mountains of storms

For beauty off the beaten path, venture two hours southwest of Albuquerque, New Mexico to the Sierra Ladrones Wilderness Study Area. There are no trails through the area’s diverse landscapes of high mountain peaks, isolated canyons and badlands. Hiking to the top of Ladrones Mountain – pictured here during a storm – rewards visitors with stunning panoramic views of the area’s mesa grasslands and piñon-juniper woodland. Photo by Julie Aguirre, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands).

Fall colors in Lauterbrunnen, a Swiss valley that is barely wider than a kilometer in some places. Several waterfalls cascade down the cliffs, almost being lost in spray before the water can reach the bottom. The river that runs through the valley is fed by snowmelt in the higher peaks and is therefore very cold and pure. I could sit here and watch the clouds move and light change for hours.