth as much life as possible before the inevitable snows. As the colorful flora peaks at dizzying levels, heres an up close view of high country gems.

White paintbrush. Rock primrose. Healthy heads of kings crown. A lush bundle of Indian paintbrush grows along a sunny