• Backpacking Colorado’s San Juan Mountains

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Backpacking Colorado’s San Juan

Backpacking and Photography in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains

The San Juan Mountains of Colorado are considered by many to be the crown jewel of mountain ranges in the lower 48 United States. Rugged terrain, soaring peaks and endless wilderness. Join us on a five day backpacking trip into the Weminuche Wilderness to photograph the Rocky Mountains like you’ve never seen them before!

What to expect
This trip begins in Durango, Colorado where will begin with an orientation, gear check and a discussion of the route. After a good night’s sleep it’s into the hills we go!

This trip will focus on photographing alpine scenery, towering peaks, mountain lakes and rushing rivers. We will be exploring the Weminuche Wilderness by hiking each day and spending our evenings at a scenic location to setup for photographs.

The exact itinerary is different for each trip but you can expect to hike approximately 5-7 miles each day with a full backpack. We will hike during daylight hours and focus on shooting in the mornings and evenings. Occasionally we do layover days if conditions dictate or if storm lighting or other photographic conditions are ideal we may stick around at a particular area to get those shots!

Each day will be full of instruction related to composition, gear operation and technique. Aside from the photography aspect of this trip you will also learn a ton about backpacking and leading your own trips by joining us on this workshop. 

On our last day in the San Juan Mountains we will hike out after morning shooting to catch the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge railroad for a scenic through the Animas Canyon. Our trip will include in Durango and after showers we will head to one of our favorite restaurants in town for a post trip celebratory dinner (optional). You can book flights home any time this evening or the next morning. 

Physical Requirements
All participants must be in good physical condition and have the ability to carry a 35 to 50 pound backpack up to seven miles or more per day and hike at altitudes averaging 10,000 to 12,000 feet in elevation. All participants must complete a registration form which includes a health questionaire. No prior backpacking experience is necessary however it is helpful. 

Group Size
This workshop is limited to six participants to maximize one on one time with the instructor. 

When in the San Juan Mountains we will be camping in backpacking tents.

Clothing & Gear
We provide all necessary group gear. This includes cooking gear, meals, water purification, first aid, satellite phone for safety. Guests need to provide their personal backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, hiking clothes, boots and their camera gear. Most of these things can be rented from Backcountry Journeys for a small fee if you don’t have them – details here. You will receive a detailed equipment list upon booking.

Camera Equipment
For a detailed list of what to bring please click here. 

Expect warm pleasant days and chilly nights. We will be hiking and camping at altitudes averaging between 10,000 and 12,000 feet. It can rain or snow at any time so please be prepared by following the provided gear list. Remember some of the best photographs are made before, during and immediately after a storm cycle. There is no such thing as bad weather just poor layering and gear choices! For more info on what to bring please email or call us.

Price Includes
Meals, ground transportation, accommodations during the trip dates, professional photography instruction, medically certified wilderness guide

Price Does Not Include
Airfare, alcoholic beverages, lodging before & after trip dates, guide & staff gratuities

Travel Details
Departure city is Durango, Colorado. 


  • Backpack in Colorado’s Most Awe Inspiring Mountain Range
  • Photograph the Weminuche Wilderness in Peak Season
  • Photograph Mountains, Lakes & Dramatic Landscapes
  • Beautiful & Challenging MountainHikes
  • Small Groups
  • Excellent Backcountry Camping
  • All-Inclusive Trip, including top-notch backpacking meals
  • Learn from & shoot alongside a seasoned pro

Colorado’s San Juan

5 Days


Deposit: $500

Durango, Colorado


Currently there are no upcoming dates for this trip

Questions? Contact Us About This Trip

“There is no place more beautiful than the Weminuche Wilderness. You have to earn it…but once your up there the sky is the limit. Russ has put together a great workshop here. Do yourself a favor and get up into the mountains this summer!”