Dramatic clouds are reflected at sunset in the glassy waters of Summit Lake.

Photo by Scott Franz

Dramatic clouds are reflected at sunset in the glassy waters of Summit Lake.

Adventure of the week: Camp right in your backyard

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The moon rises above the clouds at sunset above Buffalo Pass.

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Even if you don't want to go all the way up to Summit Lake, there are campsites with incredible views on the way up Buffalo Pass.

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The sun rises above Summit Lake on Buffalo Pass.

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The last rays of light fall on Summit Lake.

— I keep waiting for the day when I will get tired of driving to take pictures of Fish Creek Falls, the base of Sleeping Giant, Rabbit Ears Peak or other popular landmarks like the glassy waters of Summit Lake.

It's days like Saturday that I become convinced that day never will come.

I decided to try something new and camp at the shores of Summit Lake and take some photos of the area in a different light.

I grabbed some chicken skewers and made the bumpy drive up Buffalo Pass.

Campgrounds like these are why I always have a bundle of firewood, a few beers and all of my camping and camera gear packed in the back of my SUV.

The best walk-in campsite above the shore of the glassy lake still was available at 7:45 p.m, and so I raced to set up my tent, got a fire going and walked just 10 feet to a vantage point over the lake.

Dramatic clouds slowly started turning pink above me and were perfectly reflected in the pristine lake.

This place takes on a whole new feeling at night.

My previous shots of the lake now seem pretty ordinary.

Even if you've already hiked this area many times before, keep this place in mind for your next camping trip.

And remember, it's right in your backyard, and you'll be back in the comfort of your home only an hour after you finish packing up the tent.

I'll use this trip as another excuse to keep going back to these landmarks to get photographs I've never gotten before.

Soon, I'll have to go camping and find out what Rabbit Ears Peak looks like under the stars.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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