Colorado’s bluebird days extend all the way to the remote peaks of the San Juan Mountains in Uncompahgre National Forest. Last April, I captured this panoramic shot of some gnarly terrain from the porch at Opus Hut, a backcountry hut located 3.5 miles up Ophir Pass between Ophir and Silverton. (A snowstorm settled in that night, adding about two feet of snow over the next 24 hours.) Often considered bucket-list trips for Coloradans, more than 40 of these rustic retreats are scattered throughout the state—and anyone from beginner skiers to expert powder-hounds can access them. Just make sure to reserve your spot soon: Many of the huts get booked up by the first snow fall.

(Read more about Colorado’s backcountry huts—and what it’s like to visit them.)